Friday, May 17, 2013

Part-Time Milker

Recital and Soapapilla


Can you be a part-time milker?

I will be the first to admit I could never be a serious dairy farmer. Mike occasionally has thrown the idea of a "Dairy" around  and I am very quick to oppose such an idea. I have read several articles from farmers who run a  goat dairy and my hat goes off to them for their commitment. I, on the other hand could not commit to milking twice a day, 7 days a week, 10-12 months out of the year. I am a "lazy" milker! I let the kids help me out.  I am only concerned about getting enough milk for our family and getting it in a way that does not interfere with family vacations and other things that just come up in family life. Leaving the kids with the does and milking only once a day works great for me.

We have been milking for a couple of weeks now. With having singles this year we have been able to leave babies with mom all of the time and still get enough milk, but it is time to start separating at night. We have had enough milk for making yogurt and such but I want to start making cheese and soap so I need more.

Milking goats can be interesting. Each goat bring their own special personality to the stand.
We have three goats we are milking right now. Soapapilla and Recital are the best. They are the kind of goats that were born to milk. They make it an easy chore to accomplish.  Delilah, my Toggenburg, not so much. She does great until she runs out of food. When she is done eating she lets me know by flipping the feed bucket off the stand and with that cue I know the kicking is about to begin!  She sees no reason to be in that stand unless she gets to feed her face. She has no patience for the milker who didn't manage to finish before she did. In other words she is a BRAT!




Yesterday I had enough milk to make our first batch of soft cheese.


I am making my list for the things I need for making soap and hard cheeses. Two things that I have talked about doing for years but have never gotten around to. I am determined that 2013 is the year!  Did I just put that in writing??





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22 comments:

  1. I have wanted a milk goat for some time. I bet your cheeses are wonderful!

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  2. One of our goals for the future is to have milk goats. I don't want to be a slave to them either and just want enough to make cheese for us, so I would be a "lazy milker" for sure. I hope when we get some, we get good milkers!

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    1. We have bought quite a few dairy goats. We didn't have much luck with our goats early on. We learned as we went along. After buying two "lemons" we went to the breeder and milked the goat before we bought her home. We paid more for her but we knew what we are getting!

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  3. It must be so nice to make your own cheese.. I always wanted to make goat milk soap...
    Love your pics..

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  4. Delilah is so pretty. I love Toggenburgs. I had a part Togg and LaMancha doe named Sadie that was about the same way. Very impatient. And always got out of the goat yard. No one else ever did but her.

    I do the same thing with the kids getting most of the milk. I haven't even milked Zarah but a few times and her kids were born Feb. 24th. Bout time to wean them! But then twice a day for her. It does help though to keep the kids with the mothers so if I need to go somewhere for the day I don't have to rush home to milk. Your goats are so pretty. And good luck with the soap! I have yet to get a good hard batch of goat milk soap.

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    1. Thanks Kris,
      I bought book from Amazon on Milk Soaps so I am hopeful!

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  5. I hope that '13 is your lucky year for accomplishing life goals, or at least to make soap and hard cheeses!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Nancy

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  6. Yes, milking can keep a family from going away together. It's hard to find a "goat sitter" in our area. We typically have to split up. I took over milking while my daughter went on a camping trip. She stays, while I go camping with the rest of the family. My son does a lot of chicken and goat keeping too. Some days I wished I had a farmgirl friend within a field or too, so we can help each other out.

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    1. Kristina, Same here not many "goat sitters" in the area. We do have neighbors that will come and water and feed dogs when we are gone. When we go on vacation the kids are with the does and we don't have to worry about milking.

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  7. I have always only milked my goats once a day and they do fine with it. I'm with you and Kristina, wish I had someone who could milk for me occasionally. Having animals does limit time away from home but I sure wouldn't want to be without them! :)

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    1. Candy, I agree!
      Thanks for visiting.

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  8. It's time to train our new mother to stand for milking. NOT looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop. Come back and visit us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/self-sufficient-homeacre-hop-4/

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    1. Carol, good luck! Some take to it pretty quickly and others...I hope you have one that takes to it quickly :)

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  9. LOL! One of my dairy goats lies down unless she has a constant supply of food and I milk as fast as I can. Another one picks up the feed bucket and drops it on the ground when she is done. She pretty much stands still though. I am milking 2 times a day right now. And we have tons of milk.....

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    1. Ha Ha, Aren't they fun :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I tried to get the link but it won't let me open the link for the cheese recipe.

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    1. I apologize for that! I fixed the link!

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  11. We just started milking again after taking a year or so off. There's something about the rhythm of it all that speaks "homesteading." But I'm with you, the commitment can be killer. Thanks for sharing with us at the HomeAcre Hop. Please come back and see us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/the-self-sufficient-homeacre-hop-3/

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  12. It's reassuring to me to know milking doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Trying to achieve a balance - enough milk for what we need - milk, cheese, soap, but not too much that we (meaning I) become a slave to it. Thanks for sharing your "lazy" milking approach. I look forward to the day when we enter the goat-raising world!

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