It’s that time of year again… time to begin drying off the milking does. I have put it off a little bit because I felt bad cutting out their evening meal of grain on the milkstand when the temperatures and the wind have been this cold. Colder than cold. But we are due for a bit of a warm-up this week and everyone is getting some whole oats and a little coarse 14% feed in the evening when I think it will do them the most good (all of those carbs working for them overnight when the wind and the cold are at their worst).
Tonight was the first milking that I am skipping. I will only milk in the mornings for the next week and then I will go to every other day for a few, then every 3rd day for a few and then if their udders are behaving appropriately, we will try to finish up in the next few weeks. I will be cutting their grain ration during their a.m. milkings a little at a time as well. This is always difficult for me as milking is a very special endeavor that also gives us an amazing product. I guess I can call milking almost a “zen” experience, and while I don’t meditate, it is a very restful and thoughtful time during an otherwise hectic day. And now that will be over until the kids are on the ground, which *should* be at the beginning of June.
Hopefully we have enough chevre socked away in the freezer to get us through until then. And let’s hope that Pippi and SnowPea get used to the change. They were seriously peeved with me tonight!