I realize that may have sounded weird, but let me assure you that it is perfectly normal. Well, normal enough. Thank you Scandinavian lore for giving me such a fantastically awkward intro… But it is the first day of winter and I did spend my morning milking a goat named Bridgit. Just sayin’.
One of my dear friends went on a holiday vacation and asked me and my other friend to handle the milking duties while she is gone. Honestly, she asked the universe for help after her first plan for a goat-sitter fell through and I rudely butted my head in and offered my “milking expertise”. So long story short, I am now driving across town every morning for 3 1/2 weeks to milk two goats. I’m sure in many people’s existence this would be considered burdensome, but I see it as a chance to fulfill my daydreams of becoming a dairymaid. I don’t dare tell Trevor that however. I tell him that my ‘poor friend had no one else to turn to‘ and that ‘I need the practice if we are going to own dairy goats of our own soon’. See how I play that ladies? I know you all have some tricks up your sleeves too.
Back to the goats.
So it turns out that I really, truly love milking goats. These beauties are Nigerian Dwarf dairy goat does: Luna (black and white); Bridgit (tan and white); and Bridgit’s female baby, Thistle (also tan and white).
They aren’t terribly fussy goats, which is nice considering that I am touching rather personal goat parts. Bridgit can be a little bratty when I try to wipe off her udder. She likes to lay on her belly while on the stanchion if the cloth wipe is the slightest bit cold. Hey, I get it, but it is still a pain to get her to stop once she has started. Luna is a bit of a pig, but I won’t hold that against her. We all like to have our cake and eat it too.
Cami has been interested in milking, so I try and let her have a few minutes to give it a go. Cami gets a chance to milk about half way through because it is the time when the doe is not too full, but Cami also isn’t frustrated by a lack of milk towards the end. Let me tell you, this kid has kung-fu grip! I don’t know if all children are this good at milking or if these Nigerian Dwarfs are just a compatible size, but she is a natural.
I, on the other hand, am so much better at milking than when I first started… but I am a far cry from being a “natural”. What an interesting journey this whole year has been. Here I was –thinking that we had made such leaps and bounds in learning homestead skills, and then something completely new comes along and surprises us all.
Let’s do a little eggnog toast to a year full of goats in 2014!