I’m milking our two Nubian dairy goats twice a day. Marble and Trist get to decide who comes first. It’s a special quiet time for me and the girls twice a day, especially in the morning. This morning it was Marble who got her head in the gate first. They don’t jump up onto the stand to get milked; they jump up on the stand to eat their breakfast and supper, and the milking is just something they put up with. 🙂
I’m new at milking, and so I don’t know if it’s just my inexperience or a physical issue with Marble, but I find her teats so small that I have trouble with the milking. Trist is an easy handful and I have no trouble with her. I bought a small hand milker to use with Marble and thankfully, she doesn’t mind it at all. The cups fit her small teats and milking goes smoothly and fast, and the milk flows directly into big half gallon jars. Here you can see the hook up closer. It’s really quite a simple milker built by the Dansha dairy family in Florida. Here’s their website if anyone is interested in learning more about their milkers.
After I’ve finished milking, I bring the jars in, filter the milk, and get it nice and cold right away. I wash all the equipment I’ve used and store it away to be ready for evening milking. I didn’t get as much milk this morning as I usually do, but yesterday we cleaned out stalls and moved the fence, so maybe all that commotion upset the girls and affected their milk production. I find that if I get less in the morning, evening means that I get more. We are just using the milk for drinking and making cheese and soap, and my freezer is already close to being full, so I don’t panic if milk production goes up and down some days. Here is what I got this morning. Trist only has one working teat this time, so her milk is the one that is less in the jar. That’s still a lot for just one side!
Farmer Bob helped me get Rosie up on the milking stand for three days (she’s the white goat) since she’d never done that before and balked. He had to physically pick her up. Once she figured out where her breakfast would be, she’s only too happy to get up there herself, thank goodness! I don’t milk her because her babies are still nursing, but at least she has the idea for when I do start milking her in a couple of weeks.
Soon after the sun came up this morning, the wind picked up. It just felt like the predicted storms were heading our way, and I was glad we’d decided not to try to do our farm market and tour this afternoon. HOWEVER, I had promised 3 dozen fertilized eggs to a teacher from a local school, so I contacted her and she came out to get her eggs. I thought she would enjoy gathering them herself from under the hens, and she did!
What a nice visit we had! I showed her the farm and it was still beautiful in spite of the overcast skies and blustery wind. I like that kind of weather anyway, with so much energy flowing around us.
Mr. Peacock, however, does NOT like stormy weather. He’s taken shelter on the front porch, even though the rain hasn’t begun. Animals sense weather changes due to fluctuations in air pressure, and I can sense weather changes by him being on the front porch. It’s a sure sign that we’ve got storms on the way. He’s so pretty, isn’t he?
On a positive note, Farmer Bob’s flight for this evening has been cancelled, so he won’t be flying in the storms and I won’t be here to worry about fences alone! I sure hope no trees fall on our fences and we don’t have so much rain that our footbridge gets washed away, and I hope that nobody anywhere has any injuries from these strong storms. Maybe they’ll not be as bad as the weatherman predicts. It often happens that way, but now we have a tornado warning, so I’ll send this post on its way and get ready to take cover.
Take care and stay safe!