Monday, 24 August 2015

White Gold

After a few days of bribing the goats with grain and with a little help from Mike to steady the front end, I have collected my very first harvest of goat's milk -

Ok maybe "harvest" is too grand a word. I had milked nearly a pint when the goat stuck her poo-ridden back foot straight into the jug. I had to throw that milk out, grab a clean jug, and start all over again. I don't want to take too much milk as her baby needs first dibs. I just want her to get comfortable with the milking process, and the bonus is enough milk for my daily tea and coffee intake.

It doesn't taste "goaty" like store-bought goat's milk. Except for being less creamy than cow's milk, there isn't a whole lot of difference. I filter it, but I don't pasteurise it. I practice basic milking hygiene and cool the milk quickly, that's about it.

The vet comes in a week to give the goats a thorough check-up and some blood tests. If they pass, they can move from their pheasant pen quarantine to the new goat enclosure. The goat pen is already finished, I just need to put some rubber matting in the goat shed for their comfort.

I put a section of rubber matting in their temporary shelter, and the kids immediately started leaping and springing on it. I found myself on second-hand websites looking for a small, cheap trampoline just to see what the kids would make of it. I think it sounds like a fun idea; Mike thinks it sounds like evidence to be given at my future sanity hearing.

I forgot to give you all an update on J the jay fledgeling. We released him a few weeks ago and he hung around the garden for a few days. He's since expanded his territory, but we see him around. He's easy to identify as his tail feathers are ragged from being in a cage. When he moults and grows new feathers, he will melt into the general jay population. J was never domesticated, or even tame. As soon as he could feed himself, he wanted to move on.

I miss him though.


Paula said...

This is what you need ( inventor's last name was Henry; he fashioned his milker from parts from an auto parts store, and the whole contraption fits on a canning jar which you operate one-handed. The entire quantity of milk goes directly into the canning jar, thus avoiding any contamination from poo-encrusted hooves or anything else, for that matter. If I had goats to milk, I would definitely have a Henry Milker.

Not sure how I missed you getting goats!

Hazel said...

Goats on a trampoline? It's got to be done!
If I hear of an old trampoline going free, I'll let you know...

I'm glad J is doing ok. I've no idea if our young woodpecker (rescued from the cat) survived or not.

And congratulations on the milk. Has the other goat got a name yet? If not, what about Eurwen (means gold and white) or Eira (means snow)? Tanwen means white fire? Apparently Blodwyn means white flower. Or of course there's always Myfanwy, which I could say reminds me of the John Betjeman poem, but I'll confess to owning David Essex's Greatest Hits CD :))

Seester said...

Fresh milk and eggs everyday sounds pretty nice. (Presuming both are goat-poop-free. Or any-kind-of-poop-free.)
I actually like your idea about the baby goat trampoline, but the first thoughts I had, in this order, were: a) I wonder if the statistics regarding trampoline accidents would be valid when applied to goat safety*, and b) I bet goats grow so fast that by the time the trampoline was delivered and set up, they'd be sedate adults.
And I just looked it up on the internets. According to "Trampolines are no Place for Kids."
Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Make sure you keep an eye on Mike when the trampoline arrives.
He may be fighting the "kids" for his turn!

Anonymous said...

Holy smoke Seester - you had me in stitches!