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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Milk test

Today is the first milk test.  I'm sure I'm complicating everything far more than necessary (why make it easy, when with just a little effort you can make it really difficult?), but this morning I had all kinds of containers out there in the milking froom:  a strip cup to get the first and last of the milking so I don't miss anything, the container for the milking machine, a pail for pouring all of that into so I can weigh and sample the milk after each doe, a pail to pour all the milk together after sampling, and finally a pail of warm water to wash everything out between does.  Good grief!  Nothing straightforward about it.  I think I need to find out how others do it so I can streamline this a bit.

Cassie, bless her little heart, milked over 8-1/2 lbs and she's just three weeks fresh.  She may not have a "pretty" udder, but she fills the pail. The next in weight was Dandelion, which isn't surprising since her dam, Beatrice, was producing 13 lbs of milk when she was 4 years old.   The next two in order were Dolly and then D'Arcy, neither of which milked as much today, test day, as they did yesterday. 

I find myself wondering if not having their kids will affect their milk production.  Certainly the kids are all screaming their heads off.  They don't like not being with their Mamas.  I'm beginning to see why a lot of people don't dam raise and milk test, too.  They certainly have good appetites.  All 8 kids were fed within 20 minutes, and I have no doubt the next two feedings will be as speedy.  I've learned to let them out two at a time to feed, then shuffle them into another area before I bring out the next two.  At three weeks old, these critters are a force to be reckoned with.