Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Milking 101

Vanilla: "Did someone say free grain?"
Greek Easter was spent with family and friends mainly at our Swan location restaurant. We closed to the public that day and feasted. After dinner, we invited all the kids and any interested adults to come out to the ranch for an Easter egg hunt. This was my excuse for having to go milk Matilda-Cow in the evening.

That morning I had prepared by hiding 72 plastic eggs and setting out 15 pails for the kids to use. There was even a golden egg that had some money inside as an incentive to search. (Not that the kids needed much incentive!)

First the kids went in to meet the goats and give them grain. That was a huge hit with the kids and the goats. While the snacks were being passed around, I fed all the animals and started getting ready to milk.

A designated adult took over the egg hunt and led the children away to seek out candy hidden in colored plastic. That was my chance to con someone else into milking my goat, um I mean teach others the fine art of extracting milk from teats.

Milking 101

For those of you who have never milked a goat, it's not that difficult.

Prepare by getting your goat comfy. Alfalfa and grain in a feed bucket on a stanchion works well for me. If your goat is naughty like mine, put the Velcro goat hobbles on to keep her from cleverly kicking your bucket over to spill out all your hard work. She likes to do this and then look at you with this expression that says, ha!

Wash your goat's teats off and rinse them. Pat them dry. Hubs thought I was crazy for doing this because they didn't in Greece. But once you wash them and see the filth there from the goat rolling in the dirt, you'll understand why it doesn't hurt to clean off the milkmakers.

Seat yourself comfortably by the goat, on the side, from behind, or straddle her if that suits you. Tip: Don't pull her teats. Imagine someone doing that to you--ouch! Make your thumb and index finger into a C shape. Place your C around a teat. Push up into the udder with a gentle nudge. Close your thumb and forefinger together. This traps milk in the teat. Use your middle and ring fingers (closing them in that order) to push the milk down toward the end of the teat. If you do it correctly, a stream of milk will shoot out!

My first victim erm student...
I held Matilda-Cow's leg just in case.
She's figured out she can't kick but can jump up and still smack the bucket.

Vicki had it on the first try!

My new milkmaids.
Maybe I can go on vacation someday...

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