Friday, August 5, 2011

milking goats

Kaley loves to help me with the goats, she milks Joon our little Nigerian Dwarf, and I milk Zolena our Lamancha.  New routines have been established since the goats arrived, feeding, milking and tending to them takes time in the morning and evening.   Sometimes it means milking a little earlier or later than my ideal 7am, and 7pm milking times.  Goats like routine, with regular feeding and milking schedules, it takes me 45 minutes to an hour in the morning and evening to milk and feed everyone. 
I am so  thankful for the goats, and am happy every time I get to milk them, it has been a dream of mine for many years to have dairy goats.  Finally, I'm at a stage in my life where I can truly appreciate all the home made dairy products and their value and nutrition for our family.  Now, in the early mornings and evenings as I walk across our field toward their barn and paddock area and hear them calling to me, it takes me back in time, to a farm wife, and a part time dairy maid, where there were few cares in the world other than the closest people and animals of home.  I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be in life. 
 Zolena is our main milker, she's a Lamancha dairy goat and she gives almost a gallon of milk per day. Plus she's super sweet, and lucky for me the milk stand and all her milk supplies came with her. 
The first day my Lamancha doe came here, I christened her new name to be Zolena, she was called Ace.  I didn't want to call her Ace, so named her from a character in the Jean Auel Mother Earth Series, the head Zelandonii's name was Zolena, she represented the Earth Mother.  So in the end after much thinking about different names, the original name Zolena it is.

I have 3 stainless steel buckets and a strainer I carry out to the milking, along with a towel and tupperware full of hot sanitary water.  The biggest bucket has ice water in the bottom third, the second smaller bucket sits inside the biggest bucket, and the strainer sits on top.  I milk into the smallest bucket and pour 5 or 6 times throughout milking in through the strainer and into the chilled bucket.  By the time I carry it into the house a half hour later, the milk is cold, I then pour it through another filter one more time and pour into jars to put in the freezer for a couple hours, once it's real chilled, I refrigerate it.  It is so fresh and delicious, I never used to drink as much milk from the store because I knew it wasn't so good for me, now we're all drinking a glass everyday.
All the goats like to watch the milking ritual, and see if there are any goodies in it for them.
The reason we do it all, fresh goats milk...the best!


Golden Oldies Farm C.S.A. said...

It's probably on here somewhere, but could you post pictures of your goats' enclosure and milkstands? I want goats but my partner is all, "Waaah, they take up too much space and we need a barn and they're expensive, waaah"! I love what I can see in these pictures, and think it's totally doable adjacent to our pasture!

Thanks for a LOVELY blog--you totally inspire me to be a homesteader!

xoxo - Sierra

Jewel said...

Hi Golden Oldies Farm, A month and a half ago we got our first goats, we're still in the beginning stages of goat barn construction. Currently they're in the bottom half of our chicken coop. It's a great 12ft by 12 ft space that they can feel safe in, they also love to lounge and chew their cud in here. I'll take some pictures so you can see, along with a picture of our milking stand.

Goats require a predator proof place that gives them shelter from the weather, and a cozy place to sleep in clean straw. They also need a fenced paddock off of it to have their food and water, and a place to run around.

Good luck, it took a while to talk my husband in to goats too. Now he loves them, and realizes how wonderful they are, and how nice it is to have fresh milk and dairy products.
Thanks for visiting, Jewel