Friday, May 21, 2010

More on milking the goat; cheesemaking

I think my new goat and I are starting to get used to each other. Except she keeps stepping on my feet when she is scared. One foot has a huge bruise and I think she may have broken a toe on my other foot.

A revolution in our relationship came when Ed decided to put up two guard rails on one side of the milking stanchion. This is so that she cannot jump off and drag the stanchion around all over the place. Strangely, it seems to comfort her. Perhaps she thinks that nothing can get to her on the side with guard rails. She doesn't kick as much. And, if I sit beside her facing the back of her, she seems most comfortable. It is probably what she is used to.

I've learned that when I am getting ready to milk I need to reach under her toward her teats, and touch both of her legs with the backs of my wrists. She has an instinct to kick when her legs are touched and I don't think her kicks are fully in her control. So I'm communicating to her where my hands are and she can do her nervous kick and then put her legs down. If she's hungry, she will then eat away and I can go about my business.

I'm not sure how nicely she was handled at her previous home. She's pretty scared. The lady that sold her to me was very nice and all, but she and her husband were just using Falcon's (the goat) babies for meat. I commented that it is heartbreaking that she be seperated from all her babies and hopefully Falcon will forgive me. She said "Well, they are just animal." Poor mommy.

I think its commendable to raise your own meat, but have serious misgivings about slaughtering animals that I've known and babies that I've raised. But that fear is probably how the meat industry has gotten away with making so much money off us and gotten away with doing so many nasty things to our food supply.

changing the subject: I've tried Ricki Carroll's mozzarella recipe for the umpth time yesterday. I had to decrease the acidity to half to get the texture to actually hold together. I ended up with something edible! But it was still tough and leaked milk and cream at the end. Sooo frustrated. Today I am going to try it with raw milk to see if my pasteurizer is still heating at too high temperature and if that makes a difference. Good thing I'm getting a gallon more or less each day.


Laura said...

Falcon is lucky to be with you. It is sad about her babies though.

Anonymous said...

Geez girl, you work hard, don't you? But I suppose it's not work when it's doing what you love. Good luck with the cheese making. I wish I had some intelligent pointers.

I hope Falcon realizes how good she has it.