I'm coming up on 300 days, November 8. It's a milestone only another goat breeder/dairy would understand. Its the days i've been milking. NONSTOP. No breaks. NO days off. Twice a day, and I'm tired. 2 goats, twice a day for 300 days. Actually, its 4 goats but two of them only get milked once a day. and one is drying off. And will dry off the other soon.
I woke up this morning and consternated on going out and getting the girls, next thing I knew, it was noon, then 3 pm, then 5.... I finally milked at 8pm. I was considering going no milk all day but i just couldn't do it. It was a mind game I was playing and I lost.
Poor girls were at the door periodically since noon. "MMaaa where are you?"
Yes, I've gone days where our schedule is all screwed up. Days when I milked at noon instead of 8am. Or days when I milked one, milked the other later and so on. But there hasn't been a day i just did NOT milk. Today was almost the first. But I just couldn't do it to them.
I'm new to this. I've only been milking for 5 years. 4 of them stopping at the 4 or 5 month mark freezing milk for the rest of the year. Never really pushing it this far. This isn't a milestone in a real dairy. 300+ days is normal. Only letting the goats rest 2 months before starting all over again. The difference usually is help. Husband. Kids. Employees. Don't have any of those here.
Non goat people reading this are thinking, "what's the big deal? so you missed a milking" ....
The problem in the beginning of lactations is the udder gets huge, uncomfortable, it's obvious you need to milk. Painfully obvious. There are mastitis issues and babies to feed and well, its a new season so this never really comes up. But now, at this point we have past the peak months of lactation, the goats at any moment could just shut down the milk spicket. A day like today can trigger them to just slow down, or worse stop altogether. Unlikely, but possible. Goats normal lactations would be 5, 6, 7 months depending on the goat and the babies. But, what we do is push it. And then the milk amounts can drop drastically. What is the point in milking when you only get 1lb.
So instead of griping its a a milestone for me. 300 days of nonstop, never a day off, milking 4 goats. I'm pretty proud of myself.
You know who / what kept me going? The girls. They are still crying at the door, jumping on the stand eagerly. Standing quietly. And are truly troopers. They keep going, so I will too.