Notes from Windward: #67


Fun in the Milk Shed

  June 16:

     After giving Jewel and her two boys some time to settle into their new home, it was time for the 'terns to learn the fine art of goat milking. It's sort of like riding a bike in that once your body learns how to do it, you can run on automatic--but it takes a bit of practice to get to that point. And a goat isn't the least bit shy about critiquing your technique while you're trying to learn.


     Alison got up close and personal to watch how it's done before trying her hand. Milking is a subtle art that takes some getting used to since you're doing two things at once with one hand, but Jewel's udder is very well formed so she's a good goat to learn from. We're allowing her boys to nurse during the day, but separating them from her in the evening--otherwise, there wouldn't be any milk to collect come the morning.


     Becca and Alison took full advantage of our extra wide milkstand to double-team Jewel. She's easily a "gallon a day" producer, so it takes some time to draw down a half-gallon a squirt at a time, especially with first-time milkers. All in all, for a first day the milking went quite well; Jewel was satisfied with her ration of rolled wheat, and the 'terns celebrated by using some of Jewel's milk to make fresh-picked strawberry smoothies.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67