Monday, March 28, 2011

We Have Milk!

Milking Tsica. Not much in there!
Over the weekend we spent a lot of time out at the ranch. I planted two nectarine trees, worked some more on the pallet picket fence, and, with the expert help of my fantastic 4-H neighbor Angelica, we discovered that the two does Hubs bought have indeed NOT dried up.

They have milk in those udders. Not much, but we were told if we milk twice daily, the girls will fill up again and keep making us a steady supply. They were not happy about the fondling of their mammary glands, so there was a lot of noise and kicking, but they soon got used to being touched with the bribery of pellets and grain.

This morning Angelica stopped by again (my goodness can I adopt this girl?) and offered up her services. We collected about one cup of hairy, dirty goat milk. No, we didn't drink it. This is what I will call "test" milk. I do that a lot, don't I? The test before the real thing. There will be straining and boiling involved in the non test milk.

This is how they milk them in Greece.

This evening I came back to milk them all by myself. I'm no expert by any means, so I tried several different positions. The traditional sit by the side, the not so traditional stand by the side and keep the goat from falling half off the table, and the very traditional (in Greece) straddle-the-goat-backwards style which worked like a charm!

Matilda-Cow gives the most but she is also the least cooperative about the whole matter. She kicks, she moves from one side to the other, grumbles and groans, stares back at me with wide frightened eyes, and at times won't even touch the bribery grain she's so bothered by the process. Straddling her helped solve all that. She calmed and no longer kicked.

For me, it was much easier to milk that way since the position of my fingers was far different than trying from the side. I know half the problem is my lack of experience, but in a couple weeks I think I'll be a pro!

Matilda-Cow: "What is she doing to me?"

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