The Beginnings of Goat Milk {Finally}

Outside the living room window, a snow storm is just finished.  Dreary January rain has magically turned into swirling white snowflakes. Right now, with a barnyard full of mud and a soggy dirty driveway, I think my entire family has welcomed this fresh snow with joy and glee.

{Leia, with her bantam/mini rooster, Rocky}


As the goat kids are older, we have begun milking Marigold, who freshened a few weeks ago. This is a first for me and a first for our goat. So let’s just say, it’s rather humorous out in the dark, chilly goat barn around our place lately. If you see milk buckets go flying and see my running after our goat in my p.j.s and snow gear, you’ll know another milking session has begun.

But, seriously … it has been more difficult than I expected. Certainly not “like the movies.” First, we had to train Marigold to just allow us to touch her udder. Then we had to train her to stay still without squashing me against the barn wall {amazing how strong she is!} … then we had to train her to get on the milk stand. Then we had to train her to stop freaking out while on the milk stand. And to please to stop kicking me!

But this morning, we finally saw progress. We entered the barn with her grain and Marigold jumped up onto the milk stand like a pro. Fabulous. So rewarding! I milked her (but not full out, as I am still learning, she’s still learning and, truth be told, I’m not that fast at milking her yet and she’s done eating her grain before I am finished) and then rewarded her with plenty of goat-hugs. It will be WONDERFUL if we could accomplish our goal of providing milk for our own family – over time.

We’re looking for a second milk goat, as well (at least, I am looking – not sure if hubby knows my plans!) … and will be selling (most likely) our male kid in the spring.

In the meantime, I will keep practicing my milking (lack-of) skills and continue to dream and chase after mason jars brimming with fresh, beautiful goat milk.

January 23, 2016 - 11:35 am

Lynda Lu Gibb Soon you will be a milking couple, Marigold will be cooperative and you will be rewarded with a quick milking session and lots of yummy milk.

January 19, 2016 - 9:37 am

Heather This is adorable and funny. I can just picture the milking process 🙂 My sister has goats and hens, a horse, a pony, and one crazy bull. It’s a super special way for kids to grow up, that’s for sure!

January 19, 2016 - 8:42 am

Gillian Thanks, Rebecca,very much appreciate your suggestions! I am so excited for lots of wonderful milk! Lavender has been the lucky one – she has had bottles of the goat milk and is loving it. We are adjusting our milk stand so that our goat cannot move around so much, as well.

January 18, 2016 - 11:21 pm

Rebecca Ah! I think my comment got ate! So, I just wanted to share what helped me when I got my goats this summer — I gave my milker some brome pellets on top of her grain so that she would have enough to eat and stay still while I milked her out. It really helped and the brome pellets aren’t adding grain to her diet so you don’t have to worry about her rations being messed up. Also you could tie her back legs to the sides of the stand so she learns to stand still and not kick. That’s what I’m gonna do with my first time freshener this spring. And once you start getting lots of wonderful milk — oh man! It’s great! I made tons of chèvre and put it in my freezer so we’ve been eating cheese all winter!

January 18, 2016 - 10:54 pm

Tara C You amaze me!!

January 16, 2016 - 5:45 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) Good for you, Gillian! You go, girl!!! Soon you will be a full fledged farmer’s wife!!!! xoxo