Friday, April 17, 2015


I am going to share a little glimpse into my milking journey thus far -

Tuesday - (3 days after giving birth)  Was the first day I attempted to get Madeline on the milking stand. I used a dog leash and attached it to her collar.  She got her front two legs up and I did get her head in the stanchion. I milked a little.
To learn how to milk, I simply downloaded lots of videos on youtube and watched them and am learning by just doing it.

Sarah is joining me in the barn each morning.   She is milking one side while I milk the other.  She also will get up and grab some hay for Madeline when she runs out of grain.   As I milk, I am keeping one hand right above the joint in Madeline's leg - holding on to the tendon there so she doesn't kick over the milk bowl and to keep her legs apart enough to milk.

Wednesday - Used the leash and got all four legs on the stand and milked for about 10 minutes, getting 2 cups.  -  We all tried the milk and Abraham says he doesn't like it and Abby says she will use it in her cereal but maybe not straight up - she isn't sure yet.   I think there is a very mild taste, if any and Mike and I both like it.   Mike was a bit worried he wouldn't like it, so this is good news!

Thursday - Used a leash and she jumped right up - milked about 2 cups again.

Friday - No leash and I had to maneuver her a bit before she jumped up (she tried to go around to get the grain without being on the stand).  This morning there was less milk.
So, tonight (after doing a little research I have decided to wait until the babies are two weeks old to separate at night) we plan to separate the babies by building a little area in one side of the barn.  Madeline will still be near them just not with them.   We hope to get a lot more milk tomorrow morning.

I am not to the point where I really like the actual milking yet because I don't feel confident in my technique.  As I get into more of a rhythm with my hand and fingers, I think that it will become an enjoyable part of my mornings and the feeling of bringing fresh milk into the house each morning will be very satisfying.


  1. Good for you! This is so exciting!! :)

  2. That sounds like a really exciting venture. You are brave to take on regular milking - I'm not sure that I could do that! I wanted to keep goats years ago but was dissuaded by the family. Perhaps we'll reconsider but maybe goats for fibre and meat rather than milk would suit us better.

  3. I'm thrilled you are going for it, Tonya! I am vicariously learning through you as our little kids arrive in two weeks but won't be milking until this time next year. I am also both apprehensive and excited about the whole journey. We have been drinking raw goat milk for seven or eight years so I know the kids and I love love love it! I could drink a whole liter in one sitting. My friend who owns the goat farm told me to bring the milk from the goat down to as cold as possible as fast as possible to avoid any "goaty" taste. She puts an ice bucket in her fridge and as soon as she milks, she filters it in the house into glass jars and immerses them into the ice bath. Maybe you know this already? Happy milking adventures...I am also amazed at the things my sheep will do for their grain rations. :)
    xo Jules

  4. Oh, it takes some practice for sure, but you'll start to feel comfortable in no time! Milking is my and the kids most favorite part of our day :) Glad you're experiencing it too!

  5. You will love milking once you get into the rhythm of it. I am sure you are combing, washing, and drying the bag. That helps with the smell and debris. Ice. That is the key to getting the "wang" out of the milk... and being sure the buck is not near the doe. I carry my milk bucket, a jar with filter, and another bucket of ice to the milk parlor. I completely immerse the jar in the ice as soon as I am done. It took me a while, but I can now milk out a goat in less than five minutes -- a full 1/2 gallon per girl. Be sure to stretch your fingers to keep them from getting sore. And, when you are done milking, spray the teats with an anti-bacterial to keep the teat from getting infection. I use a spray get from Hoegger's goat supply. They are wonderful to do business with and give terrific advice! Oh! And one other suggestion from experience, turn so that you can put your shoulder into the doe's back hip, just between where then leg comes into the joint. You can "rest" there and it will keep your doe from kicking or moving. I do that when I am teaching a doe to milk. They won't move and it wont' hurt them or you. And, you get two free hands..

    It is so much fun having goats! They smell so wonderful coming in from the sun! Enjoy your pretty girl!

  6. How exciting to try something new Tonya. And good work for helping the goat and your mum, Sarah.

  7. Awesome! I've milked goats for a decade and I can promise you that one day, you will love the relaxation of milking. In the beginning, it can be nerve wracking! One idea: hobble your goat so you don't have to hold her tendon in her leg with one hand. Hobbling has worked well for me when I had a kicky goat. You can google "goat hobble" - they sell them at Hoeggers and probably Jeffers. It's a great investment! One of my goats is kicky right now, and the hobble works wonders! Good luck!
    PS: I always wait to separate babies and Mamas until the babies are two weeks old.

  8. How exciting!!

    I'm sure you've read that goats tend to give less after their first freshening but will give more and more milk after subsequent babies. I had a terrible time learning how to milk (cows) ! But once you get your rhythm, you will love it. :)

    Our milk chilling method goes like this: We bring the milk in, filter it into half gallon jars and then lay the jars on their sides inside a small freezer that we keep empty just for this purpose. We set an alarm for 2 hours away and take the milk from the freezer to the fridge. Our goal is to have the milk below 40degrees in under 2 hours from leaving the udder. Of course we deal with much more milk and I'm sure a small jar of goat milk would be frozen in 2 hours, but I just wanted to share our method. :)