Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Moose in the Milk Room

Those of you who have been following the blog, know who Prissy is. She is a contrary Nubian doe, who had triplets in Jan., her first pregnancy. She promptly rejected them, ramming them if they came anywhere near her. I had to resort to milking her twice a day to bottle feed the triplets, while she kicked, twisted, and bucked, dumping the milk bucket over on me with regularity, turning the entire milk stand upside down with some frequency. I tried tying her entire body down, I tried begging, patience, bribing, and the third time she broke open my bloody knuckles, I lost both my temper and my mind and BIT her!

The boss wife’ keeps saying “Get rid of that animal! There are way too many nice goats around to put up with her.” But…Prissy gives 1 ½ gallons a day of some of the best milk I have ever tasted. So, she has remained until someone, hopefully her daughter, can replace her.

This morning, my RA has flared again, it is painful to move my thumb even  the slightest degree. I was not able to milk, and there is no one who can stand in for me. I tried to milk with just my left hand, but it was taking forever, and that hand was cramping and starting to give me grief. Desperate for help, as I could not just leave her, due to the possibility of her developing mastitis and being ruined, I decided to try something…well…in HER case, something totally outrageous. And destined for failure. I decided to employ one of the 13 leppie calves I have been bottlefeeding. Not just ANY calf, but MOOSE.

MOOSE was born a week ago. One of the ‘day cowboys’ found him just after his mother gave birth to him. She had a ‘bad bag’ and would be unable to nurse him. He is a calf of enormous proportions. Most of the calves here weigh from 30 up to 60 or even 70 lbs at birth. Moose weighed about 120. I was surprised his mother didn’t die from having him. The cowboy managed to get him in the horse trailer and hauled him in. I prepared some colostrum for him and gave him his first meal, in a bottle. Moose has done well, but thinks I am his mother. He will follow me anywhere, unlike the other calves, so Moose was my first choice as a ‘volunteer’.

Prissy was already on the milk stand, trussed up, and tied down, when Moose followed me in. I expected her to start tearing up the place the minute she saw him, as that is her response if a lamb, or kid goat manages to get loose and show up in the milk shed while she is there. If she even HEARS them she starts pitching a fit. She looked at Moose with little interest and went back to eating her grain.
 A friend and I sort of led Moose up to where the ‘faucets’ are, and I sat on the milkstand and held onto Prissy’s leg, waiting for the rodeo.

Moose needed very little encouragement. He latched on and went to drinking and smacking his lips. In no time Prissy was all milked out, Moose had a warm and tasty breakfast, and I stood, lower jaw hanging, unable to believe what I had seen. Not only had Priss allowed him to nurse her, she was CHEWING HER CUD! This is a sign of contentment in ruminants!

Mulling it over and assessing the situation, I have come up with this theory. She hates baby goats. She hates lambs. She hates me milking her. Moose being there and nursing her did not seem out of the ordinary to her… I can only assume that the reason behind this, is that she is either in denial, or thinks she brought this on herself, because every time I milk her…


Sometimes you just have no idea what the day is going to bring you.


  1. Great blog! And funny to remember!

  2. Oh my goodness!!! I never would have believed it if you didn't post pictures!!


    What a piece of work your girl is!!!

    And how nice to have such a huge, tame, adorable back up milker!!! :-)


  3. I so look forward to your blogs and picture!

  4. Thank you, I appreciate the input and the encouragement!

  5. Petey - you always manage to amaze me with your blogs.

    Thank you - keep writing!

    With love,

    Penny, aka Baking Nana

  6. I've seen a drawing a calf suckling a goat in a John Seymour book and I've always laughed at it, thinking it would never happen in real life. Well, I stand corrected!!!

  7. Life is full of surprises, ain't it?

  8. A friend on another website has shown us the way to your blog. Wow, I have loved ever word I have read. And I have learned many many many things!