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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Teaching a doe to milk.....

After milking Zoey last season, I thought to myself, I have this milking thing down! I can easily milk my doe, make cheese, take care of her and her kids! I have got this! Moots proved to me this is all wrong.... not only has she shown me how easy Zoey was to milk, kid out and show, but she is demonstrating the difference between goat personalities. I am not one to give up easily so I have been working with Moots every day, her udder came in beautiful, globular, and full, but she was having issues with milk let down her first few days in milk, so I was massaging her udder and supplementing her kids with a bottle a few times a day. During this I would practice milking her to ensure I would be able to get milk from her after shows, and when I needed to milk her for my fudge sales, cheese making, or when we wanted additional milk!

This has proved to be a battle of wills.... Moots has a very peculiar habit of kicking only with her left hind foot when I try to milk with both hands. I have tried every trick in the book, providing her with feed while I milk, allowing her kid to nurse one side as I milk the other and holding her foot with one hand while I milk the other. Not only were none of these terribly successful, but Moots was purposely holding her milk back from me. I would get a few squirts of milk and she would not let anymore down, no matter how much I massaged, begged or pleaded. I finally decided I would tie her offending leg to the milk stand in order to try to teach her good milking manners. This, thus far has been the most successful technique that I have employed. Moots stood stock still as I got just a few squirts out and then she let out the saddest cry, which broke my goat loving heart and I stopped milking her immediately....,.

So if you are keeping track the score is Moots: 1 Me:0...... she is winning.... but I will keep trying and hopefully we will come to a resolution that suits both of us before one of us wins.... I am afraid she may be stronger willed than I am.... I should have anticipated this out of her when I had to hold her down, blindfold her and force bottle feed her as a kid...... sometimes the ones that are the hardest to love are the most fulfilling....

Happy Goating!

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