We used to have goats. We enjoyed them while we had them, for the most part. They definitely had their moments. (I.e dragging little girls across the pasture after milking, getting out of their pen, and then there was that one who would bite…) We kept them as milk goats and had a small dairy goatshare program. Well, a few years ago, during our annual planning season, we were assessing the farm, realizing we were running out of grass and so one of the herbivorous species had to go, and we decided that it would be the goats. It was a hard decision to make because one of the reasons we started goat shares originally was because we had some customers who needed it for health reasons. We finally decided to go ahead with it and were glad after we had done it, feeling like we had made the right choice in the long run.
Well, fast forward a few years and totally unrelated, some dear, family friends of ours are getting married! The parents of the groom asked us if we could milk a couple of their goats Saturday morning on our way up to the wedding. Sure, no problem, we’ve got this!
We left a little early so we’d have plenty of time to get to the wedding. We thought about bringing a change of clothes. Nah, we’re pros, right? We can do this in church clothes, no problem. (A gross underestimation) As an after thought, I grabbed a bag of baby wipes so we could clean our hands afterwards.
Everything was going according to plan and after we did our farm chores we hopped over to our friend’s house to milk the goats. We stood outside the goat pen, admiring the small fortress our friends had built for their goats. Man, we could have used something like this!
“This will be a piece of cake,” we thought to ourselves, hitching up our skirts and letting ourselves in at the gate. Our friends had said not to worry about saving the milk so we planned to hold their collars and milk them out on the ground, ten minutes tops and we’d be out of there, right? Nope.
Time makes the memory a great forgiver.
A small chase ensued for the first goat which would have none of being still while we tried to milk her in the pen.
Fine. We’ll take her up to the milk stantion, no big deal. I took hold of one goat while Maddie got another.
My goat jumped up onto the stantion easy enough but when I began to milk her she started kicking for all she was worth. I doggedly kept at it and as she smeared the sleeve of my church coat with grime, the grim realization of what we had taken on began to steal over me. Good thing I had packed the baby wipes.
We repeated the process several times until all five goats were milked. One of the goats was in heat and so the buck was chasing her around and it was all we could do to escape his horrible stink. (Any farmers out there will know what I mean)
After a harrowing escape, all the goats were milked, including the one in heat and the buck was successfully avoided. We locked them up again and then proceeded to wipe down with the baby wipes, praying we wouldn’t show up at the wedding smelling like buck goat and kicking ourselves for not bringing a change of clothes.
“Hey, I brought lotion!” Maddie said, so we slathered some lotion over the wet parts and kept going.
Well, the wedding went off beautifully and no one said anything about a goat smell so I guess we were good. It sure made for a good laugh though! Raising goats is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.