Milking Party


So the other day I went over the hill and through the woods to Missy’s house and taught her how to milk. I know. The entire concept is either laughable or frightening, but that’s what us nouveau farmers do. We teach each other how to do stuff even if we don’t totally know what we’re talking about. Sometimes it’s too embarrassing to ask the real farmers. And sometimes the real farmers just don’t really understand us anyway.
I bet the real farmers wouldn’t even bring a glass of wine to the barn.
The real farmers wouldn’t understand that this is a par-tay! We are engaging in a novelty activity! We are excited! We are going to make milk come out of a goat! Can you imagine that? We could not be having more fun if we were five-year-olds clambering onto the tea cup ride at Disney World.

I don’t think Penny was having near as much fun as the rest of us.
Penny is the doe Missy had picked out to milk.

They have a lot of pregnant does at the goat farm, and a few who have already delivered. Baby goats are among the sweetest creatures on earth.
They cavort and frolic and bounce.

Penny delivered triplets a few weeks ago. She’s got milk for three.
We got her up in the newly-constructed milkstand, fed her some cookies, and got to milking.
Penny was selected for this honor for her cool, calm, and collected personality. And for the most part, she maintained her composure. She eventually kicked a little bit and jammed her hoof in the bucket, but she wasn’t even tied up. If that had been Clover, she’d have turned the milkstand upside down, danced on top of my head, then blown a hole in the barn on her way out.

I showed Missy how to milk, and I got to milk Penny a little bit, too. I wasn’t actually sure I would even remember how to milk, but it came right back, as soon as I touched her udder. And I liked it and wanted to shove Missy out of the barn and do the whole thing myself. I miss milking. There’s something soothing and satisfying about it. Plus, Penny was JUST STANDING THERE and I’d never seen such a well-behaved goat before. I was fascinated. I had to resist the temptation to toss Penny in the back of my Jeep and make off with her. Maybe she could teach Clover a thing or two.

Missy got about a cup of milk out of her. (Not useable since Penny got her hoof in there, but it was a practice run.) Since I was measuring my milk in tablespoons when I first started milking Clover, I thought that was pretty good. So then we took our glasses of wine and Penny and went back to the goat yard where we chased several pregnant does around trying to inspect their girlie parts. We’d read something on the internet that some real farmers probably posted as a joke on nouveau farmers about how to tell if a doe is pregnant by the way their vulva looks. So we wanted to check out some pregnant ones and some of the ones who weren’t pregnant, then I could go home and check out Clover’s.

The does weren’t very cooperative.

Look at Cookie Doe. This is Clover’s sister. Either she’s having 20 babies or she swallowed a battleship.
“Cookie Doe, my darling, wait!!! Let me see your pink lotus of love.”
She wasn’t having any of it.

I finally gave up on the notion that they were ever going to stand still to let me examine their feminine flowers and decided that just looking at their bouncing, bulging udders from afar settled it. Clover can’t be pregnant.

No way.

She’s put on a little weight, but it’s all gingerbread, not baby. She’s got nuthin’ going on in her udder. I won’t be milking a goat again any time soon.

Unless I sneak back over there and steal Penny. Shhh.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 17, 2009  

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20 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 7-17

    The things I learn from this woman…I’ve never milked a goat only a cow and they always cooperated.

  2. 7-17

    Feminine flowers! LOL :happyflower: Love your blog….I think I’m caught up on all the posts I missed while I was away!

  3. 7-17


  4. 7-17

    Oh, Lordie, how I’m going to miss you after my computer goes on the travelin’ truck to Iowa this weekend!!!

  5. 7-17

    OMG!! I laughed so hard, I spewed coffee on the monitor!!
    Just wait till this blog makes it to the late night comedians. As much as they love to make fun of us West Virginians,this should keep them going for a while.
    Here we go…. Backwoods hillbillies get their kicks by milking goats and running around inspecting the female parts of said goats while drinking wine.I’m not buying it.
    That’s moonshine in that wine glass!!
    Love your blog, Suzanne!

  6. 7-17

    Very interesting! I had a long chat with our town librarian last night. She raises meat goats and told me all about that. It was really fascinating to me, and she says that although white Americans do not typically eat goat, there are many people from other cultural backgrounds who live in Wichita and come all the way out to her place to get goat meat. She says they never have to advertise and always sell out early. Then I went outside to the farmers market and bought some goat milk soap from a lady who has milk goats. Next time I will try to talk to her, too, but it was a little busy.

  7. 7-17

    Definitely an event for the farm journal! Thank you Suzanne:-).

  8. 7-17

    I love baby goats. I wish all little children could have one of their very own. But I guess you just can’t keep them in the house lika a dog, so they wouldn’t make very good pets in town.

  9. 7-17

    That last pic was hilarious! If drinking is allowed, I can probably get it done too!

    PPSS Wow VW_hills that is a lot of milk! We can only drink about a gallon every week or so!

  10. 7-17

    Too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  11. 7-17

    Udder disbelief….Oh,Cookie Doe honey….
    I remember those days…..bulging like a blimp ready to explode! That sheepish goat grin in photo seven shows your chagrin, but darlin’ it won’t be long until you’re a proud Mama…there’s no doubt you’ve got ‘buns in the oven’! I know….you can’t sleep…I stood up to sleep too the last few days…!
    Do you have trouble getting up?…More than once I thought about calling the lift truck!…

    PS…I remember my udders nearly dragging the ground…now they are dragging for older reasons…ahhmm!
    PS….this story was an udder…errr…(utter) treat Suz’ !

  12. 7-17

    OMG This is one of your most fun posts…..Where else could I possibly read about “bulging udders” and “pink lotus of love” i am cheating here and reading from work and my coworkers think I have totally lost it……this was an udder treat (sorry)……..

  13. 7-17

    Hilarious but I’m sorry Clover isn’t preggers after all that time away.

  14. 7-17

    There is a certain slackness that comes to a goat’s girly parts when they are close to kidding. I noticed on my girls starting a couple weeks prior to kidding and could compare with the doe who wasn’t preggers. I’ve heard that some goats don’t bag up until right before kidding or even directly after kidding. Maybe she’ll surprise you with a singleton. I also read that the baby hormones stimulate the udders to produce milk and more babies produce more hormones so can result in larger udders beforehand. I love milking, too. It may be a chore, but at least it’s a fun one! I made cottage cheese yesterday for the first time from our goats’ milk.

  15. 7-17

    We have 2 female pygmy goats and last year was Nanny’s first baby and she didn’t make a “bag” until 2 days before she delivered. This year she is due September 10th and already has a nice bag (udder) developing. Could this be the case if this is Clover’s first baby?

    Baby goats are so precious. I can’t wait until ours get here. We bred them to a Nubian this year so I’m hoping to get some floppy eared babies.

  16. 7-17

    Some friends of mine have chickens and they placed extra wire a smaller size, around the base of their coop about 3 feet high so that the racoons wouldn’t get their ‘girls’.

  17. 7-17

    Wow, I learned a few new things…

  18. 7-18

    You need a roflmao smiley….lol

  19. 7-30

    My goat will stand and let me milk her even if I forget to close the head thing. Of course, she has a large bowl of grain to eat while being milked. Unfortunately, she doesn’t give us much milk. Just a little more than a cup at each milking.

  20. 4-10

    loved this post!

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