Waiting For Milk

This winter has been a series of problems of all kinds. One concerned the goats. My does let me down for the first time in decades leaving me waiting for milk.

Why did all my does go dry last November? There are lots of reasons. Grass hay is one. Augustus pulling great escapes is another.

The reasons don’t matter much other than making corrections as much as possible before next winter. The immediate problem was what to do about having empty milk jars in the refrigerator.

Nubian doe High Reaches Agate left me waiting for milk
Notice High Reaches Agate’s thick body. This makes me suspicious she is expecting even though she was not supposed to be bred. Perhaps that is why Agate went dry leaving me waiting for milk.

Cow’s milk is not an option for me. There is goat milk available, but the taste is terrible compared to my own. Canned milk is not my choice either.

So, I have ordered powdered goat milk over the winter. It has drawbacks. My kefir failed. It is expensive.

My goats have been expensive pets all winter. Feed prices have gone up a lot. In January, 2021, fifty pounds of oats was $12.65. In January, 2022, the same bag of oats was $21.50.

Nubian doe High Reaches Spring
Notice High Reaches Spring’s udder. It looks soft. It’s getting bigger. She is drinking more water. And her belly hangs low. And her sides have grown outward a lot although she is not getting fat. She is supposed to be due the end of March and she looks like it.

There has been an upside to this. Normally I end up milking after dark in the cold all winter. Not this winter. This winter I feed the goats before dark, going out later only to turn the lights in the chicken house out.

Vacation time is ending for both the goats and me. Kids will start arriving in March. I need to get out my records to see which goats are due when. Except my records are not complete. Great escapes turn kidding season into guessing time.

Spring looks to be first. Her udder is swelling. She is drinking more water.

Juliette is close behind.

Agate looks suspicious. She isn’t supposed to be bred. Guessing game.

Every time I feed the goats, I look them over. Is this one due? That one? How soon?

Of course, kids mean the does give milk. For the kids. It may be a couple more months before I have that largess in my refrigerator again.