Well, this is it. . . . the last of Razz's milk for awhile.
Goats are really only supposed to be milked for about 9 months after they give birth. Razz was a little bit over that, but she'd still been milking well and hadn't been bred yet, so we were just truckin' along. Then, last week, her milk production dropped dramatically. All we were bringing in was about 1/3 quart per milking, which hardly seemed worth the effort involved in milking, cleaning all the utensils, and pasteurizing.
It seems it's time to go ahead and dry her off. We'll do it gradually over the next couple of weeks so that she won't develop mastitis. In the meantime, the kitties are loving that 1/3 a cup!
As for the rest of us, we're at least 5 months away from having backyard milk again since the gestational time is 5 months and some change. On the bright side, when we do get to milk again, we plan to have double the milk, since we are hoping to breed Honey and Razz this season. AND, we'll have some adorable little goat kids running around here, too.
In the meantime, I bought my first gallon of milk from the grocery store since April. Girl 1 saw it in the fridge and cried out in dismay, "Is that COW milk in our fridge?!!"
I am going to miss all the cheese and yogurt that I've been making, for sure. What I think I might not miss is that 4:45 alarm each morning. I'm thinking I can get at least an extra 20 minutes sleep now that I won't be milking in the early mornings. That extra 20 minutes will allow me to sleep on into the 5 o'clock hour, a time that's still early but doesn't still feel like the middle of the night. :)