How many people does it take to milk a goat? 


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? 



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. Then I was an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life. Now, after moving to the country, I have embarked on life as a rural farmgirl, complete with my husband, the Animal Whisperer, man of exceptional knowledge and patience, two boys who are louder than my sister and I ever were, a herd of milking goats, and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Coyotes, mice, country dogs and prairie dogs are frequent visitors. Just 45 minutes north is Colorado Springs, the setting for our first six years in the goat world. Our family. Our city friends. Our introduction to cheesemaking. But we...and our growing farm and soon-to-be creamery...have set up shop down off of Highway 115 in Penrose, Colorado.
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