for people who love the littlest dairy goats
So It's Wednesday... and my first milk goat came on Saturday... In ways the week has gotten both harder and easier. Some disappointments and some triumps...
I have been wanting dairy goats for some time, much to my husband's dismay! "You need another animal because???" Well, because I want it... and I want to make cheese and have milk and know what I am consuming... I haven't ever been a fan of store bought milk not since having my first fresh milk at my grandparents dairy farm. I don't have a use for that much cow milk, but a pint a day, now I could make use of that! The more I learn the more concerned I am about the hormones and chemicals that find their ways into our food supply.
I have my own flock of chickens, I get both meat and eggs and the quality far surpasses storebought. I have some beef heifers growing up on the property so they can someday produce calves for market to feed myself, family and friends... so one little dairy goat... what's the harm?
So she's been home 4 days... She only has milk on one side due to having a single doeling and an owner who didn't milk both sides to keep her even... Sigh... had I known I might have looked for another doe... but Oh well... She is a lovely little thing and when she is fully in production I'm pretty sure I can get 4 cups a day :)
Milking hasn't been easy though... she'd never been milked and she doesn't like it one bit! She wasn't fed on the stanchion and thus sees it as a torture device!
The first two days she actually went up there easy enough, screamed and did her best to escape once the stanchion closed... I felt so bad. day 4 and she stands or sometimes sits, resigned but not happy... she kicks less , I have resorted to tying down her foot. Someone suggested barn twine... I did that... at first, but afterward she was sore and limped, I realized that it was torture and she'd never learn to accept it or even like it if it hurt, so I switched to a strip of cotton from a t-shirt... it does stretch a little, but it's much kinder IMO...
As of yesterday she was less panicked but still really not liking the whole milking idea. I feel awful though as now her new trick to to lay down or crawl when I try to lead her to the stand... I committed to getting her trained and accepting what I need to do. I hope she'll come around sooner rather than later.