Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Goats and Notes

I milked my first goat yesterday! (There were some previous feeble attempts, but I won't go into those.) But let's start back a little.

We picked up our pygmy goats yesterday afternoon. We got pygmies because they are supposed to be good milkers (not a prolific as Nubians) but good milkers and easier to handle/keep fenced because they are smaller. It took a couple hours to catch our herd: 3 mama with kids. 2 mamas already had one kid sold, so we came home with 7 goats (kids are 2 girls and 2 boys). We'll keep one boy kid as a buck.

One of the mamas was painfully full of milk. She had lost one kid and apparently gotten so full that it was painful to nurse. So when we got the goats home and settled yesterday, we caught her. Number one son held her horns, number two and three son held her hind legs, and number 4 son kept the other goats away.

It was a struggle (she had never been hand-milked before) but we got about a cup (half of which was spilt) and then it was clear she had enough. We went back a couple hours later and got another 1/2 cup. Mrs. Curley reports that after dark, she was standing on the milking stand and her kid was nursing! Mission accomplished.

Of course the purpose is for us to drink the milk, but we have a little more work to do. For example, I want to build a new milking stand. The one we inherited with the house is impractical for these small goats.


Am on the final chapter of Beyond capitalism and socialism-A New Statement of an Old Ideal. In the last chapter I learned that Lincoln was a believer in subsidiarity:

The legitimate object of government is to do for the community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot do so well for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not interfere. -A. Lincoln 1854

Oremus pro invicem!

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