I introduced you to Maebelle a few weeks ago in a previous post. At the time I knew little about Maebelle other than her breed, and that she was expected to kid sometime between February and May of this year.
Have you ever heard the saying hindsight is 20/20? Well, let me tell you a little more about Maebelle.
She came from a home where she was in a herd of about 10 or so other goats. She wasn’t milked by hand. Ever. But she was well handled. She seemed nice enough when I went to see her, but then again she was somewhere where she was comfortable, surrounded by all her buddies.
Well now Maebelle is home, and she’s only got one other buddy (goat buddy anyway, there’s also 3 horses,a donkey ,a sheep, and a llama, but they just don’t have the same effect.) Turns out, that in a smaller crowd, our Miss Maebelle is one skittish critter!
I’ve got her on a routine of daily grain now to prepare her for when it’s milking time, but have you ever tried to lure just two goats out of a crowd of grain-loving equines? You wouldn’t believe how two simple words- “Dinner time!” (even when whispered!) could have such an immediate reaction. I wish it worked the same way in my house!
It’s not that simple to sort through 3 nosey and oh-so-hungry horses, and one sweet donkey who could melt your heart when she looks at you with those eyes that say “pleeease mom? just a little bite!” But I finally get Marigold and Maebelle in to the barn without any one else. Next comes the the task of getting them each to their own area. I have to keep them seperate because Marigold will inhale hers so she can steal from the more modest Maebelle.
5 minutes later and it’s all over, the big guys wander back to they hay, thoroughly disappointed that they’ve been excluded from the grain, and Maebelle darts back to the sunniest spot along the south side of the barn.
I’m not new to keeping goats, but I am new to milking them and I sure wish I had watched The Morris Tribe’s video on choosing a good milking goat! (That’s where the ol’ hindsight comes in handy!) I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Maebelle and I will come to some kind of unspoken agreement, where she discreetly sneaks away from the herd to calmly enjoy her grain while I milk her, and she returns peacefully without anyone noticing. (I can dream can’t I?)