Tag Archives: milking

The Dairy Days of Summer

1 Aug

I am still milking my four girls: Astra, Ava, Caroline, and Joy.

Caroline

Now that I’ve finally gotten Perdita to quit nursing her mom, I’m getting right at five quarts of milk per day.

I’m making yogurt and some buttermilk and chèvre. I am making lots of mozzarella cheese for the next year.  I want to make more mozzarella sticks again this year because they were delicious, and they make a nice treat at family get togethers.

heat treating and stretching it

I am also making soap.  It’s been way too long since I made any, but everything is so uncertain since the farmer’s market shut down and then the pandemic stopped me opening my soap room to the public.  I’m not even set up for it anymore.  I still have the bed in there from when I lived in it after the derecho.

oatmeal and honey and plain soaps curing

I’m restocking.  So far I’ve made six batches.  I have a list of fourteen more that I should make.  I’m not sure I actually have enough supplies to make that many, but we’ll see what happens.

Hopefully, I can continue my little soap business, but with rising shipping costs and everything else, I’m not sure.  If you’re interested, you can check out my soaps HERE.

Jasmine Dreams, Kentish Rain, and Lavender

When I get all of the cheese and soaps done, I need to refill my freezer for any bottle kids I might have next year.

Pretzel (every picture of her will be running to see if I have a bottle)

Pretzel has nearly emptied my freezer, and she’s still getting bottles.

It’s Not Fatal

21 Jul

It’s called weaning.  It isn’t going to kill them, but you’d swear these two think they are going to die if Perdita doesn’t get to nurse her maa.

Astra in pasture

Perdita “weaned” in the north paddock

I’ve had to get way more creative in hobbling the fence than I ever have before.

They are relentless.

licking her lips after stealing milk

Showing me where I need to hobble more twine on there.

But I want the milk.

I’ve just started making a year’s worth of mozzarella cheese, and Astra actually has the most milk of all the girls I’m currently milking.  At least when I can get it.

Weaning

18 Jul

Thursday morning, I moved my bucks back onto the front pasture.

Freddie and Xerxes

I decided Thursday afternoon to wean kids so I could start milking again after everyone got mixed back together.  I shut Perdita up north first.  When I went back out to catch Joy’s boys, she was already out.  I think she climbed the remains of the tarp hut and went over the fence.

Perdita and Astra in pasture

I put Joy’s boys up there but I never did get Perdita caught again because she was standing on top of the fallen walnut tree until dark.  I caught Swen and Olaf and shut them up there so I could at least milk Joy in the morning.

Swen and Olaf

The next morning, Joy’s boys were out.  Seriously?  I swear it has been harder to wean kids this year than ever before.

Greta and Gary, Joy with her boys Olaf and Swen, and Micah

Anyhow, I did actually get to Astra before Perdita had breakfast, so I got a pint out of her.

Astra

Then, after my coffee, I once again weaned the little stinker.  She’s lucky she’s so cute.

Then I decided to go with Ava’s kids.

Geo, Glory, and Gilbert

She’s had triplets on her and she could use the break.  It’s been a hard year on all of the moms with the poor pasture quality due to the drought.

Ava

I hauled all three of them up with Perdita and blocked the hole I think the other two boys escaped from.

Perdita looking for a new escape route

Tonight, I’ll try to get Joy’s boys again.

Joy

After my hands get used to all of them, I’ll think about adding Caroline to my milking.

Chunky and Caroline

Or maybe Cutie.

Cutie with Sylvia and Simone

Eventually I’ll be milking all of them (hopefully in just a few days.)  In another month or so, I can start milking Zinnia.

Zinnia

Maybe I’ll see about training Onyx.

Onyx–love that perfect udder

Bring on the milk!  Time to make cheese!