Dairy Goats

As you may know, Dawn delivered a buck kid almost two weeks ago.  She’s never been a good milker and I think I knew that when I went to look at her, but the price was right and I went ahead and bought her.  She was a kicky doe and that has pretty much resolved, but I had to spend $35 on hobbles that I likely may never use again.  I also spent almost $50 on a hand-held “Maggie Dan” milker to use to milk her which originally did work well, but now it’s clogged and can’t be used at all.  Now that Dawn has freshened, her udder is much larger, but of course her teats are still tiny and getting hold of them to milk her is close to impossible. Last night I had Wally put her up on the stand to see if it was something I was doing wrong, but he didn’t have any more success.

I can send it back milker to the manufacturer to have it unclogged, but that will be postage there and back and there’s no guaranty the milker will not continue to clog. The “pump” to the milker is a drenching/vaccinating gun manufactured by PrimaTech.  I am sure it was not designed to pass heavier liquids like milk and the mechanism is sensitive enough that small particles of hair, dirt or even hay will eventually clog it.  Apparently the milker manufacturer has designed a filter for it, but that’s just more apparatus to have to clean and lug around when it comes time to milk.  I could just buy another pump and keep it on hand as a spare, but that’s another $50.  If you factor in what I paid for Dawn ($100) plus the additional almost $100 I spent on equipment just to milk her, that brings her price up to $200.  I guess there are no real bargains to be had in livestock.

Then again, Penny and Luna are awesome milkers and I only paid $75 each for them.  When I put Penny up on the stand today, her udder was so full she started leaking milk!  With the milk I’m getting from the three does I can make cheese every day which is pretty much what I have been doing.  Rain is a good milker, but she’s miserable to be around.  Hopefully that will change once she has babies of her own on her.

So I’ve decided to go ahead and sell Dawn and her kid and put that money towards another, more solid milking doe.  I know a lot more about what I want in a milking doe than I did six months ago and feel I can make a more educated decision.