Have you ever heard the saying, “ The blind leading the blind “? That’s what someone said to me the other day when I was complaining about my goat milking adventures with Fern. Fern, is my Nigerian dwarf goat that gave birth to twins back in June. You can read all about their birth, here.
Now for those of you who know my story, all know that I was a city girl. Meaning, all this farm business is new to me. I’ve only been a “ farm-girl “ for all of… well… * looks at invisible watch *… a few MONTHS!
So you can imagine…
A.) I don’t know anything about raising and milking animals
B.) This is ALL new to me, so I don’t know anything about raising and milking animals
and C.) I don’t know anyth….
you get the picture.
Now put that together with the fact that Fern is also new to this. As in, this is her first time being milked.EVER! Which brings us back to the good ol’ saying of the day, “ The blind leading the blind “.
But as I mentioned, Fern gave birth to her babies back in June, which poses the question, “ Cherelle why are you just NOW starting to milk her…isn’t it too late?!”.
Well I’m flattered you asked, but I am still trying to figure out the answer to this question myself. Either way, by me waiting so long to start milking Fern, it has caused a dilemma for us over here.
I’m going to tell you, and show you the good, bad and ugly of my Goat Milking Adventures in a narrative version…with pictures. It just makes it a lot more exciting, doesn’t it?!
Here it goes:
There once lived a city girl named Cherelle who had the bright idea to sell her home, move to the middle of knowhere and get some pregnant goats.
When her goat, ( Fern by name ) gave birth, Cherelle thought she had all the time in the world to prepare for milking.
Until one day she noticed..
“ Oh no! Fern’s utters and teats were getting smaller!!”
She frantically told her husband that they needed to start milking Fern, ASAP because her milk production seems to be vanishing.
Cherelle grabs her tools in hand: homemade teat wipes, food for Fern and prepares their homemade milking stand.
When Fern’s time came to be milked, she would not go without a fight. So Cherelle had to ever so swiftly grab Fern by the horns and pull her to the milking stand.
“ BAAAA, BAAAA “, Fern bleated in utter dissmay as she was separated from her other goat buddies.
As Cherelle led Fern up the milking stand, she placed her head in the head lock, all nice and secure.
The first thing to do was give the teats a good wipe down. But as soon as the wipes touched Fern’s teats, she immediately started kicking and wailing.
With nothing to lose, Cherelle reaches for that goat teat and begins to milk. And to Cherelle’s horror…nothing…NADA.. came out!
Cherelle tried to milk again, and got a simple drop out, just as Fern decided she was going to be stubborn and lie down.
“ Enough is enough “, Cherelle said as she grabbed ferns leg and lifts it up. “ You’re going to get milked!” She protested.
Cherelle tried to get the milk flowing nicely by massaging the utters, which Fern did not like and began kicking and making a fuss.
Finally, Cherelle was able to get a few squirts of milk out. * The heavenly bells started ringing * and Cherelle felt an inch of hope.
She continued to milk her almost dried up doe, but not without a struggle or a mess.
Whoops, got a little milk on her arm.
Round 2: Cherelle brings in the big boy.. The Electric Milker.
Cherelle tried to attach the teat cups to Fern, but she immediately sat down and popped the teat cups off.
Cherelle’s husband, was then kindly asked to pick the goat up so she can attach the teat cups.
“ BAAAA… BAAAAA!”, Fern bleats again.
And finally, after all of this… the newbie farmers were only able to get out a few tablespoons of milk. * sigh *
SO where does that put me? Well, I am trying to boost her milk supply back up by going and “ milking “ her about 2-3 times a day. I am also giving her herbs that help with milk production. It’s been almost a week since we’ve started milking Fern, and she has gotten a lot better. She still tries to lay down at times, but for the most part, I can milk her with both hands without her fussing too much. The streams of milk are getting a bit stronger, so there might be light at the end of this tunnel. And goat milk soap might just happen.
I’ll leave you with a few other random pictures from our goat milking adeventures on the prairie.