This morning we did another milking. This machine makes it so much easier and faster. From door to door it was just under 1 hour and with a few more turns at it, I'm sure we'll cut off another 10-15 minutes.
One thing we've learned is to put the grain in the buckets before we let the goats in. When they come in they immediately go to the buckets to eat, if they are empty, they start wandering around looking for something to eat. Grabbing them and getting them back to the stands takes some time, especially the Big Goat.
Lets talk about that Big Goat (more accurately, I'll type and you read). Most of our goats are yearlings, but the Big Goat is 3 years old. She is quite a bit larger than the others and she is a cantankerous ol' cuss. She is the only one that seems to kick. The others will raise their legs and dance around but the Big Goat seems to actually try to kick. I think she got Trent upside the head the other day when we were doing the machine 'show-n-tell'. She kept trying to kick off the milkers this morning, and when I was hand milking the last bit, she kicked the bucket out of my hand. I only lost a few squirts, but it is irritating nonetheless.
We are also starting to get all the little things that are making life more convenient: Trent and his minions built us 2 goat stands(you can notice the one in the pictures), we have a stand for the pump and milker, the feeding buckets...Now that we are settling in we are noticing things that will help us out, not necessary, but nice to have things.
We have several other families we are going to give milk to. They will pay some of the feed costs and we will give them milk. If this works out well enough, we'll get 1 or 2 more goats and see if we can get to the point that the only cost we incur is time and labor.