June 15, 2010
To the Barn & Back
One thing that having a dairy goat forces me to do, is to get to the barn earlier in the mornings. So usually sometime between 7:30 and 8 AM I am making my trek to the barn.
At this time in the morning, especially this time of year, it is quiet. All except for the sounds of the animals. Which, if you live on a farm, you know the sounds. The noises they make when they talk to each other, the crowing of the roosters, the sheep talking with their mouths full again...
The sun is still low in the sky in the late Spring, and sometimes there is fog. It's gonna be a humid day! The grass is full of dew, and I remember in each trip to the barn in the mornings that I have a hole in my boot. Darn!
One of my favorite visuals of the morning is when the baby layer chicks see me and come trottin' up to me. Running chickens is one of the things that will probably always make me smile. Before I open the door to the barn, I can hear the Mille Fleurs clucking around inside. I can also hear that soft noise of Sophie, my milking goat talking. I just really wonder what they are saying sometimes!
Once in the barn, everyone is so happy to see me. The Milles start runnin' around, Sophie gets up on the door of her pen and starts talking to me. I get Sophie some food, and put it in the milking stand. All the while, I KNOW she knows that the food is for her. She lets me know! I take the old latch and undo it, pushing the pen open. Sophie knows after only 2 weeks on our farm, EXACTLY where to go. If the chickens distract her, a light tug on her collars reminds her which direction. She hops right up onto the stand, going straight for the mix of food we have for her. Locked in, she starts to snort in her food trying to get to her favorite bits. Another of my favorite sounds in the morning is the sound of the milk start to fill the bucket. I hope I never have so many goats that I can't milk them by hand, and hear the sound of the milk hitting the stainless steel.
When the bucket is full, Sophie is released from her stand, and I help her to turn and jump off. She knows where she wants to be as she heads straight for her home. I grabs some more grains for her along with a slab of hay. OH! She LOVES they hay. She even tells me!
As I make my way back up to the house to chill the milk, I always feel blessed to have been able to provide milk for my family! Fresh milk for breakfast!
All the animals call out as I make my way into the house. This is one of many trips I get to make to the barn daily. One of many times I get to enjoy the blessings of our homestead.