Apologies to OMD for changing their song title,
but it’s one of the Milkforce’s favourite songs when we’re all working in the parlour together. There’s a new ‘boogie box’ in the Dairy Complex parlour which means I’ve been able to reinstate my CDs (only the radio worked in the Kidding Shed palour) albeit I’ve put them somewhere safe so that if our cheeky Milkforce ever did get out, at least they couldn’t dictate my taste in music by trampling on or chewing over the select majority (which they did, once, in the old building – chaos).
Today we walked the girls through the Dairy Complex parlour for the first time, although we’re still using the bucket milker until the last few bits & pieces arrive for the new equipment.
So overnight we’ve gone from this….
Kidding Shed Parlour
Dairy Complex Milking Parlour
However today this massively labour-saving parlour wasn’t quite as efficient as it certainly will prove to be: the girls had to be taught an entirely new routine including walking up a ramp rather than jumping onto a stand; turning sideways to feed; leaving the parlour in a different direction to that in which they arrived; going down another (steep) ramp; & generally getting used to the different sights, sounds & smells of the new establishment.
Subsequently the whole operation from start to finish took around two-and-a-half hours; as we could only bring the girls into the parlour in pairs, & some of them were a little nervous. However we carefully worked out in what order the goats would go in, with the most confident ones (Armeria, Wolfie, Vine & Ninny) working initially so that all of us could get used to it together (it’s as new for us as it is for them, after all!). Then we paired up the more confident girls with their nervous, flighty friends (making sure they do get on well with each other in addition) which also helped a great deal: Aggie with Rally, Aloe with Apricot, Agro with Eek etc.
Our goats also trust us implicitly & gained a lot of confidence from our quiet encouragement, the majority polishing off a full breakfast as usual & with no accidents or mishaps whatsoever. It certainly helps to have such an intimate knowledge of each & every member of the herd – nor would we want it to be any other way.
And cleaning up after milking was so much quicker & easier! So even though extra time & patience were required today, we deemed the overall effort to be a great success – & as the Milkforce (& us!) increasingly get to grips with the new routine, we know that from now on, milking will be a dream to breeze through.