There are two steps to milking a goat:
- Squeeze the top of the teat near the udder to close it off so milk doesn’t go back up the udder
- Squeeze the entire rest of the teat so milk shoots into the bucket/pail
I didn’t expect to be nervous when I entered the goat pen the afternoon I went through this – I was excited for a new experience. But my heart raced faster and faster with every step I took forward.
Once I took a seat near the goat, it took multiple internal pushes to grab onto the goat teats.
This has got to hurt them, I thought.
My nervousness grew once I sat near the first goat because she kicked down hard right as I reached for her teats – flies were buzzing around near her rear legs. Seeing the force and hearing the thump of her feet on the wooden milking stations scared me. Plus, Amots, a community member who was also milking inside the pen, said they can sense nervousness.
That further heightened my fear. (Yikes!)
Shortly after, though, Lev, a community member who I consider an expert at milking goats, diverted me to Jasmine. She was a nice goat with a calmer personality, and he said she’s used to newbies. Plus, he said that as long as the goats are occupied eating while they’re milked, they’re usually fine.
I was so excited when I got several squeezes out of Jasmine! But after about a minute or two I let Lev take over. He’s so much faster and was done in no time. I’m no good at milking goats, but it was nice to do it after feeling apprehensive about it in the beginning. Maybe with a little bit of practice I’d get better 😛
After milk is collected in buckets, it goes through a metal filter to remove any hair and larger particles.
Following goat milking, I took a walk with Abigail around the property:
And here’s the goat-milking-day food diary:
Breakfast: Two slices of banana bread
Lunch: Carrots, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower w/hummus, and pita chips made by Hacida! It was delicious 🙂 She’s such a good cook.