The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Once-a-day milking

Goat bridge

I decided to go for it and cut back to once-a-day milking. After all, the days are getting shorter all the time, and I'd really rather not end up milking in the dark.

Morning milking

Weighing milkThe first night, I felt so strange, not having a goat to milk. And production did drop, from 22.6 ounces per day to 18.3 ounces per day (a 19% reduction).

On the other hand, it doesn't look like changing over to once-a-day milking is going to increase the rate of decline. In other words, we're now getting a bit more than a pint of milk per day, and the amount seems to be staying pretty steady.

What about once-a-day milking from the goat's point of view? Abigail doesn't actually seem to mind. She's got plenty of room in her udder at this stage in the game, and twenty-four hours of milk in September is less than twelve hours of milk in May. So, no, she doesn't appear to be in any discomfort at all.

Goats in the sun

"Are we done talking about milk yet?" Artemesia asks. "Can't we go play?"

Yes, you're right, little goat. Skipping the evening milking does mean I have more time to watch you graze after supper. Let's go play!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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