How to milk a goat

Ever since we started having baby goats, we saw the need to milk our goat, either because she had too much milk, which caused her pain, or because we had to tube feed the kids

In order to milk a goat, many people use a milking stand, as we do not yet own one, we have a second person hold the goat. Before starting, you should wash the goat's teats and udder so that no dirt or hair gets in the milk. For this, we use very diluted dish washer.

To start milking, you must prevent the milk from flowing back by securing the top of the teat with your thumb and forefinger. After this, squeeze the milk out by applying pressure first with your middle finger, then with your ring finger and, finally, with your pinky finger, until the teat is empty. Then release the pressure to let the milk flow back to the teat and start over. Repeat these steps until both teats are empty.

Be careful not to pull on the teats, as this would only hurt the goat and would not make the milk flow any faster.

Here is a video of how to do it:

Watering the kiwi plants continuously with drip irrigation

We've installed a bunch of automated plant watering systems throughout the years. We've done a lot of them based on water timers and pumped water. Lately we've been trying to water directly from the two water tanks we have as it saves on electricity and simplifies the system. This year we did a complex install on the tomato plants that I need to describe in full in another post. But to start here's a simpler install we did in the kiwi plants. Kiwis like a lot of water so they were a good candidate for just giving them drip irrigation continuously.

We used an old vineyard to install our kiwi plants. We planted 6 female plants and one male in the middle of them as kiwi plants need to have both to polinate and grow fruit.

When we overhauled the water installation to that part of the farm a few weeks ago we installed a new tap to use for this kind of purpose.

Unfortunately the tap was on the other side of the small field so the first job was to open a trench. Not an easy task with the summer heat wave we've been going through.

Into that trench we put a 3/4 inch tube to act as the conduit for the actual water tube.

The easiest way to install these tubes is to hold them down on one end while you cover them, otherwise they'll spring up quite easily as they have a natural bend from being spooled.

Once we had the tube in place and the whole trench covered we pushed the actual half inch tube into it and connected it to the tap.

We used a filter on the tap as the water coming from the water tank often has a lot of algae. To water all the kiwis we used a single drip tube which is much more convenient that installing tiny sprinklers all throughout the tube. Because the trench ended in the middle of the kiwi line we spliced the tube with a t-connector and then used simple closure fittings to close both ends.

We just leave the tap continuously open to water the kiwis. Since the tap is fed by the water tank which in turn is filled by our horizontal water well the whole system operates on gravity alone. Come late fall all we'll have to do is close the tap, to be opened again in spring.