Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Survival Skills: How to Milk a Goat

I'm milking a GOAT!
A post I wrote on goat's milk over on The Kitchn this week had the happy coincidence of resurrecting these photos from Archive Purgatory. I'm totally milking a goat! If you look closely in this second photo, you can see a for reals squidge of goat milk as proof of actual milking. And sitting there with a goat teat in my hand? Because that would be weird.
But no, really, I'm totally cool.
As part of our tour of Redwood Hill Farm last April, we each had the opportunity to milk our very own goat. Hand-milking isn't really done anymore — far too labor-intensive and time-consuming. They have fancy pumps that mimic the milking action, getting the ladies milked and back to pasture lickety-split.

But just in case the apocalypse comes, I feel that it's important we all know how to properly milk a goat:

How to Milk a Goat

The first thing to know is that milking isn't so much a pulling motion as it is a squeezing motion. You're actually pushing the milk out of the teat with your fist.

Pinch the top of the teat right next to the udder between your thumb and first finger. This cuts off the milk from the udder. Then you wrap the rest of your fingers firmly around the teat, starting with your middle finger and ending with your pinkly. This squeezes the milk out of the teat and into the pan.

Let go of the teat and milk flows from the udder back into it. Pinch, squeeze, repeat. 

The milking pro

It's surprising how quickly you get into a rhythm. I managed a few tablespoons of milk as I was sitting there, but the guys at Redwood Hill Farms assured me that if I were responsible for milking a herd of goats twice a day, I'd get hone my milking skills in no time. No doubt.

You definitely want to pick me for your team come the apocalypse, is what I'm saying.

(Information for this post was gathered during a press trip to Redwood Hill Farm. All views and opinions expressed in this post my own.)

(Photos of me by Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl; bottom photo by me)


  1. I'm so glad that's not my day job! Obviously I'm going to pick you for my team come the apocalypse!

  2. Love it, Emma! Just think how good it'll look on your resume!
    We're glad you came to visit the farm!