Wednesday, April 21, 2010

more on my learning how to milk

Well, this morning went a bit better than yesterday's milking, sort of.

First let me say that the goat that we purchased is very different from the other two goats that we have. Our other goats are extremely friendly. In fact, they feel that we are their herdmates and they want to be with us all the time. Our new goat isn't mean but she's very afraid. She's very nervous and really doesn't care for us to be around her.

So this morning I lured Falcoln up on her stand with some grain. Things started off significantly better. She didn't clench her legs or kick me but she did scarf up her grain. Once she was done eating, she decided it was time to be done with milking. She kicked and landed her feet in the pail of milk. So the pint or so milk I got out of her was ruined with all the nastiness on her feet. I gave the spoiled milk to the chickens and dogs and started over.

But she wasn't having it. Not only did she kick but she bucked like a horse. From reading others' stories, this is somewhat unusual. I tried to get the goat hobble back on her but it was too difficult for me to handle. She was still dripping milk because she wasn't finished milking. I don't want her to get mastitis, so I kept at it.

I read yesterday that the purpose of a goat hobble is to put a bit of pressure on the back tendons so that even if they want to kick they can't. Well, I can't figure out how to get the hobble to do that, but I did grab her back leg, above the ankle, and held it firmly, trying to mimic what a goat hobble does. This seemed to work okay, though nowhere near as well as it would have had she cooperated with me. So I was only able to work one teat at a time.

The flavor of the milk was much better today, though I still cannot say it was good. Hopefully the raunchy milk flavor was just due to stress.