Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Got GOAT cookies?

Whimsy LOVES her cookies :)

As I go along from day to day, I learn little tricks that help me in some small way.  I had to teach myself how to milk.  THEN I had to learn that each doe has her own style.  Then I had to learn that some goats are actually quite insulted when you are milking them.  Bella is a good example of this.  Bella is one of my Rosasharn does.  Her mother is Mariposa, one of their loveliest and most accomplished does. Bella freshened the first time with an udder to die for! It was large and perfectly formed. The first time I put her on the milk stand, I thought she was going to have a heart attack! The look of shock on her face alone should have warned me this was not going to be easy.
She kicked, scratched, did flips, laid down, yelled, kicked, scratched, knocked the bucket over the fence....you name it, she tried it. Off the stand she was perfectly mannered, easy to handle.  On the stand it was something like trying to milk a mountain lion. I read everything I could.  I WAS PATIENT.  I was kind, and reassuring.  I was persistent.  I had a regular schedule.  I tried playing music.  Different KINDS of music.  I tried singing :/ I tried massages.  I tried treats. Soon, I was bruised and bleeding from scratches, my patience at an end. Exhausted, I unclipped her and went and got Hummingbird, who, although not very trusting of people, was a perfect angel on the milkstand.

Now I have Honey, who is Bella's daughter.  Honey is not as easy as she could be, but with a few adjustments here and there, and a few well timed goat cookies, we manage to accomplish what we set out to do.  I have learned to use an "underbelly bucket" to keep her from laying down.  Now she is pretty steady on the stand.  Her doeling Bond is a "one sided sucker" so I only milk Honey's right side. Honey milk is creamy and delicious!

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

1 comment:

  1. It definitetly helps to be patient with goats! I have meat goats (which are just PETS!)so I don't know anything about milk goats. What happens if you don't milk Bella?