Sunday, December 26, 2010

Milking our goat

We have been milking our goat twice a day for a week now, and her milk production is slowly increasing. We got 1 1/4 litre this morning. She is also getting more cooperative, getting on her own on the milking stand I built for her. Milking is still a little laborious for me, I obviously need to build some muscles in my hands.
The milking stand greatly improved the operation. It is built from recycled wood from our old deck. This is a good way to increase carbon sequestration.
Here is the milking stand:

At the first use I realizes that getting of the stand was not easy for the goat, since she had to back off, so I made one of the rails articulated.
To keep Poppy happy, I added a feed box where she gets her daily ration of goat chow:

Milking the goat has increased the labour needed every morning, so I will have to get up a little earlier now. If everything works well, Poppy will get milk for the next 10 months, then will be left to rest for 2 months before she kids again. The milk is delicious. Since we spend about $500 a year on milk, this should provide some savings.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Feeding the babies

Poppy, our mother goat, is not too sure yet about what just happened to her. She is resisting milking, she is a lot more friendly with us, which is surprising considering the fight she gives at every milking. She does not recognize her kids, she walks away from them, even appearing scared by them. So we are left with bottle feeding the babies. Obviously, my family hates the experience, as we can see in the pictures below...

Kristen got the kids from their "brooder", while the milk was warming up:

Kristen getting the boy ready:

Kristen is feeding the boy under Mattias' watchful eyes ...

... while Karen is feeding the girl:

Poppy the mother is doing well, and her milk production is slowly increasing. There is barely enough to feed the kids at this point, but we did take a seep of her milk, and it tastes very good.

Friday, December 17, 2010

They Are Here! Baby Goats

Kristen got up early this morning, at around 5AM. She called us just after 6, telling us that two baby goats were born. We have a boy and a girl. Here is the girl:

The plastic box gives the scale, she is really tiny.
Here is the boy:

They seems both healthy. We are not sure if Poppy is done yet...
Good job Kristen!
Now I have to build the milking stand.