Thursday, April 21, 2011

Teaching the kids to milk.

Each of the kids get their own goat when they show interest and are helping with the animals daily. Hannah got hers two years ago and has had escalating duties each year - this year she was to start helping process the milk but wanted to also start milking. Ainsley got her goat last year and was supposed to help with the grain and taming the babies this year. She wanted to do that but also wanted to be milking.

I taught them how and we've been working on it, but their hands are not up to it yet, so they get frustrated. We didn't want them to quit, and we also wanted to have an option available for me to leave the farm (I have several goats this year without babies, so they need to be milked daily, even if I want to go on vacations) so we bought a Henry Milker. This milker is not electric, but hand-powered, so Ains' hand still gets a bit tired pumping, but she can make it through one teat.

It is wonderful! I taught the girls about the pumping, about the pressure, and now they're milking. It's not as fast as hand milking, but it's much easier for them. We're thinking of getting another one so they can each milk one teat on the same goat while I milk another goat.

They are so proud of themselves to be milking the entire bag out instead of just 10 or so squirts before they get too tired.

They even come running out in the middle of playing inside if they hear I'm milking.

Then they're off again, playing.

Which is perfect.

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