Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not what I thought (sorry, this is a long one)

Things aren't always what I think.

I've looked forward to milking all my goats at once.  How exciting it would be to have all this milk.  I also thought milking my big goats would be so much fun after milking tiny goats with tiny teats.  Ok, so things didn't go exactly as I planned.  Last night I separated those cute little babies from their moms so I could have all the milk in the morning.  After shutting the babies up in a stall without their moms I had to listen to the hollers of the upset moms until I reached the house and shut the door.  When I went out 2 hours later all was quiet.  Ahh, all was going as planned.  This morning when I awoke I could hear from our bedroom, which has 12 inch thick brick walls, screams of the moms and babies.  I moved a little quicker than usual to begin milking.  Just what I had waited for.  This was going to be great.  After sweeping up all the poop in the barn (which was an inch thick because all the moms slept in the barn to be close to their babies) I fixed the food for the first doe.  I opened the stall with the milking stand and all 5 goats piled in.  It took all I could muster to get 4 of them out.  I was sweating by the time I had just one of them in the stall.  The rest were screaming at the top of their lungs.  Luti was first.  Her udder was hard as a rock.  So hard that milk was leaking out the side of a teat like there was a pin hole in it.  The pan I usually milk into was too narrow to aim milk from both teats so I had to milk one into the pan and the other into a half gallon canning jar.  She was much harder to milk than I thought.  Just near the end she sidestepped and spilled about a quart of milk onto my jacket and pants.  I finally had to quit milking because she ran out of her 3 lbs of food.  Yes, that's 9 cups.  She still had plenty in her udder to feed her babies plus a few more.  So, one quart of milk for us from Luti.  Next was Pessa.  Pessa was a dream to milk when I got her.  She didn't have much milk but her udder was soft and she had large teats.  She has tons more milk this time and her udder was just as hard as Luti's and just as hard to milk.  I got another quart from her and left lots there for her babies because she went through way more food than she needed before I cold finish milking her. I was so relieved to milk Polly, Poppy and Flower who I'm used to milking.  Note, all this time I was milking there were moms and babies screaming.  After all the moms were milked and babies let out of the pens my blood pressure dropped back down to a reasonable number.  I got close to a gallon of milk not counting the quart that was spilled by Luti (and my slow reaction).  Maybe tomorrow will be easier.

We have one of those foot scraper brushes on our patio for us to wipe our feet on before we enter the house.  Very often we have manure on our shoes and we rub our boots through the brush which then leaves a small pile of manure there on the concrete by the handy little scraper.   I was thinking the pile disappeared because rain washed it away.......until today when I saw our dog, Rosie, eating the manure and cleaning things up very nicely, thank you very much.

Our ducks have been enclosed in a chain link dog kennel since we got them.  Once we get our fence put up around our garden they'll have lots of room to run.  Problem is the whole kennel had become a huge mud pen and there was no grass there for the ducks to root through or eat so I decided to take my chance and let them out to explore.  I had no idea if I'd ever see them again or if my dogs would attack them.  I didn't let them loose till the dogs were inside.  They didn't go far from their pen.  After 30 minutes they were back in again so I let the dogs out.  Again I opened the kennel door and they came out.  Both dogs looked at them then at me.  Nothing.  The rest of the day the ducks went in and out of their pen and they're still alive this evening.  A few times I saw Rosie standing about 10 yards from them watching intently.    I doubt I'll ever trust Rosie no matter how many times she proves she can be a good girl.

Here are 2 updates:

The paw paw wine I was making tastes just like paw paws only with alcohol.  Yes, it's pretty yucky.

I've candled the eggs in the incubator and can see no signs of life.  Nothing smells rotten yet so I'll leave them there for a while longer yet.


  1. Yup, no question about it now--you need to adopt 10 kids.

  2. Wow, you sound exactly like my friend Elaine at Heaven Scent Farms. She has a new goat and is penning the babies at night. This is her very first time, though.
    Your story could have been much worse.
    Don't give up on the eggs. Sometimes we don't see anything till it starts to peck its way out.

  3. My blood pressure went up just reading about your morning. Talk soon, XO LO