As I had hoped, this venture is working. It is taking longer than I had expected to find people who are almost as crazy as I am to help milk these 4 wonderful goats, but it is slowly coming around. I am improving in my teaching skills in some areas and beginning to forget some important matters in others. But everyone has been flexible as we learn together.
It has been wonderful to see that the shareholders have learned to love the goats, too, and have eagerly taken care of their responsibilities as part herd owners. They volunteer to pick up milking shifts for each other and for me. Some have even volunteered to take on an extra shift until it is sold! It is so much easier to own the goats jointly rather than doing everything alone. When I need help with some task the shareholder working at that time is always willing to help take care of the matter. Each of the shareholders has a different experience level and different insights and each is very willing to share and often they do their own research to help keep up with the learning curve of maintaining a dairy goat herd. Thank you all!
It has been fun to watch as new shareholders begin their milking sessions with a cup of beet pulp and lure the goats to become their friends. Some of the goats are more eager than others for friendship. It is those less eager ones that pose the most challenge but, so far, all have eventually won the battle for friendship.
I have especially enjoyed watching and helping the children learn to handle the animals. A 5 year old went home after her first encounter with the goats declaring that she smelled like a goat and needed to take a shower. But her 3 year old brother bravely stood up to the 5 month old kid that was trying to play head butting games. He would grab her by the collar, look her in the eye and tell her NO!. But we had to teach him to let go of her collar as she left. Such cute and precious moments. Children are also great milkers, There have been a 7 year old and an 8 year old who have been able to milk as easily (sometimes more easily) than their parents. And then there is the boy who enjoyed being in the chicken coop to hold, pet and cuddle the chickens. What a marvel it is to watch children, animals, and adults learn and grow together.
And then there is my dear husband who was not originally thrilled with the idea of my getting goats. But it was not hard to win him over with the goat kids. He loves them so much he tries to not be at home when I sell them. Fortunately, we live in the city and can only have 4 goats or we would never be able to afford them for keeping them all. He has become so attached that he took a struggling kid rejected by her mother to sleep with him for the night.
While things are often hectic and I am always behind on things that need to be done, I am grateful for this opportunity of my life to share it with such wonderful people and animals.
Posted by Paula
@ 03:02 PM CST