Kidding season is starting for many goat owners! And even though we're still months and months from our kids as we decided to push back breeding to lighten our load with a new baby I've been thinking a lot about first time milkers. Depending on your goat it can be a breeze OR it can be the most frustrating thing you've ever done. And why is it, the goats who make you work the hardest also have the sweetest milk?
• When milking a first time freshener, there is milk everywhere—usually due to the fact that there is a lot of kicking and futzing on the stand. When you are a lactating mother, there is also milk everywhere—usually due to the fact that wearing a bra is so over-rated and a crying baby in the middle of the night makes you leak.
• That feeling you get when your goat kicks over a pail of beautifully rich, clean milk…yeah, it’s disheartening. So too is that feeling you get when your baby WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP even after you’ve tried everything. Solution is the same for both of them. Take a deep breath, laugh, and keep going.
• But then there’s that feeling of pride and accomplishment you get when you walk into the house with a big pail of milk and ask nonchalantly, “Do you want ice cream? I think I’ll whip some up with my fresh goat milk” (but secretly you are squealing inside because you’re making your own ice cream!). It’s a lot like that feeling you get when you have successfully soothed your crying baby to sleep. “I just put the baby to sleep, no big deal. I think I’ll go run a Marathon now because I’m awesome.”
• And who doesn’t remember the first time their goat came when called (by name!) jumped up on the stand politely, stood to be milked and then easily went back to the herd. It’s kind of the best feeling in the world…unless you count every morning when you walk into your baby’s nursery, say her name, and she smiles back at you because she is just so excited to see you. Yeah, that’s pretty great too.
Here's to my tiny milking partner...and a successful kidding season for all our farmie friends!