Friday, September 10, 2010

Whimsy milk...


Milking a doe can be a huge commitment of time and energy. I have been letting Zipporah nurse her doeling, since I am spending quite a bit of time feeding her other two kids for her, but it is time to begin weaning them. I am going to start weaning Friday, and will be milking Zipporah. But Whimsy’s story is a little different.

Whimsy delivered her two kids in spring of 2009. Her daughter, Peanut, is 18 months old now. Normally a doe will wean her own kids naturally and dry off. Not Whimsy, she has to be unique. Special, you might say. An overachiever. Peanut is TWICE her size and extremely chubby, because Whimsy is still feeding her. I did not realize she was still carrying milk until I noticed that Peanut seemed to be on the OBESE side. Whimsy seemed too scrawny to me, and just didn’t look very healthy. Whimsy has always been on the thin side and tends to have chronic skin problems. She also has a pretty thick coat, which hides some problems. A few weeks ago, while I had her on the milk stand trimming her little hooves, I gave her a good examination. “What is this”, I say to her, “Whimsy, you still have milk?” AH HA! Then the obese daughter makes TOTAL sense. I treated her skin with some of my herbal eucalyptus oil, and it worked like a charm. I separated Whimsy from her daughter and started milking her, to try to dry her off. Whimsy HATES being milked. She detests it. It is inappropriate touching, and she KICKS! I have a sign on my office wall that says “I am more patient than a goat is stubborn.” I have to be to milk this little tiger. I thought, "OK, the more I milk her, the more she will get used to it, the less she will kick, struggle, try to climb out of her milk stand, put her foot in the milk bucket"….NO. I can’t get her to accept milking. I have other does that do not object to milking, and I KNOW I am gentle, not hurting her.

Here’s the terrible part: Whimsy has the creamiest, most delicious milk! For a tiny doe, she puts out a quart a day IF you can get her to stand still for it. I will not give up!

“I am more patient than a goat is stubborn.”


  1. Oh my gosh, that is too funny! I need that sign too!

  2. Your stories, and your writing style, always make for delightful reading! Thanks, Wendy!

  3. I'm glad you discovered the reason Peanut was fluffin' up! Loved this story...