When I went out to bottle feed the babies this morning (I do that first thing because they've gone all night without eating) I had a sense that something was not quite right - you know, that confused feeling that you just can't put your finger on - before your brain kicks in and your eyes focus? I blame it on not even having finished my first cup of coffee.
I saw THIS
and wondered, "What's she doing in here?" Then I began to look around and noticed that other goats were not where they belonged. Specifically, the mama goats were in the "nursery" with their babies. Now, how did they get in here? I was still a little confused, and started to mentally blame my son for having left the gate to the adjoining pens open, but then it occurred to me...
THE MOMS HAD STAGED A BREAK-IN! Blossom had flipped the latch on the gate, pulled the gate in towards her and they all squeezed through to be with their babies!
Each night I separate the nursing kids from their mamas. In the morning I milk the nannies and then open the dividing gate to let the tide rush in. It's my favorite part of my morning routine. As I walk towards the gate the moms walk with me calling for their children, and the babies, on the other side of the fence, stop their frolicking and race for the gate. Once it opens there's a mad dash to find the correct mama and eat breakfast!
Needless to say it took a little while to get everyone sorted out and back where they belonged, and I was shocked when I began to milk to see how much those little babies had eaten overnight! They must have gorged themselves! I was at least a gallon shy when I finished!
I mentioned this handy little device in THIS article. I use it to keep the goats out of the milking stall - I don't know why I hadn't thought to use it on the adjoining gate. Probably because they had never opened it before!
So here I was, already frustrated, and I decided to run and do something quickly while one of the goats finished up her grain. When I returned I found my milking bucket upside down, on the ground in the dirt. Oi Vey! Thankfully I had already poured the milk, but I did have to go back to the house and clean everything again. By the time I returned to finish milking the last few does I found that they had tired of waiting and had wandered out into the field to the roll of hay. Usually they all wait around until the last goat is milked before heading out to graze. About now I've had it and have decided that the title of this blog post will be, "SELL THE GOATS! SELL THEM ALL!"
I did finally finish milking - around 11, brought everything into the house, strained, bottled and chilled two gallons of milk. Lately I've been getting about three gallons each morning - one I make into cheese, one into four quart bottles of fresh, delicious milk that we bring to town to sell, and the third I set aside for the babies' afternoon feeding.
It was only a matter of minutes later that I heard a huge commotion outside and walked out onto the porch to investigate...
TO BE CONTINUED....