A week after the birth of her first kids, Artemesia has already given us nearly half a gallon of Milk. Yes, I know you usually don't milk a goat so soon and the milk does
have a slightly bitter colostrum taste to it. But it was necessary, as
you can see by peering at our doe's Udder in the photo above. Artemesia
is so productive that the kids are keeping fed by drinking nearly
entirely from her right teat, so it's up to me to keep the left half of
her udder drained every night.
I would worry that the
kids aren't getting enough to eat, but their bellies are often full and
their energy levels are always high. Well, until they suddenly decide
it's time to nap, at which point the buckling settles down in my lap for
an extended petting session while Aurora snuggles up against her
Artemesia is a joy to
milk compared to Abigail. Her huge teats allow me to use two fingers
instead of just one, and the milk squirts out about five times faster
than it did from our other goat.
Lest you think Artie is invincible, though, I feel obliged to mention that she had a fit during her first two Milking sessions. Despite all of my pre-milking training, when it came time for the rubber to hit the road our doe fought the headlock, stamped her feet, and tried to sit down to hide her teats.
Then, two days later, it
was as if a switch flicked on. Or perhaps the change occurred because
the kids were getting old enough to jump on the milking stand and hang
out? Whatever the reason, the milk started to flow fast and furious and I
haven't had any trouble since.
(Well, yes, it is a constant necessity to watch out for flying goats. But such is life on our farm.)