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.
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.