Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cold Hands

My poor milk goat is being milked for the first time in cold weather. As you can imagine she is quite shocked by my cold hands. I have had to rethink things a little bit.

During the summer months the most important thing about milking is getting the milk into the refrigerator as quickly as possible, this greatly affects the taste of the milk. With the cooler weather, that is no longer my top priority. My main concern now is keeping my hands warm and keeping my doe from going through the roof of the barn.

Gloves are helpful to a point, but not the entire solution. I can't milk with gloves on. They do keep my hands warm while I am preparing to milk. I am still using my spray nozzle hand milker that I blogged about before, but I still have to strip the teats out by hand. The problem is that I have to take my gloves off to use the milker and by the time I am done and ready to do the stripping my hands are cold.

I also have to use a wet cloth to wash the udder and teats before I start and that cloth can get cold pretty quickly too. So, what I have been doing with gloved hands is getting everything ready, including putting all of my milking equipment beside the milk stand and getting Calico on the stand and already eating, then I run back into the house, take off the gloves and get the warm wet cloth.

This has been working out fairly well but my hands still get cold by the time I am ready to strip her out. Another thing that I have had to change is bringing the Bag Balm into the house. I have been applying it to her teats after each milking, so I always leave the can outside on the milk stand. That first cold evening that we had, I couldn't understand why she didn't want me putting it on her anymore, she kicked and squirmed. I am a little slow at understanding things sometimes.
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