I decided it was time to start milking my new mini lamancha doe, Flower, today. I was a bit anxious about it because, 1) she's a nervous goat to begin with and isn't crazy about me handling her too much, 2) it means I have to separate her from her baby during the night and it makes me feel bad, and 3) I was afraid it would be horrible like the first few times (ok, many times) with Strawberry and Polly.
Flower cried like crazy last night when I put Sprint in a large crate for the night. First I put her in a stall but she could leap so high I knew she wouldn't stay in there for long. She reminds me a lot of Clifford, a boy baby from last summer. I worried that all her crying may attract coyotes which I keep thinking I hear at night up in the mountains. It could be dogs but still I worry. All was well this morning when I went out to milk.
Milking her went way better than I expected. She's very motivated by food so she jumped right up on the milking stand and put her head through the stanchion. When I started to milk her she sat down so James had to hold her back legs up in the air which wasn't a problem because she's so tiny and weighs next to nothing compared to Strawberry who used to do the same thing. She was perfectly content to have her back end up in the air while I was milking as long as there was food in front of her. I finished milking her and she put her feet back down and stood. She and Sprint were reunited and everyone was happy. I kept her milk separate from Pollys so I can do a taste comparison. I have two more first-timers who will have to be trained to the milk stand in the next few months. I will be a happy milkmaid when I have 5 milkers who know the routine.
I want to add something to my last post. I was only kidding about giving me gifts. I don't know if my neighbor read that post or not but this morning I received a gift of a bunch of baby artichokes.