Milking is done

Now I have a bit of silence and can write a bit more.  It’s more of a form of procrastination.  I have lots to do, but not a lot of ambition to do it.  I wrote earlier that the goats were calling.  It really was just one goat: Misty, an Alpine/Saanen cross doe who freshened this spring.  I couldn’t be more happy with how she freshened.  She’s got a fantastic udder and has been a perfect lady on the milk stand.  She does have a mouth on her and when it’s time to be milked, as soon as she sees or hears me, the mouth starts and it doesn’t stop until she’s milked.

Most dairies (not that I’m really a dairy, but with nine milk goats, I think I go beyond a hobby milker) separate the goat kids from their mothers at birth and bottle feed them for several months.  They do that so that they can have most of the milk, but also, I assume, because they believe it makes the goats more tame when it comes time for them to become milkers.  Of course, separating the does from the kids to put them up at night takes a bit of work, but thanks to Gel, we’ve got that in hand.  The three does that freshened this year for the first time (our first three home-bred milk goats) have all taken to the milk stand like old pros.  I think Wally only had to assist me once or twice when I first started milking them.  There was very little kicking or fussing once they figured out what the deal was.  Three of my four Oberhasli does remained on their mothers and they are all great on the milk stand.

This coming year, we are keeping back four does as future milk does.  Like the three this year, they are wild as can be.  I can’t get my hands on them.  It’s surprising how easily they tame and break to milking.  I think some of it has to do with their not getting any grain until they got up on the milk stand.  Goats are really smart.  Once they figure out where they can get the tasty grain, they’ll do all that they can to get it.

The garden is a virtual jungle.  It’s almost scary going in there.  I’m afraid there may be lions or tigers lurking in the greenery; if nothing else, there’s cucumbers big enough to eat small children.  No worries, the goats will eat those.  Tomorrow morning, Wally is going to help me tie up some of the tomato plants.  We tried staking them, but even the ones started as young tomatoes on a stake have been difficult to keep contained.  Next year, we are going to put cattle panels down the middle of the beds that we are going to put tomatoes in and try tying them the panels and see if that doesn’t work better.  I have a lot of weeding to do, but mostly in the top two beds.  The ones down below are so dense with vegetable plants, the weeds haven’t been able to grow.

I am supposed to go to a benefit trail ride tomorrow afternoon.  I planned to take Sudi; but I’m not 100 percent sure I’m going to go or not.  I should, I really should, but …

We decided to try a new farrier and he’s coming Tuesday afternoon.  He trims for several people in this area, all of which have switched from my former farrier to him and they are pleased with him.  Wally’s back and knees are not in the best shape and trimming horses will likely aggravate them.  Given that he’s now working six days a week, time is another problem.  We’ll see how that goes.  Once Rosie gets her feet trimmed, I’ll be able to get back to getting her in shape so we can start to take her to local barrel races and hopefully find her a new home.  I barely have time to ride one horse, never mind two.

Well, I suppose I should get something done.

Until later …