Monday, February 21, 2011

Goats give milk and need to be milked every day... as needy as babies.

The first goat that we got, Mama and Butterfly, were my first experience with milking anything. She was half Pygmy and I know now that she had a small udder that was difficult to milk, however I didn't know that then. I bought her and her baby and watched as the lady, I would later become great friends with, but had just meant, showed me a quick two minute demonstration. We took them home, Poppie, made a stanchion the next day. A stanchion is a milking stand, you put grain, goat candy, in the feeder that holds their head still while you mik the goat. I could not make her udder work no matter how I tried alone. Poppie held the jar. It is easier to milk in a jar or kitchenaide bowl with a goat, you can move them faster out of the way and they can't get their feet in the bucket when they are naughty and kick out. I got a 1/2 cup the first time out and that was using a two handed stripping method, which is a bad way to treat a goat, again I didn't know that then. I tried for the next few days and never got the hang of it and decided to let Mama feed her baby in peace. She died shortly thereafter.

Mokie purchased Pansy soon after I had purchased Mama, from the same lady, she was and is a wonderful milker. Mokie took to milking like a duck takes to water. She milked from the back of the goat as her father-in-law had showed her how to do. She had been milking awhile and I asked her to show me, my hands are very strong in different ways than Mokies and I still had difficulties. We couldn't figure out why, I carve with dremels and foredom all day long sometimes and I am literaly much stronger than her, but it was a mystery why I couldn't get it. The epiphany came one day when we were talking about Mokie making a cake for Boys birthday. She decorates cakes and uses cake decorating bags, which is the exact motion, that it takes to milk a goat. I still work at it but it seems I am really not needed to milk the goats, Mokie showed her sisters Yogie and Booboo, then 7 and 6, how to milk and they were just like her, ducks to water, by summers end 2010 they were both milking two goats apiece twice aday and helping milk a friends goat down the road periodicly. 

The grand kids all come out to see Yogie and booboo milking and they want to do it too, the catch is if you milk it you got to drink it, here on this little hobby farm. They tried to milk so they had to try the milk. Our first tries at the milk were amazing, I though it would be odd or strange tasting, but as the lady I got the goats from had told me, if you get it from teat to cold in less than 20 minutes, and you have clean milking habits, it really doesn't taste much different, and it doesn't. My girls, Boy and Cubbie had been used to drinking it warm from the goat with chocolate powder in it, I myself can't actually do it that way, but they loved it. The grand kids decided they would try it that way as well. Buga liked it, M wasn't much impressed, Song decided it was wonderful and Eldest said, "Nannie that was the worst thing I ever tried" I told him that it was disrespectful of the goat to milk her and not try to enjoy the fruits of her efforts, He tried again, he still doesn't really like it but will drink it.  Now when the grand kids come up they say "is that goats milk or real milk" my girls tell them its just milk, milk is milk. I am proud of their attitude, in reality, goats milk is a very low fat milk. It doesn't have cream that rises to the top, or very little, and that depends upon breed of goat. It is actually homogenized, as is, and that it is why it is so good for babies to drink if they can't drink their mothers milk and you don't want to use formula. Milk adds up when you milk twice daily and you can only drink so much, kefir and cheese were my first options of what to do with the time.

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