The Shy Milking Goat

In all its farm life irony her milk is the tastiest we have ever had.  So creamy, the two tablespoons we manage to get back into the house, that is.

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When we brought her home last year at two days old she healed the wound that occurred when our beloved goat died while giving birth.  Her long legs and big eyes melted our hearts and those around the city as we brought her everywhere with us in the truck.  She went to schools that we spoke at, Walmart, Panera, even the bar (though she was clearly under age) and she brought light to our farm.

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Friday evening my friend, Jill, who gave us Elsa and Isabelle, came over to give Elsa “an attitude adjustment” and showed us how to halter her, let up when she calms down, reward her, milk her out, even if that means a gallon of milk across the stanchion and a very tired human and goat.  It took a long time but she got her milked out.  We are forever in debt to Jill for leading us into the life of goats and for going out of her way to always help us.

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But Elsa soon did not care about the uncomfortable harness.  Her new goal was to train to be a bucking bronco.  My, she would shine in the arena.

Yesterday my friend and current student came to school us.  She has a small dairy down the road.  She and her girls came over to milk Elsa and to show us some tricks.  Elsa won.

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My goals (and budget) did not count on our sweet goat to be a pet.  She does not respect us because we spoil her and do not have an upper hand.  Perhaps she would be like the goat we gave to Lauren last year.  That goat wouldn’t have anything to do with us, would sit in the bucket, and try to run off.  She went to her new home and lets Lauren milk her without a stanchion even!  Maybe Elsa just isn’t our goat.

What to do with Elsa Maria?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Gwen says:

    Katie,
    A tough question. Several things come into play with this situation. She is like a “teenage” mother still so young (and probably why she only had one kid). She does not understand what happened to her body nor why someone is requiring even more from her (milking).

    We had a goat like this three years ago. She was too young to have gotten (accidently) bred. She would NOT accept her baby even after being confined with the infant in a stall. We were black and blue from the two of us trying to milk her for several weeks and bottle feed her little doe. Finally she calmed down ~ a little, but enough to milk her for several months with less and less bruises (her milk was delicious by the way). Finally dried her off and decided to give her another year to prove herself.

    Bred her that fall, she had twins the following spring. At that time, she never even considered ignoring her twins, she was the best mother! Also tried to milk her and she couldn’t have cared less that she was being milked. This spring she had twins again. She is so affectionatenow and more matue in her demeanor, and again, an excellent mother.

    Animals need time to adjust, just like humans. Even if she (Elsa) was “spoiled” and especially so, she needs time to adjust and mature. If you really want her for your family milk goat and matriarch of the future herd, give her time and love. She’ll get there. If you don’t have time for that, or if it’s not in the budget, find or trade for an older seasoned goat and you’ll do fine. 🙂

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I bet you are right, Gwen. We were only looking at her size, not her age to breed her. A family with five children are coming today to look at her to take home. We are hopefully getting our friend’s doeling in a few weeks if all goes well so chalk it up to another experience. We’ll wait a year next time. Thanks for the advice!

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