We have been separating the babies from the mama at night, locking the wee ones in the barn in a giant dog crate. This is what 12 hours of no kids does to Frieda’s udder:
Not even a full glass. Her udder was full when I left her off the milk stand, so it’s not Frieda’s fault: it’s her no-good milkmaid with the cramping, useless, not-used-to-squeezing-goat-teats hands.
I wouldn’t have even gotten this much if it wasn’t for the support from fellow goat owners. Frieda’s right-hand side was hard to milk, impossible to get any real quantity despite that half of the bag being full. I called the breeder last night and she gave me some good tips: use one hand to push the udder towards myself to put more pressure on the hard-to-milk side. Try squeezing with less fingers (using two fingers and the thumb instead of all fingers). Tie the goat to the milk stand so she can’t get too fidgety.
Other advice from an online forum (I heart Ravelry) spoke to the possibility of Frieda’s udder being a bit congested, so I gave her some vitamin C and warmed her udder with a hot compress, a.k.a. a rice-filled sock heated in the microwave.
This morning, whether from improved technique or the hot compress, the milk flowed freely from both sides, and I would have probably gotten triple my sad quantity if my hands hadn’t have cramped up to the point of uselessness. But the kids missed their mama and the sun was warm and how long can you grope a goat’s mammaries for anyway? There will be more milk tomorrow.