Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ima Milker

That's right I have my very own bonafide pygmy milking goat.  I have owned this fine creature for near 4 years now.  I have fed her and cared for her daily this whole time.  Until now she has never once contributed anything to this family.  I think it is about time for this to change.  This is her second time kidding.  The first time I was not there with the idea of milking a goat.  This year though I thought what the hay.  I am feeding this animal either way.  I may as well try to benefit somehow from it.

Have you ever milked a goat?  Better yet have you ever milked a 4 year old goat that has never had a human touch her udder let alone yank on it 2 times a day?  Yeah me neither!  I had no idea what I was in for.  Hahaha it has been interesting to say the least.

First 2 days I went out there wrestled that goat, pulling and squeezing and 30 minutes later I had about 3 oz of milk to show for it...haha.  Seriously I am not joking.  So I was at the point of quiting.  Quite honestly I got to that exact same point when learning how to breastfeed for the first time.  Which is kind of ironic.  Now we are all women here, I mean I don't think I have any men that read my blog, so we can speak candidly ;).  You know that feeling when your milk first comes in when you are so engorged even the pressure of your t-shirt makes you feel like you may explode.  I am thinking that was about where Bubbles was those first couple days.  That is actually why I finally made that jump into milking.  The babies were not nursing on one side and she looked terribly uncomfortable.  Now you think she would be grateful for me to relieve some pressure.  Well not so much.

So I called my friend and asked her to please come over and see if it is me with the problem or if this pygmy just doesn't make much milk.  She very kindly did.  After about 5 minutes she had over a quart of milk from just the one side.  Now remember she is a pygmy so I was quite impressed with over a quart.  So it became obvious that the problem was with me.  At least now I know that it was worth my efforts to keep at it.

Well about a week out and I have to say everything is going great!!  I am finally getting the hang of it.  It is only taking me about 10 minutes to get it all done and I am consistently getting about 1 quart a day from her.  1 quart is plenty for my family of 5.  With even some left over every so often to make some cheese!  Now if only she would give in and quit fighting it.  I have figured out how to handle her now without spilling the milk.  It was something I picked up on a blog one time and I don't even remember where.  But if you squeeze that tendon just above the hock, for some reason it makes her stand still.  So I milk with one hand and hold her leg with the other.  Right now I am milking one side and the babies are eating from the other so this method works.  As for when the babies are weaned and I need two hands to milk we may need to adjust our method some.  But you know what if I have gotten this far and am milking a goat.  I am thinking not much is gonna stop me now!

Sorry no pictures of me milking.  There is definitely a shortage of hands to hold the camera.  But the next post about the cheese I made will have plenty of pics.


  1. That is really cool! Maybe I'll try it someday with one of my goats. I've never tried it because I'm so paranoid about contaminating the milk and I have no idea what to do with it when I'm done. Do you pasteurize it? Cool post. Can't wait to hear more. And I'm definitely interested in the cheese making.

  2. Good for you! Keep it up~ it does get easier... some days are better than others:)) Can't wait to read your cheese post!


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