Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time to dry off the goats

We've been milking our goats for almost a year now.  Every day at 7am, wether it's my birthday, wether I'm sick or tired, wether it rains or freezes below -25 Celcius, we walk into the goat pen and we empty their swollen udders while they feast on their portion of grain.

The routine is about to change.  The does are pregnant and they will give us a new batch of kids around April fool's day.  We are hoping that Samara, last year's only doeling, also pregnant, will have a successful birthing and we will start milking her as well.

We thought we had another month or so to go.  But they have already started to dry up on their own.  We peaked at 1 liter of milk per day, even though most days we had about 800ml.  But it has dramatically dropped in the past month to below 500ml, for both does.  Which makes it almost useless to get up in the morning to milk them.  So the timing is about right.

We'll start out by reducing their portion of grain.  They usually get 2 cups of Purina omelene 300 and we'll cut that down by half.  Then we'll start milking them every other day for a couple of weeks.  And after that every three days.  Within 3 or 4 weeks we should be done for good.  And hopefully it'll go well and none of them will get a mastitis.

And then : the GREAT lazy-time, highly wanted break will begin.  We might even take turns to visit the livestock at a later time in the morning, which means breakfast in bed almost every other day.  Sound like heaven and it WILL be.  Unfortunately we'll have to start drinking the watered down tasteless stuff they call milk from the store.  Everything has a price, doesn't it.  But soon enough the crazy times of goat birthing will come, followed by the cuteness of baby goats jumping around and eventually, the return of tasty, fatty goat milk in our morning coffee.  Ahhhhh the joys of homesteading! 


  1. Yes the rhythm of the seasons is very cool.....especially the break. You guys deserve it! Good luck with it all too.

  2. We found that, after dropping it to once-daily, it did not take long to dry off. We went every other day for about a week, then just stopped. I still checked the udder every day to make sure there was no discomfort or mastitis, but no further milking was necessary. That was with our Toggenburg milker in late October/early November.