I started dragging Polka onto the milking stand from day two after the babies were born. And when I say drag, it is NOT an exaggeration. She wasn’t very enthusiastic about getting up there, but I knew she needed to and the sooner we established the routine the better we’d all be for it.
The first couple of days the babies were both favoring one side, so I just wanted to even her up and make sure that she wasn’t getting too full on just the one side. The first time I had her on the milk stand and I started to empty the one side I quickly realized that my hands/wrists were NOT milkmaid ready! It buuuuuurrrrrrned!! Wow! I only got ya know, half a cup-ish of milk that I put in the cat bowl, but it hurt like crazy!!
After two days of dragging Polka onto the stand she figured she’d jump up like a pro. She actually IS a pro, but I hadn’t been able to get the milk stand up there earlier due to ongoing barn projects, so we weren’t able to establish that routine with her before the babies came. Something I plan to do for Polly who is younger, though still experienced, but practice never hurt anyone. 🙂
The last couple of days I have managed to get close to 2 cups in the morning milking. Which is pretty good considering the babies are with her 24/7 right now! My hands are stronger already, I was amazed how quickly they get used to the milking motion!
Mid-week I’m going to start separating the babies for about 8 hours at night and gradually build up to 12 hours so that I can get all the milk from a full udder in the morning. I’m saving all this milk for soap, which I can hardly wait to try making, till we reach the 2 week mark. I’ve heard the colostrum content of the milk in these first couple weeks makes the milk taste salty, blah! So we’ll give it a try after 2 weeks, and see what we see, and hopefully we’ll be “in milk” then for awhile!
I can’t tell you how over the moon I am about getting our own milk!! It’s this amazing feeling like all this work and investment is FINALLY paying off! Even if it’s in a small way, it makes us feel super happy! Kind of like the first time I found eggs in our coop! After months of investment there’s a pay day! Yay!!!
Shared with The Prairie Homestead for the Barn Hop!
Shared at Timber Creek Farmer.