I am not a morning person. I don't drink coffee.
I have to get up at 5:30 am until further notice. Lindsey sets his alarm for 5:30am to leave for work. Usually that means he gets up turns it off and goes back to bed. But I need his help before he leaves for work. So, now he must get up, as do I.
We are training a rather stubborn 100lb doeling to get on the milk stand. She is due to kid at the end of May and I have been lazy with training her until now. In the past I have worked with the little darlings when they are much smaller. I threw my back out in October and was unable to do anything for the goats at all for almost 2 months. Lindsey stepped in and milked my girls both morning and night. I didn't have the mind set, nor the heart, to ask him to do more than milk, hay and water the goaties.
I was able to do some of the milking, still in much pain, in January and February. This month I am finally feeling more like myself and have been able to clean the barn and do all the milking duties. Then it dawned on my these week that Angel, the stubborn doeling, had not been on the milk stand much. And whenever she was I had to drag her onto it then she would either fall limp on the stand or try to jump through the head lock thingy. Neither are good options.
So, get up at 5:30 am we must. Neither of us want to get up that earlier or be on a super set schedule, but when you are dependent on one another to get something done. Plus we have to have somewhat of a time frame for milking to keep the girls happy.
I think we have passed the first hurdle. Angel will now come to the gate when we call her and the other goats are staying back and letting her come out first. To begin with I had to hold them all back and push my way in to grab her collar and drag her out with out letting the other girls out. Of course they sometimes got out, then I have to drag them back in. Goats are creatures of habit so they have to get used to a new order of coming out of the pen. Angel is first on the stand because she is the last due to kid (have her babies) this year. That means the milk is not sitting in the barn while I wait for her to eat her grain. I do the goats that need to be milked last.
So, Angel comes out fairly good now. Getting her on the stand is still difficult. Lindsey drags her up by her collar then has to hold her back from jumping through the head lock or she will break the milk stand. I know this because another goat did that and indeed broke the milk stand. That happened when I rearranged the milk room and put the stand in a different spot. They didnt' know where to go when done on the stand and took a flying leap up and over. Toppling everything in their path. See? Creatures of habit.
I hope that a week will be long enough for Angel to figure this out. It's pretty simple really. Come out of the pen, jump on the stand, hold still, dont' freak out, and you will receive a grain treat after I lock your head in place. Anyone wanna show her how? Just kidding.
Today I think she didn't freak out as much about getting on the stand. The first day she thrashed about something fierce. Flipping herself all over the place.
Maybe I will video it and post it with this post later...but for now. You have been given a tour of my morning.