Milking in the (cold) wind

Before I went out to milk tonight, in the dark with gale force winds that sounded like they were kicking up a tornado of sorts, I warned my boys that if I wasn’t back inside within 30 minutes to start looking for me under a house in Kansas.  I gave them permission to remove my red slippers.  That of course, I recalled later, makes me a wicked witch… a fact my chore-laden children might not dispute.  

When milking outside under the stars in the cold wind, you first contemplate the state of your pants.  While seated on the kindergarten sized milking chair and leaning forward for long periods, you begin to wish you had worn a belt.  When a cold gust blows, you immediately realize your waistband has migrated south.  Although you are not a plumber, you begin to feel a strange kinship with one as the icy wind travels the fleshy path deeper into your seat, all the while causing you to wish you could let go of the warm teats to cover the exposed skin, but reluctantly deciding not to in an attempt to keep goat feet out of the milk.  

When you return one goat to the pen and grab the next, you have time to readjust your milking attire, only to repeat the above related process again.  This time, however, you aren’t quite as concerned, because the tip of your nose has now frozen and it has begun to run such that you feel the need to catch it.  You are able to keep it in check, but begin hoping the one big (dead) tree on the property, which happens to be within striking distance of you and the milking stand, does not release a large branch in your direction with its next howl.

Time to switch:  Second goat in, Third goat out.  Readjust clothing, sniff multiple times, glance at the waving arms of the tree, and proceed milking, only to notice that your finger tips are now numb.  The only redeeming factor of this facet of your chosen profession is that the goat’s teats are warm.  You gratefully keep your hands on them attempting to thaw your prints while relieving her of milk.

And, finally, the pot nearly full, it’s time for the fourth (and last) goat.  The good news is, she’s like milking a fire hydrant- the milk comes fast and steady.  You’ll be inside soon.  Good thing, because now your ears are numb.  And, with the final few squeezes comes a blasting wind that threatens to cause a milk tsunami in the now full pot.  Quickly, and with fumbling fingers, you put the lid on the pot, goat in the pen and race for the house, clicking your red slippers along the way.

There’s no place like home.

  •  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  This is the unedited version of the post that ran in the IndyBlog on 11-15-2015.

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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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6 Responses to Milking in the (cold) wind

  1. konuts@comcast.net says:

    Lindsey, you need a quick run to the thrift store for a pair of ski bibs and balaclava. You may decide to never have baby goats in the winter again.

    I’m very surprised, my goats have reduced how much they’re eating. I expected them to eat more. Digestion warms them and so does fat. Is this normal?

    Get the bibs large enough to fit over all your clothes. But I like the story your clothes created.

    Kathy The Cracked Egg Farm

    • Great suggestions Kathy! I already have bibs, but I haven’t taken them out of the winter box yet! I guess I better do that! A balaclava is a good idea too. Ours do slow down on eating a little bit in the winter and yes, it’s normal. They also fluctuate their eating with their heat cycle. Lindsey

  2. Barbara Simpson says:

    Hi Lindsey,

    I was wondering how much a share of a goat is and what the milk costs every week? I loved the post and can relate with the snow and cold that we have had here in the Springs. Thanks for letting me know. Barbara

    • Hi Barbara! Our 2015 prices were $34 for one share, $40 per month boarding fee. You pick up your one gallon of milk every week. Our shares are finished for 2015, but should start up in the spring again!

      Lindsey

      >

      • Marsha Lee says:

        Hi Lindsey, This is one of your funniest ever!! I can totally picture the whole episode. So sorry I won’t see you all on Thanksgiving. Pat and I are going to his sister’s in Monument. I still want to come down to your house to see you, and get some soaps for Christmas gifts. I’ll call to schedule a time that’s convenient for you. Love, Aunt Marsha

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