The art of milking a goat

When Fraser and I told people about our plan to keep goats, we often got asked 'do you know how to milk a goat?' and the honest answer was 'yes...but only in theory'. When we got our new goats from Cumbria two weeks ago, we knew we'd have to hand milk two of them from the start and were a bit nervous. We had studied various books and You Tube videos, but nothing quite prepares you for the real thing! The good news is that after two weeks, we have hand milked our two milkers, Belle and Damson, twice a day, every day, and have enjoyed plenty of their milk. It is really creamy tasting and surprisingly enough doesn't taste of goat at all. The methods we had studied for goat milking work: after c

The Kids are alright!

Yesterday was a very exciting time as we welcomed our first kids to their new pens. Still to be named, two adorable, white-eared, black kids have arrived from Hill Farm (run by Will Atkinson who also makes cheese!). They look almost identical, even a white patch on the top of their head, but strangely are not sisters because they have different mothers. They have to be bottle-fed four times a day but they always seem to be hungry! It was a very exciting journey to retrieve the kids, due to them traveling back with us in the boot of our car. They certainly let us know they were there with tiny bleeps coming from the back of our car every now and then. Who would have thought that driving down

The Goatful 8

All the way from the land of the lakes in Cumbria, meet our new arrivals. Cleo (the big white one) is pregnant with quads that are due at the end of March. We were advised by Diane, the previous owner, that we will probably need to get "involved" in the birth. So we are obviously looking forward to that. If you'd like to volunteer to sit watch overnight in the barn come the end of March, just drop us a line and we will book you in. Equally, if you would like to help pull a number of kids out of a large goat, then also drop us a line. Two of the others (Damson and Disco I think) may also be pregnant, so we will have a barn full of kids come springtime! So we now have a herd of 10 goats. Not a

The goats are here!

Our first two goats are now happily housed in our barn at Earth Trust Farm. Hooray! We collected Just and Madame from Maggi Franklin in Herefordshire on Saturday and delivered them safely to the barn by tea time. It was a momentus day for us in more ways than one. It was our first proper use of our newly acquired livestock trailer, which is 12 feet long and is "interesting" to tow. But mainly it was the fulfillment of a dream to keep goats that started about 18 months ago. The girls have settled in well and are very much enjoying snacking on the Oxfordshire vegetation. Brambles are their favourite so far. It was quite surprising to see them enthusiastically munching through not only the leav

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