21 May 2007

Milking Dolly (or How to Get Goat Juice)

Yes, even vacation can be very educational.

Milking Dolly

But first, let's back up to the beginning of the process. Meet Bucky and Dolly, skilled jumpers and eager food consumers.

Dolly and Bucky

Twice a day, at 6:30 am and again 12 hours later, Dolly is lead from the corral to the milking station. Morning duty usually falls to mom, while Michelle takes over in the evening.

Out of the pen

The process starts with a nice udder rubdown -- to remove the dust that has collected throughout the day.

udder rubdown

The first spurts of milk are discarded onto the ground, again to clear the bacteria from the milk supply.

Empty bowl

Quite a bit of foam begins to form atop the fresh milk. The trick is to capture the milk in the teat by encircling it at the base with two fingers, and then squeezing downward with the remaining fingers to release the milk. A proficient milker can finish the task in about 3 minutes.

half full

If a goat is milked effectively and consistently, the milk production will increase. Dolly has been producing two quarts during each milking, providing the family with a full gallon each day for the past year.

jars in waiting

The paper towels filter out any impurities that may be in the milk.

full jars

Ah, the finished product!

two quarts

No comments: