Saturday, April 28, 2012

Home Dairying Part 1

 Ok. So we've got the milkstand built, the goat trained to jump on it, the formula for udder wash and teat dip memorized, and the general concept of how to milk down (still slow but getting there!) So it must be time to put all this knowledge to good use and actually get some milk from the goat to the fridge. You can visualize me jumping up and down for joy here if you want to- but I really don't recommend it! Just go with the happy flow!
 It all sounds well and good doesn't it? But if you know me, you know that this is a project filled with errors and some humor. Here's my step-by-step process so far.

 1-In my 5 gallon bucket I put the udder wash, paper towels, milking bowl (a small stainless steel mixing bowl) and a large plastic coffee container filled with alfalfa pellets and topped with grain and boss.

 2-I walk into the pen with the bucket and get mobbed by the goat who has been telling the whole neighborhood for the last 20 minutes that all I do is starve her "TO DEATH, DEATH DO YOU HEAR MEEEE?"

 3. I stand there til said goat realizes that if she jumps on the stand she will get food-approx. 2 seconds.

 4. I watch as the two little doelings race momma to the stand. One firmly positioned right under momma's udder, the other one right in front of momma's face on the food shelf.

5. After the little girl on the food shelf starts screaming (because she looked down and realized how far up she is) I set her down on the ground. Her sister then jumps down to check out her screaming sibling, they get distracted and go play. Then I can place the coffee container full of food in front of the starving goat.

6.I pour some of the udder wash onto a paper towel and give her a good cleaning.

7. Now it's time to pick the coffee container up off the ground where the goat scooted it as soon as the shock of a warm, wet paper towel hit her.

**Side note- the builder of the stand was sure I didn't need a hole cut into the food shelf to place the food container in. His mind will be changed when he gets back home,  Oh, yeah, we could put money on that one!

8. I salvage as much of the food as I can, put it back in front of the goat, lay a clean paper towel on the stand, place the milking bowl on the towel, and proceed to milk.

 9. I use my elbow to nudge a little girl away from the bowl of milk that she wants to investigate-very badly.

10. Hours later (maybe not hours, but a long time) I set the bowl out of the goats' reach, and dip the teats in the wash solution.

10. After releasing the goat, I pour the rest of the solution onto the stand to clean up all the milk that somehow missed the bowl, collect up all the stuff, and race to the kitchen with the milk!

Getting the milk out of the goat is just the beginning of the home dairy adventure. I can't wait to share Part 2 with you. But right now, I have to rest up and recover from everything that happened in Part 1!
Babies on the milkstand


  1. Definitely need a method to KEEP the food bowl on the stand! My picky-buggers would flip the bowl over looking for the choicest morsels if the bowl wasn't attached to the stand.

    What breed is the white floppy eared kid? S/he is sooooo cute!

  2. CR- that will be the first thing on the honey-do list for sure! As far as the breed of the kid, your guess would probably be more educated than mine. Mom and dad both came from the sale barn, I call them Heinz 57!

  3. Excellent! As someone who wants to join the ranks of goat milker but hasn't yet, this was a very informative post. And reminds me to tell my hubby that there WILL be a hold for the food to stay put in. :)

  4. Great photo! Old timers make it look so EASY :)

  5. We have a dog dish that we drilled a hole in the middle of and bolted it to the milking stand. They can't tip it or pick it up in their nimble lips.

  6. You will be an old pro in no time. My hubby made a stand similar to yours, but I insisted on a couple of rails along the back side. It makes things easier if you have to work on one of them (trimming hooves, vaccinating, etc.) if you have the rails to push them against to hold them steady. I always began my milking with a good brushing. My girls loved it. I ended it by giving them 2 animal crackers. They loved those too. Good luck.

  7. Congrats! Wait till you make some cheese, goat cheese is the best!


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