Milking

How many people does it take to milk a goat? 

5

Yes.  5.

One to hold the feet.

One to hold the head.

One to bring food.

One to bring more food.

One to milk.

Or at least that’s how it went the first time we milked.  And after 45 minutes of this teamwork (not including the goats…they weren’t exactly team players) we had a grand total of about two cups of milk.  Plus or minus a few drops. 

2 goats?  2 cups of milk?  Didn’t the farmer we bought them from say we should get about ½ gallon total each time we milk them?  Yep.

But, with me as the Milk Maid, and one squirt in the bucket for every 4 or 5 squirts on the grass or on myself or on one of the other 4 team members, we did not reach the ½ gallon mark.  Not even close.  And, there were a few other obstacles:

  1.  After some rather lengthy amount of time, and some amount of milk, Canela stepped in the milk pot.  Threw that bunch of milk out.
  2.  More milking, more milk in the pot.   She steps on the edge of the pot, knocks it over.  I take a deep breath.  I lean my head against the goat and think:  Breathe.  In through the nose, out through the nose, like wind blowing through a cave.   Yoga can help in all aspects of life.  Oooohhhmmmm.  Milk again.
  3. After more milking and more milk in the pot, she pooped in the milk.  OK, not really.  She pooped on my ARM, then the poop ricocheted into the pot.  Ahhhhh, poop on the arm.  The next in line of the many new experiences we’ve had today.  Dump that milk.  No wait, I guess, what I really did was scoop the poop out of the milk with my hand as quickly as possible (there’s a 3 second rule for poop in milk, right?), chuck the poop and keep milking.  This milk we will boil (pasteurize), I tell myself, so what can one lone piece of poop cause?  (Note:  we drank that batch of milk that night-after boiling it-and we’re not dead of one of many unfathomable diseases one can conjure up at the thought of drinking poop laced milk.)

I’m sure tomorrow morning will go better.  Milking is just like anything, right?  You get better with practice?

P.S.  Tonight, the Animal Whisperer and I were getting ready for bed.  We looked at each other and cracked up.  The good kind of laugh with your spouse where you look deep in each other’s eyes and smile and laugh even harder.  You’re sharing a moment of deep understanding.  What are you understanding? 

This:

WHAT IN THE HECK DID WE GET OURSELVES INTO?????

We agree that the goats might be up on Craigslist again tomorrow.  Their stay here may be short lived.

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
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