My Awesome Goat

That post title makes me feel like a second grader that couldn’t come up with anything more creative. Oh well. We’ll all just have to live with that one.

I just wanted to let you know that my last post about “Training Your Dairy Goat” was just a joke. Frustration, tears, and bribery were all things I was completely prepared to encounter when training my newbie milker, Freyja, to hop up on the milking stanchion. In all truthfulness, without my overly dramatic portrayal of milking, there wouldn’t have been much to joke about.

The first time I hooked Freyja to a leash and led her over to the milking stand was last Wednesday. Trevor helped me to slowly corner her in the pen and from there she didn’t fuss too much. Of course, she was a little apprehensive about leaving her three kids behind, but there were no attempted breakouts or run-away goats. Twice a day for three days, I led Freyja onto the milking stand, locked her in, gave her a treat (a little sprouted barley), and then led her back to the goat pen.

Saturday morning was my first real attempt at milking her and, by all accounts, a pretty good experience. Her hind legs were a little fidgety at first, but after a moment she calmed down. Now I attach the leash to her collar in the pen and Freyja follows me to the gate. She isn’t a fan of the ramp so I may need to revise it a bit and see if she like stairs better, but she hops right up and sticks her head through the locking arm. She gets her treat, I milk her, and we all resume our daily lives afterwards. Freyja is quite a well behaved goat on the stanchion. She even waits politely to finish milking even when she has finished her small treat. I couldn’t ask for more.

I am quite thankful for having had the opportunity to learn to milk from a couple different people with a couple different breeds and a couple different temperments. It certainly prepared me for the fussiest of goats and then left me appreciative of the goat I ended up with.

If anyone out there is thinking of buying a dairy goat, I would HIGHLY recommend shadowing someone experienced so you know what you’re getting into first.

4 thoughts on “My Awesome Goat

  1. Yay, good girl Freya!
    Hope we get to see a video soon 🙂

    How long takes the milking part?
    3 kids is a lot, does she still produce enough milk for the kids?

  2. Congrats on your milking success!
    I’ve had one goat who I ‘play’ milked through her pregnancy and thought real milking would be no problem. I never realized a goat could jump that much in a stanchion! But by the third milking she was okay with it.

  3. Sarah, I loved your post on training your goat . . . and now this! I had a goat some years back and later boarded a friend’s goats. I never bothered with a milking station; it was easy enough for me to sit on a wee three-legged stool or just kneel down and milk. but I love yours and would have one now if I had goats again.

    I wonder if Freya is nervous about the ramp because she feels she might slip? You might consider nailing cleats onto it. Just some one by one (or maybe one by two) strips should do it. Then her feet would find purchase easily. Anyway, just a thought and easier than building steps, I think. ~ Linne

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