Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

1 1/2 quarts of sweet and creamy fresh goat milk

Okay, so we've all heard the old saying "Don't cry over spilled milk"...well, now I know where that expression comes from!  I've been milking my first year fresheners (does who have had kids for the first time) and I must say, somehow I pictured it differently.  I dreamt of milking out gallons of wonderful and nutritious goat milk for my family while my sweet natured does munched happily on their grain and alfalfa. Not.

While my doe Ruth is gentle and doesn't seem to mind my inexperience, my other doe, Shiloh is, well...not so gentle. Bill likes to say Ruth is a bit "slow" but sweet and Shiloh is smart and stubborn.  I'll take slow and sweet over smart and stubborn anytime! If it wasn't so frustrating I'd find it hilarious that Shiloh kicks, jumps, hops and practically tap dances all over my milk stand in her (successful) attempts at keeping me from milking her. I've tried everything I can think of to win her over to no avail, from hobbling her , holding one back leg up , singing Amazing Grace to her (I find the acoustics in my milk room to be really good btw), and talking gently (and not so gently) to her. Nothing. I get no respect, and apparently very little milk. 

After 35 minutes of stress, tears and pleas for mercy I managed to get 1/2 a quart from her. Sigh. I can only hope it will get better.  I did fair better with Ruth who gave me a full quart of milk (actually I didn't milk her out completely as she is still nursing her twin bucks).  Then it was to the house to prepare my milk.

This little hand pump is perfect for first fresheners with smaller teats
After milking out a doe I put the milk in either an ice bath or the bottom of my deep freeze before I milk out the other. The faster you chill the milk the better it tastes.  Then, when the milking is done, I will filter it and either continue to chill it or freeze it for later use.  Because I use an Udderly EZ hand milker, I have very little to nothing to filter out of my milk but I do this none the less.

Bill filtering the milk so I can get this picture...what a guy!

I really love my milk filter, actually it is a jam funnel with a fine mesh filter and it works wonderfully for the small amounts of milk I process.  I may need to go to a larger filter made for this purpose when my quantities go up but that may be a while. Since I am freezing this milk I will filter it directly into quart size freezer bags.

It's a little tricky to hold and pour, but with only a quart it's not too bad.

When I've filtered all the milk I then date any bags I'm freezing or, if I'm going to use it immediately I'll place the milk back into an ice bath in my refrigerator or if it's a small quantity I'll put it back into my deep freeze until it chills down, about 20 minutes.

milk ready to be put in the freezer

When I need milk I just thaw it in the refrigerator, and it's wonderful.  This is a perfect way to store my extra milk and to save enough for making cheese or butter. So far, that hasn't been an issue. Well, there's always tomorrow, right?



  1. I'm so glad you posted on the fb page for advice. So many caring folks out there ready to help. I will be reading with a lot of interest, because next year I will have a FF too. Hang in there (both of us) and we'll get there. I dream about the sitting happily enjoying the experience too! I'm not wearing quite so much milk this morning. We'll see how it goes this evening! Praying for your success too.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! It helps to know others are traveling this same journey and we are not alone! Thank you for the prayers....I'm afraid I'll need them! :)



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