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Gearing Up for Kidding & Milking Season

Green Gables SOF Penny Candy

In about 45 days, we’ll have this year’s first goat kids on the ground, and we can’t wait! Here are some of the big-ticket items we’ll be using this year:

Kidding Stalls

We had planned to purchase some nice, heavy-duty Sydell pens and a ShelterLogic hoop shelter for kidding, but life happened and we lost a major source of income the week of Christmas, so we’ll be using our milking parlor and calf huts as backups instead. The huts are a bit of a pain to get into if a doe needs help, but we’ll manage!

Since we brought in a few new does last year, we decided to pull all kids at birth and raise them on a CAE prevention protocol. Everyone tested negative on our disease panel in December, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe. As soon as kids are born, we’ll carry them off to a private kid shelter on a separate pasture.

Milk Machine

For the two of us night owls, the thought of hand-milking a bunch of unruly First Fresheners in the morning before work sounded absolutely awful, so we splurged on the milking machine we’ve been eyeing for the past year – the Capralite Showman.

We chose this one over others because it’s lightweight, has tons of positive reviews, seems to last for decades, is made in the USA by experienced goat owners, and is easily serviceable if something breaks. We also bought some knockoff Top Flow Z inflations to try with it.

The Showman will replace our cheapo battery-powered VEVOR milking machine. That one was okay, especially for the price, but we needed something capable of milking at least two does at a time and were also worried about longterm effects on our girls’ teats. We’ll keep the VEVOR as a backup in case power goes out and we don’t want to dig out the generator.

Milk Stand(s)

One of the most useful tools for less-stressful milking, maintenance, and medication is a sturdy stand! We started off with a single Sydell aluminum milk stand before adding a custom 24″ x 48″ build last year from a local-ish craftsman, John’s Fabrication & Repair – he’s really well-known in the goat world, and he ships! We thought about upgrading to a multi-goat unit, but our milking parlor is only 10’x12′ and we like having the flexibility to rearrange individual stands.

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