The bucklings are now 9 weeks old and eating hay and grain in addition to the milk they get from Alita. One of them, the boy with the smaller black ears, was wethered a few weeks ago. Yesterday, he went to live at a new home. This means, with only one kid left who is getting near time to wean, it is time to start milking... All along this has been a scary thought. Not because I'm afraid to try it, but because of the time commitment and uncertainty of how it will fit with my current inconvenient living situation. My choices at this point are limited. I could sell her as a doe in milk, let her dry off and know she will be ruined as a dairy goat, or try to make it work. Since I really don't want to sell her, and I have committed myself so far, I have to give it a shot.
The first attempt was a pitiful failure. Alita was not happy about the situation and would not stand still. She kept kicking her feet and a few times got her foot in the bucket. I finally figured out I had to hold her back hooves with one hand and milk with the other. It was a bit awkward. About as much was on my jeans and the floor as was in the bucket.
After all that work it seemed shameful to let it go to waste, so Yeller kitty enjoyed a bowl of milk followed by a nap.
Today went slightly better than yesterday. I still had to hold her feet, but used a mason jar instead of the bucket so she had a smaller target. Since I could only use one hand, she ate faster than I could milk . When the grain was gone she became restless and tried to wiggle her head out of the stanchion. This time, we managed to get about a cup in the jar, and much less on my jeans. It wasn't great, but it was progress.
My name is Christy Franklin.