Monday, April 9, 2012

Milk Pail Diaries, starting tonight!

Today I'll be heading down to Common Sense Farm to learn the proper way to hand-milk a goat. I'll be learning as part of a short-term experiemnet here at Cold Antler. I will be bringing home Bonita, an Alpine Doe in milk for a few days to see what it is like living with a dairy animal. I'm excited to see if it is something that fits into my life. She'll be keeping Jasper company, since his stable built last summer is a fully goat-proof space. It has wooden high fences inside and a strong electric fence outside. Goats are supposed to be fine companions for horses. too. I am excited to play with some recipes and share what I learn here. Get ready folks, because The Goat Diaries start tonight!

I had a little wether here once named Finn. I adored raising that sprite. But he had the poor luck to come into my life between moving and before I had any space suitable for a large and capricious animal. I'm in a far better place now to handle a goat, and if this trial period proves good for me, Jasper, Bonita, Common Sense, and I enjoy her she may stay. I'm not entirely sure it is what I want, but if the Universe throws you free goat milking lessons and a trial doe...I'm going to bite. I would be lying if I wasn't a little excited about living in the land of milk and honey...

P.S. The bees are doing amazingly this spring! Honey for sure this summer!
P.P.S. Comments are now moderated by me before they go public.

54 Comments:

Blogger mush said...

Mmmm...goat cheese!

April 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

Yipppeeeee! I am so stoked for you. What a great way to learn a new skill and be able to take a test drive before having to comit 100%.....you have awesome friends. While reading this I did hear a little voice inside my head saying that some readers were going to go apoplectic over this and start another big comment section bru ha ha...I hope I am wrong. It stinks that you now have to approve everything to try and keep it civil.

April 9, 2012 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

Hey Jenna - as soon as our barn is finished, our two dairy goats (a milker and a doe baby) are coming to live with us! I cannot wait!!!!

April 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sue Steeves, this is going to be a positive place from here on out. A place to share our dreams and goals, learn and laugh about them.

I'll not allow anyone to start a fight over my choices. should have done this eons ago.

April 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

Glad to hear it.

April 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Cait said...

Best of luck with your new companion! We've been milking one of our ewes (who lost a lamb this weekend) for the past few days and our fridge is full of lots of delicious milk to start experimenting with. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream? Yes!

Good for you on the comment front too.

April 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Good luck with the doe. Jasper should adore the companionship!

Onward to a spring-filled season at CAF!

April 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM  
OpenID janetgordon said...

Way to go Jenna: The stuff lately has been stressful and counter-productive and I look forward to reading postings and comments from here on in!!! I find it very useful to have comment moderation.
The milking goat trial sounds good - goat cheese is delicious and so is sheep cheese - and you will have some milking ewe's soon too....
BTW the whey and buttermilk and whole milk too - is a good replacement for the protein in feed grain and pigs love it! They also love excess worms from your worm farm for anyone looking for both compost enrichment and pig feed.
Vertical integration of a small holding is a very economical, as the less you have to buy outside the farm the better.

April 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I just got pygmy goat wethers and absolutely love them! Now I am thinking about a milk goat, perhaps a Nubian, so I'm very excited to read your Milk Pail Diaries. And good move with the comments. I think about all the nice people I met at Antlerstock and hope the comments here can create the same good energy.

April 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Autumn said...

Hooray! You are giving goats another chance! I hope you have as much fun with them as I do!

April 9, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

And of course people don't have to just write positive things in the comments to be published, questions, advice, criticism even is welcome. I'm just not using my website as a place to defend myself or argue. This is my life, take it or leave it.

April 9, 2012 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Mmmmmm goat cheese- hope Ms. Bonita works out for you, then you can make some chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese n greens (and other yummy stuff) alll from your farm : )

So glad about your comment decision too- I too, was thinking what Sue was thinking and wasn't looking forward to NN's (negative nancys)!

April 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness! I am so jealous! I've always wanted a dairy animal (and with 4 hungry kids....most of them boys... we could use one!) but we're not set up for one yet. I'd be chasing it out of the garden and all our neighbor's gardens, too.
So jealous....

April 9, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

I have been out of town for a week and just got back to reading you. What progress!!! You are so inspiring. I'm glad you're moderating, too. What a wonderful turn of events. Now we can get the atmospher around here back to what it was 4 years or so ago. Thanks!!!

April 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

How exciting! I had an Alpine growing up and loved her and her babies. She ran around with our dogs and was a lot of fun. An elderly lady bought her milk from me to help with her ulcers and I made cheese once. Looking forward to hearing what you think!

April 9, 2012 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

How exciting! I've never really wanted a goat (I'm a cow person myself), but I'm looking forward to hearing what the first steps of having a dairy animal of any sort are. The Milk Pail Diaries sound awesome! (I like the title, too.) Also, good work on the comments front.

April 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Jovita said...

Oh good luck, i so hope it works out for you. I am very jealous and wish I could find a goat (and space) on a trial basis. I've become lactose sensitive but it seems anything goat is a GO! Luckily we have two farms nearby for milk, yoghurt, soft and hard cheeses.

And good for you for moderating comments ... Let those negative people go elsewhere. just be sure that if you don't approve them that you.let.it.go ... Don't hold onto their neative energy.

April 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Yay! Bring on the positivity! :)

April 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Jovita said...

And then there's soap too. A friend of mine makes the most wonderful goat's milk soap.

April 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Yummmy...I absolutely adore chevre. Perfect on a slice a tomato with a little basil.

April 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

I cannot wait to hear your take on dairy life—what friends too!

April 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

I think it's a good idea- you are home to make the committment to milk her on schedule and you can make some great cheese- and you will have milk for your recipes. I would love to have a dairy animal.

April 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

This is excellent news! Glad to hear that you're having another go at goats. I think of Finn often - do you ever hear about how he's doing?

I've always thought that while I don't think I could bring myself to raise meat animals, I would love to have goats for goat milk. I look forward to hearing how things go with Bonita.

April 9, 2012 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger sco_oter said...

How exciting! Peace in the comment section and Dairy Diaries!! Can't wait to hear how it goes. I hope you enjoy it. Mmm...cheese :D

April 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Trekout2 said...

Good for you on keeping this a positive place where we can come learn and share ideas ... You have a good mix Of people here from all over the world and we enjoy the feedback they give you as well. Now it will be even better that we don't need to see People attacking you...

April 9, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Hey there has to be one dissenter.

I grew up milking cows and goats by hand. They really tie you down, you have to either arrange every day around milking time or find someone willing, and with the skill, to do the milking for you. I hope you give it more than a week before you make your decision. Maybe someone close by would split the work and the reward?

On the bright side, you get wrists and forearms that can bend steel with ease.

April 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger TwoBlueHeelers said...

What a neat opportunity, Jenna! Welcome, Bonita! We are exited about the Milk Pail Diaries and can't wait to learn more about your newest adventure. Are Alpines like the goats in "Heidi"? I'll bet Jasper will enjoy having a new friend to hang out with.
We are fencing an area for our chickens to range in, once they are old enough to graduate from the brooder, and are beginning to feel like farmers for the first time. Yahoo! And bravo to you for making the decision to moderate. This is your blog, your farm, and your generous choice to share your adventures and thoughts with us. You don't need to battle with negative fight-pickers on the Internet.
Bring on the goat milk goodness!

April 9, 2012 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

WHOOHOOO, JENNA!!! Have fun with the goat!! :D :D :D Alpines are wonderful milkers, and have very placid temperaments. Of course, don't be surprised if you get some drama from her for the first few days that you have her. Goats tend to do that... Hehe. We'll need pictures when she lands at CAF!!

April 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

"Home Dairy" by Ashley English (Blogging at Small Measure)has some great goat milk recipes. Good luck! ps. Good for you with the comment moderation thing. Too many trolls on the Internet dousing the rest of us in their negativity!

April 9, 2012 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Yay! Goats are the greatest - but of course I'm VERY biased. ;) We have a barn full of babies now, and are letting them nurse and holding off on milking for awhile (for a few reasons) and I must say it's KILLING me. I miss that milk so much!

How long is the trial period? I won't say that I hope you keep her, because I know you'll do whatever is right for you, but I will say that I hope you enjoy the experience, whichever way it ends!

April 9, 2012 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Kelsie said...

Be prepared for your hands/forearms to be SO SORE. I couldn't uncurl my fingers for about two weeks after I started hand-milking goats. But then again, I was milking 40 of them every single evening...so...that might have something to do with it. :) Lucky girl!

April 9, 2012 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

MMM sounds yummy. BTW Jenna did you see the pring of "rose in the mist" on maria's site? beautiful!

April 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

MMM sounds yummy. BTW Jenna did you see the pring of "rose in the mist" on maria's site? beautiful!

April 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger bree said...

I think monitoring comments is a wise decision. I'm glad about it. Hope the goat works out for you :)

April 9, 2012 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

As some of my blogs show I love goats and as a child my father had a milk goat and I helped him milk her. I even acquired a taste for the milk. My sisters would not drink it. Goat milk cheese is awesome. Hope you have fun with this new experience.

April 9, 2012 at 4:53 PM  
OpenID sabazinus said...

Great news about your goat friend. I finished reading Barnheart last week and was so sad that you had to give up your previous goat. May there be much goat cheese in your future.

April 9, 2012 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger melinamarie said...

I'm looking forward to reading the goat milking diaries

April 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I LOVE having dairy goats here! I'm on 1.3 acres, the .3 is overgrown and brushy, and FINALLY fenced for the goats. The goats are a lot of company, and the milk is delicious. Have fun, and let us know if you love it, too!

April 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Ah, yes, I remember* the drama of Finn and the fences. This feels like a chance to prove how much progress you've made as a farmer / livestock owner. Hopefully Bonita will be a bit more content to stay put, and Jasper will be happy to have a pasture pal--I'm dreaming of photos of two ponies and a goat wandering your pasture soon.

*(I was posting as Flartus, but have switched to my real name. It's a bit more attractive.) :)

April 9, 2012 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, Alpine does are great. That was my very first milk goat. Their udders are not huge but they are way easy to milk. Just don't get discouraged the first few times you try. I have taught people and they never seem to get any milk to come out at first. Don't give up!!

I just have to say that when you put a goat with a horse, make sure the goat has a way of escape from Jasper. Some place she can get away from him if he starts to aggravate her. I have heard of horses killing goats. I'm sure you would not just throw the goat in there with Jasper at first. Maybe just keep a fence between them for a few days so they can get used to each other. And you don't even have to publish this. That's ok. Just be careful! And I know you will. And I am sure you have been told to go slowly.

But I am excited for you! You will so enjoy the milk. And she will be perfect for you and just the right amount of milk for you and what you want to do with it. I love goat milk and cannot drink any other milk now. I am spoiled. My 2 does just had their kids a few weeks ago. And I have 2 more does in the back yard with the buck right now for Fall kids.

Have fun and enjoy all that good milk! She will fit in to your farm like she was supposed to be there. And yes, pigs LOVE goat milk.

April 9, 2012 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

You are going to LOVE milking and having a steady supply for your cheeses, ice cream, and whatever else you choose to do with it. I looooove goats. Enjoy!

April 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

WOOT!!!! I love goats. I read The Hen Blog and one of the cams she has is for her 2 goats. They are not milking goats but neutered wethers but they seem like some much fun.

April 9, 2012 at 6:34 PM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

Best of luck with the goat experiment, Jenna. I would love a chance to do that when I retire, but alas, our rural subdivision actually has rules against "livestock," though chickens seem to be accepted just fine.

April 9, 2012 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger karental said...

Well congrats! New goat, opportunities for milk and cheese - more ways to support yourself. Lamb(s) on the way, and honey, too. So happy for you. How is the garden coming along?

April 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Ah, how exciting! I keep threatening to keep a dairy goat for milk and cheese, but haven't managed to fit that endeavor into our farm just yet. (Also, I'm a SUCKER for baby goats, so that's another appeal of a dairy goat.) I hope the experience with Bonita is a wonderful one!

April 9, 2012 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger melody_cir said...

Just proves that good neighbors often have good neighbors! So glad you get this try-out, profitable in so many ways to all of you. When I was growing up on a dairy farm, we always could find friends to flip vacations/shared milking with. Have fun.

April 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM  
OpenID multifariousraymonds said...

First off, I want to say that I wish you didn't have to moderate your comments. Some people are just so horrid.

More importantly, I'm SO glad you're getting milking goats! We're hoping to add some on to our homestead in the next five or so years. It's great to see you "going first" - my husband has gotten to the point where he snickers every time I say, "Guess what Jenna's doing?", especially when it comes to your chickens and meat raising. Now I'll have yet another topic to link to your name! :-)

April 10, 2012 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger E said...

Trying before you commit with support is a great way to learn. Especially with a big commitment like a dairy animal.

April 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Catcoco said...

Good luck with the goat. I hope you are all happy with her... And I must say that while I understand your decision to moderate the comments, I am disappointed that you are choosing to muzzle those who do not see things as you do. Differences are one of the spices of life. And as someone who always reads the comments, I always am surprised at how easily people who read the blog are quick to judge anyone whose opinion is different than yours or theirs...

April 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Catcoco said...

Good luck with the goat. I hope you are all happy with her... And I must say that while I understand your decision to moderate the comments, I am disappointed that you are choosing to muzzle those who do not see things as you do. Differences are one of the spices of life. And as someone who always reads the comments, I always am surprised at how easily people who read the blog are quick to judge anyone whose opinion is different than yours or theirs...

April 10, 2012 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Catcoco said...

Good luck with the goat. I hope you are all happy with her... And I must say that while I understand your decision to moderate the comments, I am disappointed that you are choosing to muzzle those who do not see things as you do. Differences are one of the spices of life. And as someone who always reads the comments, I always am surprised at how easily people who read the blog are quick to judge anyone whose opinion is different than yours or theirs...

April 10, 2012 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Far from a muzzle, differences are welcome, conversations are welcome, but people getting too personal, too judgmental, and too draining on me and the crowd are done for. And comments that will pull us down a negative road are also getting out. It was driving me crazy, making me dislike writing. It was too much.

I am no longer arguing here.

April 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Jenna, the goat sounds promising. Now there will be milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream(all home grown) at CAF. Yay!! I love goat cheese.
So glad you are taking the bull by the horns in the comments section. Now we can get back to where we use to be. I don't agree that people should be allowed to disrupt this commentary. Anyone can tell that you do not mind constructive criticism. Thumbs up.

April 10, 2012 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Elaine said...

oh, you got a goat ... lucky, lucky you ! Have fun with her.....

April 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM  

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