Thursday, July 13, 2017
It's All Goat to Me
I wrapped my fingers around those hot little teats and I pulled. Nothing came out.
I tugged. Nothing came out.
"You wrap your thumb and forefinger around the top to seal it off then squeeze with the rest of your hand," Mark, my new goat guru, told me.
I wrapped, I sealed, I squeezed.
A teeny, tiny stream of milk streamed from one teat.
"Woot! I've got milk!" I hooted.
Mark's 13 year old daughter Sam laughed and rolled her eyes. She's a real farm girl, and she's showing a six-month-old goat for 4H this year.
"I'm going to show off a bit," Mark said, squatting down beside me, and proceeded to demonstrate how he can milk two teats simultaneously.
Turns out I'm not ambidextrous enough, at least when it comes to teats, to milk like that; not practiced enough, not skilled enough.
But I managed to get a decent stream of milk out of both teats.
I milked my first goat.
Mark chose Autumn as my first milker because her teats are big.
"Violet's teats are very small and Bubblegum can be difficult to milk," he told me. "So Autumn is easy."
Autumn is patient, I can tell you that. (So is Sam and Mark and his wife Theresa. I have a family of goat gurus.)
I can't say that I filled the bucket with milk because Autumn twice knocked it over; not kicking it out of goatheadedness but because I was taking soooooo long and the mosquitoes were biting. But I was getting the hang of it, the feel for it, and figuring out the easy-squeezy of goat milking.
I came home covered in bug bites and the tendons in my lower back were aching but I was happy happy happy: I milked my first goat!