Milking dry run
As Abigail gets closer to
B-day (which could be now or at the end of the month), I'm easing her
into the milking routine. She needs that extra attention since, unlike
our little lap goat, Abigail isn't a big fan of being fondled. But over
the last week or so, I've gotten our pregnant goat to the point where
she doesn't mind me feeling under her belly and along her tendons and
looking under her tail as long as she's chowing down on her morning
ration. So I figured it was high time we started moving her to the milking stand before her morning OB/GYN appointment.
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Although most of you will
probably think it's crazy, we're considering leaving the milking stand
on the front porch. The plus of this location is that it's far away from
manurey bedding and is thus quite clean. Plus, it's close to the fridge
and running water, making the prep and aftermath of milking easier.
the negative side, Lucy gets fed on this porch at the moment, and our
loyal dog is not a fan of anyone except herself and humans eating there.
As obedient as ever, Lucy did
allow the goats to usurp her porch Sunday morning, but I could tell our
dog was edgy due to the amount of split firewood she dragged off into
the yard to gnaw on. And Lucy's edginess made Abigail edgy, so our
pregnant goat didn't allow me to feel her up the way I usually do.
proved to be even more of a problem. Our little doeling kept trying to
hop up onto the milking stand, causing Abigail to butt her off. Then the
doeling started exploring the porch, so I ended up tying her to one leg
of the milking stand. Unfortunately, I haven't been training Artemesia
to understand being tied to a leash, and so spent a lot of effort trying
to figure out why she couldn't ramble whimsically about.
So, maybe the porch wasn't such a good idea after all. Or maybe everyone just needs a few days to settle into the new routine?
In the meantime, I'm
hoping that some experienced goatkeepers will help me determine how soon
after kidding we should start milking our goat. My plan is to shut the
kids into the kidding stall
for the night, milk Abigail in the morning, then let the kids spend the
day with their mom. But when do I start milking? Various sources tell
me I should wait three days, two weeks, or much longer between kid birth
and starting to steal the kids' dinner. What do you do?