For those of you that don’t know last year my hubs and I bought a new house. It came with over 5 acres of land. For some reason, which I still haven’t quite figured out, we felt the need to fill it with farm animals. I wanted bees. We ended up with 9 chickens, then came Frank our rooster. We toyed with the idea of getting Alpacas, imagining an Alpaca farm, hosting petting parties and shearing their wool to spin into gold. This time we ended up with goats. Two beautiful little does that are in milk so I can begin the joy of milking and turning all that farm fresh milk into cheese and soap. Can you hear the violins playing? Well you should because I am living in a dream world. I pictured these little goats would arrive on our make-shift farm and everything would be peaches and cream. I would get up in the morning and head out to the barn, bucket in hand, singing a happy tune as my little loves would happily greet me ready to supply me with all the milk I could ever want. Easy, perfect, life is good.
Nope. It wasn’t going to happen. The first problem was that the barn wasn’t even finished yet when we bought our lovelies home. We still needed to finish the wall inside that would separate their living quarters from the supply and milking section. It was already getting late, the temperature outside had dropped considerably and darkness was approaching fast. The first problem we encountered was unloading the goats from the trailer.
One got out and ran into the big field which wasn’t fenced in. Now we had to try to catch this goat and coax her into the beautiful barn and pen we had just made. Luckily for us that only took about 20 minutes and we were back on track. The hubs and the boys finished the barn wall while I took our dog Dutch inside, who by the way was a complete mess by this time, trying frantically to get inside the pen and meet his new friends. I mean he was barking like a crazy man, running around and trying every section of the fencing looking for the missing link.
This did not help to make the girls feel at home, at all. So inside he went. When the barn was finished the men folk came inside for dinner while I went out to give my non-existent milking skills a try. By this time it was pitch black outside and freezing! One other major problem here was that we do not have a milking stand. I believe to milk a goat you need to have one. This way they simply climb aboard, you strap in their head, give them some yummy pellets or hay to munch on, whisper sweet nothings in their ear and wah-la, you get milk. It was just me and the girls and they were not very receptive to the idea of letting some complete stranger fondle their teats. I spent the next hour in the barn with these two, talking softly, petting, hugging, stroking, kissing, singing! I even told them every bedtime story I could think of. They would not let me touch them. The minute my hand went anywhere near the milking zone they would kick, stomp and run the other way. To make matters worse one of the goats is in heat. This simply means she is a bitch who wants nothing to do with me or her little friend the other goat. She is one mean goat right now, head butting and kicking anything that comes within a 5 mile radius. So where do I go from here? Back inside the house where it is warm and cozy to eat my dinner and read up on what to do if your little fantasy farm dream isn’t working like you planned. I figured tomorrow is another day and I would give the girls a chance to calm down, get accustomed to their new digs, get a good nights rest and try again in the morning. Well…I was out there at 5 am today because I really did not get any sleep last night worrying about things like..Do they need a light on in the barn? Can they see in the dark? I should have put in a nightlight so they wouldn’t be scared. Are they warm enough? Did I put down enough straw to keep them warm? Maybe I should have given them blankets?
This morning was another failure. They aren’t any better with the idea of milking. My panic is starting to grow with every minute that ticks by. I had five children. I nursed five children and I remember all too well what it feels like to have your milk come in and not be able to get rid of it on time. It hurts! It hurts bad and when you do finally get some relief those first few seconds…extreme pain. All the men folk are gone for the morning. That leaves me, the hippie chicks, Frank and Dutch to get this job done. How? I don’t have a clue. Wish me luck, say a prayer and stay tuned. Hopefully I will have 2 quarts of milk to show you real soon.