I’ve been looking for a dairy goat for awhile. Glory Bee will be calving sometime in April, and our new cow Blossom will be arriving in a few months, to calve around June. Meanwhile, I have no milk. Glory Bee’s dried off, getting ready for her next round of milking. And I’ve been really missing goat cheese, and it would be nice to have a small animal to milk during the wintertime when cows are bred and dried off.
So….. Yesterday evening, we had some arrivals!
This is Annie. Annie is about five months old, very tame. She seems to have been a bottle baby, though I’m not sure. We got these goats through a middleman buyer, so we didn’t have a chance to speak to the original owners, but she’s so friendly and sweet. And a good poser.
I love Annie! She’s a Nubian. Nubians are the most popular breed in America. They have Roman noses and floppy ears and are called the Jersey of the goat world because of the high butterfat content of their milk. Of course, it’ll be a while before Annie’s ready to breed….and ultimately be milked. She’s such a tame sweetheart, I think she will be a great milker someday. But, for now, Annie didn’t come by herself! She came with….
….Bella! Who came with that cute little button of a baby, Cherry. Is this baby not adorable?
I love how she picks up one ear and flops down the other. Cherry is about a month old. Bella is a first-time mom and has never been milked before. She’s going to be a workout. This is the best picture I could get of her last night because she runs away from me constantly.
Bella is an Alpine-Nubian cross. Alpines average the highest milk production of all dairy goat breeds, so an Alpine-Nubian cross is a good one.
So far, all I’ve attempted is reaching under for her udder and giving it a squirt. I’m planning to machine milk her, and I’ll start with training her to get in the milk stand. I’ve ordered a goat conversion kit for my Surge milking machine. With special inflations sized for goats, I can use the same machine I use to milk cows for milking goats. Once I’ve got her trained to the stand (which won’t take but a minute–goats are very good at grasping where the food’s at), I’ll start turning on the machine to get her used to the noise, then figure out how many legs I’m going to have to tie in order for her to let me milk her. Milking with a machine, I should be able to milk out a goat in two minutes or less.
So far, I can’t get her to stand still long enough to even let me take a decent picture.
This is going to be a challenge!
But as some of you will recall if you’ve been reading here a long time, my first milker was a goat. Clover. (I miss her!) She was a workout, too. I know what I’m in for. At least this time I’ve got a machine, so our daily battles will be shorter! But….she’s a wild one!