Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Milking success!

Ceredwyn led the goat-milking for the first time on Sunday.

We purchased the brown Nubian for a farmer southeast of us, driving to his large barn, then carrying the surprised creature in the back of our Saturn.  She was a bit shocked by the change.

The first milking was a challenge.  The other two goats, Bramble and Ghost, were very curious about the new arrival, which made her uneasy.  Then we had to scramble to get everything in place: new goat tied to milking stand; me holding the older goats back by one's horns, holding a scoop of grain in another hand, soothing them with words; Ceredwyn blocking the newbie ghost's attempts to get away with nearly any part of her body.  Our dog howled and whimpered lustily, nearby, frantic with curiosity and a typically misplaced desire to help.

But the little goat was coaxed to squirt, and we all felt better afterwards:

Yesterday morning was a repeat, but to a lesser extent.  The goats seemed to remember this process.  Then yesterday afternoon was easier still - Ceredwyn was in and out in shorter time, and I didn't need to hold back the other members of our herd.  This morning, even easier.

Herd: I'm impressed by the docility of these beasts.  Personally I'm more used to territorially crazed animals, like cats, or at least maniacal socializers, like dogs.  It's a sweet pleasure to see these goats just... hanging out with each other, chilling.  More like the flock of chickens, I suppose.

I'm even more impressed by Ceredwyn, who led this charge, and rapidly became an expert milker.

1 comment:

Ed Webb said...

I still remember vividly the only time I had milk fresh from the goat, in Somerset - I must have been in my early teens. Amazing stuff. Congratulations on your expanding herd.