Friday, February 7, 2014

Milking Woes

        Lily-goat isn't the best on the milking stand. I'm guessing it's because we're not her mama and she doesn't like us touching her, but is still a pain in the neck to try to milk her. In the morning, at about seven-thirty, I go and get her out of the barn and leave Daisy and Thorin alone to play. I bring Lily over to our yard, and, motivating her with sunflower seeds, get her up onto the milking stand. The milking stand itself is not very good. My mom simply attached some boards to hold her head in place onto a counter that was already in place, and it is kind of an awkward situation all around. It is too high up and only accessible from one side. Plus, there's this tree trunk almost right in the middle:

        Yeah. So we get Lily up there, and my starts to milk her. The problem is, she can only get to one teat at a time, so it takes forever. During this time, Lily is also trying her hardest to kick everything within a twelve inch radius. I hold her front foot so she is less stable - it is supposed to make them not be able to kick - but she still does. My mom, for some reason, likes to milk into this tiny little cup, so almost every time, Lily knocks it over or steps right in it at some point. I now have a list of 'Things I'm Not Going To Do When My Goat Is In Milk'. (One is build a better milking stand). 
        I stand there holding Lily's leg up and my arm gets twisted every which way, banged against the tree, and my fingers stepped on. It doesn't really hurt, but it is frustrating that my mom doesn't really see that there is something drastically wrong with our milking plan. Then, Lily decides she wants to lie down. From the angle that I am at, I can't really lift her back up to a standing position, so my mom just milks her while she is lying down. This takes forever. Because I have nothing to do; I don't have to hold her leg up any more, I take some pictures.

        The chickens are happily pecking their sunflower seeds out from the ground:

        Eponine is wondering why she doesn't get any attention.
        "Mama, I'm right  here! Down here Mama!"

        Of course, she's just so cute that I have to snuggle her a bit.

        "More sunflower seeds?"

        Daisy is still drinking a lot of Lily's milk, so we don't have to worry about her being to full at the moment, but we still need to get some for Thorin to supplement his formula. Pretty soon, when Daisy goes to her new home, we will need to do much more milking. Hopefully we get better at it. If you have any tips on milking goats, especially small ones, I'd be much obliged if you would share! :)


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