Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Helpful Husband Extraordinaire!

I love my husband...he's my best friend and indulges my many insanities..Though at times my eccentric ideas and hobbies give him the urge to strangle me..LOL

Seriously though, even when I drive him nuts, he does his best to make sure I'm happy...hence my pen full of dairy goats that I just adore.

Having Dairy Goats makes me, the erratic, unscheduled person scheduled. By necessity, I MUST be on a schedule….If not, the does suffer from being painfully overfull and it’s not healthy for them. They can go no longer than 12 hours in between milkings so I typically milk at 7:30 am & 7:00 pm.

I have a routine which is:

* Place jar in freezer to chill…I will add the fresh, filtered milk to this for further chilling.
* Pack up my “Milking Caddy” that has my spray bottle of iodine based udder wash which is sprayed on until dripping before milking. Fresh towels used to wipe clean and remove all wash. Strip cup in which I milk the first squirts from each side to check for abnormalities. My sterile glass jars/lids, hand sanitizing wipes for me and a Chlorihexidine teat dip used to spray the teats after milking to seal out bacteria.
* Fill up a 2 gallon bucket with Standlee Alfalfa pellets and another bucket of milk stand grain which is mostly whole oats, black oil sunflower seed and a small amount of Dairy Parlor lactation pellet.

Sometimes I manage to find matching shoes to wear to the barn….sometimes not..I’ve found goats don’t care about what you wear and mis-matched shoes are perfectly acceptable milking attire…Though I must caution…If mis-matched shoes are the only thing you can find, do wear SIMILAR shoes! Trying to waddle out, on uneven ground with an arm full, wearing one boot and one plat formed typed flip-flop is a recipe for disaster….My one and only time to do this I managed to step wrong, and me, my full milk caddy and the grain came a crashing down in an awful boom complete with broken glass, and a shower of feed….

I squeeze in the gate, wade through the crowd of goats who truly believe they are starving, dump the alfalfa in the trough for the non-milking gals and while I’m doing this, Sabrina & Tootsie have already run through the gate into the milking area and are waiting on their stands for me.. On bad days, the non-milkers complicate things and try to come in the milk area, which leaves me juggling a heavy caddy, grain bucket and several goats..

To say having help is nice is an understatement! Sometimes when mom is here, she’s helps out. Most times it’s just me.

I must start by saying my hubby has no care, want or concern for the goats, they are strictly my indulgence that he humors me on. He went above and beyond on building their pen for me and often carries out hay or lugs feed bags in for me, but otherwise, he doesn’t interact with them much.

Saturday I was in a scramble, between getting the kiddos set up, bottle feeding the buck kids and gathering my stuff I was running behind and we still had plans to go into town that evening..

As I get half way to the pen, I hear Jerimiah behind me, I assume he’s going to keep me company.

But NO…he wants to help!

I pick his victim…Sabrina. She’s the easiest to milk and the most tolerant. She works for food, so keep her feeder full & she’s happy. Tootsie has tiny teats, is harder to milk and food or no food, you mess up her routine and she’s not going to cooperate.

I do all the pre-milking prep work, give him a jar, a quick lesson and turn him loose while I work on Tootsie…

He looks, gets into a comfortable position and takes his first swing at goat milking…Nothing. Tries again….not much, but better.

For those of you who don’t know how to milk a goat click here for a "How-To" picture guide to goat milking.

Poor Jeremiah & his big hands are having a heck of a time with it…he’s got milk on his hands, the outside of the jar, the stand and I’m literally pressing my face into Tootsie’s side trying to stifle my laughter.

Sabrina, not pleased with this whole ordeal, lulls him into a false sense of security long enough to put her entire foot and part of her leg directly in the milk jar…so that milk of course has to be strained, pasteurized and fed to the buck kids…I surely am not drinking it!

It was such a super nice thing for him to genuinely want to help me out, and I LOVE that about him and I didn’t want to discourage I told him not to worry about the foot in the bucket, I needed that milk for the buck kids anyways..

Then he figures out how to make it work…sorta.

I got my mom to be a hand model for these pics to demonstrate HOW he was doing this..keep in mind hubby‘s hands are more than double the size of hers so you can understand his difficulty… Sealing off the teat with one hand, using the other to pinch out a lil milk. I’m sure only my goat friends are laughing at this and perhaps it takes a goat person to see the humor, but when I peaked out from behind Tootsie and saw this awkward lil process it was almost too much….but I managed to keep control of myself..

That is until Shayla, marched up, did a very thoughtful inspection and said loudly:

“Daddy! What ARE you doing? Your doing it all wrong, let ME show you how to do it!! “

All composure I had thus far had vanished into thin air and I couldn’t help laughing out loud…. I know it’s one of those things that you had to be there, but her tone was one that she would use to scold outrageous behavior like grocery shopping in your…

Thankfully Jerimiah is a good sport & he was able to see the humor of it all and laughed it off with the rest of us….

But, everything went south from there….

A milk war to be exact.

The kids, being the mischievous lil boogers they are, took the opportunity to show Daddy how it was done by spraying him with milk, and of course he just HAD to retaliate…and somehow in all this chaos they ended up spraying me all the way on my side of the milking area.

Forget Nerf, nothing beats the live ammo and firing power of a live milk doe! Jerimiah managed to drench Clayton's ENTIRE face from hairline to chin in milk!!!!

I love my husband, and I know he’ll conjure up some awful form of revenge on me for this blog post, but I just had to share. Seriously, how many guys would come out and milk a goat for the first time in their entire life just to do something nice for their wife? There was even a show on TV he wanted to watch and instead he chose to offer his assistance! I do have a keeper and it’s things like this that make the Tazer Incident forgivable!

Oh and you wanna know Sabrina's thoughts on this whole ordeal?? I think a picture is worth a 1000 words!



Oat Bucket Farm said...

Oh that is too funny! I got a real good laugh out of that, thank you for sharing.

WildernesFamily said...

You're a gifted writer! Love the goat milk dilemma as well, too sweet :)

Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute to a very helpful husband. It was also a hilarious story I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing. :)
Kimberly @ Legend Hills Farm

Anita said...

Too funny. I tried to get my kids to help milk a couple of times. They were all excited to do it, until they did it, and the excitement was gone immediately! I still love it however.

* Crystal * said...

LOL Thank you :-)

Anita- My kids like to milk (Shayla more than Clayton...Tator just likes to spray people) daughter would milk through until would take her an hour, she'd have milk all over her hands and the stand, but by golly she'd do it!

I usually let the kids milk one side on Sabrina while I do the other....and always at times when I plan on using the milk for the bottle kids! haha

Who would have thought goats could provide so much family entertainment? :-)

Pam's Pride said...

That is hilarious! Now you will have this memory forever to share! These moments just bond a family together!