Milking goats

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We have some farmer friends, the Beans, who own a small herd of dairy goats.  When our friends took a few days away from their farm we were happy to farm sit.  We have fed their goats in the past, but this was the first time the goats were in milk.  Doesn’t goat’s milk sound weird?  Cow’s milk is what we all know in the US, but in the world, more humans consume goat’s milk than cow’s milk.  Goat’s milk is easier for us to digest.  Raw’s goat’s milk has antibodies and is supposed to build immunity.  Goats are easier keepers than cows.  Heidi, the little mountain girl in the classic book Heidi, took the goats up the mountain every day and drank a bowl of fresh goat’s milk for lunch.

A few years ago I tried goat’s milk for the first time.  That milk from the store was “ok” and I bought some on occasion to mix things up.  I didn’t know what I was missing out by not having fresh goat’s milk. Fresh goat’s milk is creamy and dreamy!  It is sweeter than cow’s milk.  And the freshness?  Pashaw!  It is divine!  I pour it on the girls’ cereal and they are none the wiser.  So get over your goat milk phobia, ok?  Or don’t and leave the fresh goat milk to me!

The Beans have trained these goats in the milking process and it is amazing.  Gary built a nice hoop house and two stands upon which to milk.  You open the gate and two goats come in and hop up onto their respective station.  They know which order to enter the milking parlor and which stand to use.  You give them a little grain and they politely stand there while you hook up the milking machine.  The machine is like a fancy breast pump.  It makes the same “psh psh psh” sound.  Bring back the memories, nursing mamas?

Securing their necks so they don't escape. Though they don't usually try when their is grain to be eaten.

Securing their necks so they don’t escape. Though they don’t usually try when there is grain to be eaten.

Attaching the pump to a goat.

Attaching the pump to a goat.

The Beans have 8 goats in milk.   From start to finish it takes one of us about 1 hour 20 minutes.  That includes milking, sanitizing the milking machine, and feeding their other animals.  I have wanted a dairy animal for awhile, but I just can’t commit to milking twice a day.  Or can I?  No, I really shouldn’t.  But, maybe…anyways, as I continue this inner struggle to deny myself a milking goat it sure is nice to go milk the Bean’s goats in the meantime.  Thanks, Bean Farms!