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Starting the Good-byes

7 Jul

Friday night I penned several of my March kids.

I got the pen that my dad made loaded in the back of my truck.  I have to say it’s kind of awesome that I did not have to borrow a truck to sell kids this time.

I still had to have one of my nephews come help me.  Why would I have to have help if I got the big pen loaded by myself?

Gouda and his maa, Hilda

Gouda.  Gouda is huge.  There is no way I was going to load that big Gouda boy by myself.

Gouda

Anyhow, with the kids sold, I will hopefully no longer have to get heads out of fences (Sacagewea and Darling).  I also sold Cutie’s girl, Bianca.

Cutie and Bianca

That means I got to milk her again. The third time must be the charm because she did actually let me milk her.  She rather sat on my lap which makes it a bit awkward, and she wouldn’t let it all down, but we’ll get there.

Cutie

Since I sold some of the kids from the north paddock, I figured I could add one up there.  I finally weaned Snow White.  She was not happy about it.

Snow White

We’ll see how milking Caroline goes.  The first attempt wasn’t very pretty, but we’ll see… This morning, she was much better!

Oh and we’re milking in a newly painted milk room.

Well, the floor looked good for a little bit.

Astra

Now that I’ve actually milked in there, it’s not quite so clean.  But it’s still a lot better than it was!

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We’ve Got Milk

20 Jun

Once again, moving the moms into the north paddock means I don’t have room to wean anyone else.  That means, Snow White is still out nursing her mom.

Snow White

That means I can’t milk Caroline yet.

Caroline

I’m not too upset about that because I’m getting quite a bit of milk from Ava and Astra.  This is one day’s milking.  Astra is pretty consistent from morning to night milking.  I get a little bit more from her in the evening.  I can’t believe how much more Ava gives me at night.  It’s crazy!  In the morning I get right at a quart.  At night, she almost gives me a half gallon on her own.

I’m glad to be getting so much because Penny’s boy Frisco is getting a bottle.

Frisco getting a bottle; Penny eating and Pipsqueak nursing

She is actually being pretty nice about it.  In the past, she’s tried killing me for feeding her kids.  I still get a little nervous when she gets close to me.

Penny and Pipsqueak

I’m guessing LilyAnn is making a ton of milk too.  Her udder looks huge, and little Ringo has exploded in colostrum poop scours.

LilyAnn

She better appreciate me cleaning that up for her.

Ringo

I also think his tail is permanently stuck in that position from being folded like that before he was born.

Milking

12 Jun

I decided I really have to start milking.  I had my mom come run the gate while I caught some wild kids and weaned them.

Ava was obvious because I milked her last year, and she’s easy. Her teats are tiny and she’s slow to milk, but she will be good for me.

Ava

I will say, she’s holding her milk.  After I milk her, I let her out and she goes to her kids, and then we go milk some more out.  I swear these girls who hold their milk are enough to make me pull my hair out.  She really wants to save that milk for her huge kids who do not need it.

I also decided to try Astra.  She’s so cute.  Her udder reminds me a lot of her great-great-grandmaa Millie’s udder.

Astra

She was also a dream to milk.  She is easy to milk, and she didn’t even hold her milk.  For never having been milked before, she was perfect!

Then there’s Cutie.  She has more dairy than any other goat on the farm. She went through the MGIT (Milk Goat In Training) program.  She wants to come in and eat sweet feed every time I go in the milk room.

Cutie Pie

But she will not let me have her milk.  She holds it and she uses her back hoof to flick my fingers off her udder.  She dances around.  Oh that girl.  I let Bianca back out, and I might sell her next weekend so Cutie doesn’t have any other option but me.  I also will need to get a hobble rigged up in there milk room. Brat.  Seriously.

Smug Cutie and Bianca

I’m still waiting to start milking Caroline too.  I need to wean her girl and find time to milk four does.  Especially does in training and being uncooperative because their kids are here.  But I’m still getting a gallon a day from the two I am milking.

I still have to fight with all my retired girls who think they should still get to come in and eat sweet feed.