Monday, April 9, 2012

Poor Man's (Free) Goat Hobble

First I'd like to respond to everyone's overwhelming response to my last post about my failure to sell eggs last week.  You all made some very good points that I had not thought of.  I got a few off-blog comments as well.  One friend suggested that God did not bless my sales because I was selling on Sunday.  I think this is a very good point: I often forget how special Sundays should be since we are all skewed with my husband working on Sundays.  My husband's wonderful relative (who was also there selling stuff) did say that since I was late I missed most of the crowd.  She also reminded me that the weather was so hot (85 degrees) and people may have been worried about the eggs perishing.  I also wanted to point out again how wonderful it was of this same relative to help me with the baby.  She was a blessing. 

I learned a lot of lessons from that day.  I'll definitely be sporting a tablecloth next time.  I'll also be blowing out some eggs.  I'll respond to all your comments soon.  Thank you, thank you.  It really means lot to me how you all took your time to share your very insightful thoughts with me.  I'm sure that most of you found my post on the Prairie Homestead blog or the Little Farm in the (not-so) Big City blog.  I'd like to thank Jill and Betty for the opportunity to share my blog with the world.  I'll (try to) be a regular blog linkup participant on both of those blogs.

Now for today's subject... how to make a free goat hobble...

Pearl (the goat) had her kids (Jade and Opal) two weeks ago.  We had milked Pearl before, and she was milked before we got her, too.  Pearl is a pro.  We never had the need for a hobble with her. 

Ruby (the goat) had her kids (Tiger Eye and Emerald) four weeks ago today.  Ruby is another story.  She is about two years old now.  Because I messed up last year, this was Ruby's first litter (is that what you call it?).  Ruby had never been milked before.  She is a feisty one and is not used to it.  She put her foot in the milking pot quite a few times and ruined the precious milk.  She obviously needed a hobble.  We did not own one.  Hobbles are about $20. Money's tight.  Plus there is the convenience factor: it would take a while to come in the mail or I would have to go to Limon to get it (if they even have it).  We needed the hobble NOW.  The whole point in having a milk goat is to have goat milk. 

You can read about how my husband made our free-to-us goat milking stand here (out of a railing and a pickup toolbox).  We have been feeding our goats in part millet hay that we organically grow ourselves.  The hay has twine.  We end up with blue twine lying around.  I've been saving it to stake my tomatoes.  Our goat milking stand had some mystery hooks (since we do not know the origins of the pickup tool box) screwed into it.

Here you can see that hook that's on the side of the goat milking stand...

Excuse me, Miss Chicken, this is Ruby's treat, not yours.

My ingenious husband is resourceful and talented. He simply made a rope (leftover twine from the hay bales) for each of Ruby's legs and secured them to the goat milk stand.  One side is to the hook and the other side is to the part meant to clip into a pickup.

Here you can see Ruby in her hobble.  My husband is starting to milk her, letting the first squirt out.

Here is another angle.  You can see one side of the hobble is on the pickup clip and one is on the hook.

My son (3 years old) is learning how to milk.  

And just another view of my husband milking...

Ruby is being milked and enjoying her snack...

When I get around to it, I'll take an old sock or something to use between Ruby's leg and the rope just to make sure she doesn't chafe.

This post is part of the Homestead Barn Hop # 57 at the Prairie Homestead

This post is also part of the Homestead Helps Wednesday at the Little Farm in the Big City.


  1. That arrangement can help with the goat legs flying up over your head situation, but if you had one that wild, like the big boer that bounced out of my lap last year when she hit the bowl of milk in my hands, if it slipped off the stand it could be in trouble with all of its legs tied to the stand.

    The other free hobble is wrap it (strip of t-shirt, rope, baling twine, etc) around one leg, then the other, and tie it pretty tight above the fetlocks.

    As far as litters, you do run across the term, "full littermate sister", but most people say kidding or freshening, I think.

  2. I just started milking my first goat on Monday and it has been an unqualified disaster - as she and I are both complete novices at milking. I was going to go buy myself a goat hobble today, but I like the idea of using hay bale string, which I have quite a lot of, instead. You blog's title made me laugh outload, since I feel like a homesteading failure quite often. :)


  3. Thanks for this! It came up in a search for a goat hobble- which, like you, I didn't want to spend $20 for. My hubby and I tried a strip of soft t-shirt tonight, and it worked like a charm!

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