You can do all the research you want about milking a goat. Watch all the YouTube videos you can find. Talk to all the wonderful neighbors and acquaintances about their experiences with this century old skill. Let me tell you from experience though, you’ll never really know about milking a goat till you find those teats in your own hands.
Nigerian Dwarfs, the goat breed we own, are just that – little dwarfs. Although they are a registered dairy breed and have some of the highest butterfat content of all goat breeds (6-10%!) in their amazingly sweet, tasty milk, they are small goats. And small goats have small teats…..like tiny….minuscule, in fact. This makes the task of milking even more of an art….one that requires fine motor skills with just three fingers. Literally.
Two of our does are new also at this whole milking concept. It is their first time at motherhood and they are understandably less than excited about the new routine of being molesting during their breakfast. Imagine milking (with three fingers) a dancing goat while holding onto the milk pail for dear life, trying desperately not to either dump it or get a dirty goat foot in the bucket. My dreams of a meditation like milking routine will hopefully be realized, but for now it’s more like a meld of jazzercise and Chinese finger torture.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re loving this next chapter, especially the product of our struggles, which has been transformed into amazing yogurt, soft cheeses and ice cream in our kitchen. The effort is absolutely worth the reward. That said, it does get a bit easier every day and we’re looking forward to a bit more zen in the barn with the coming months.