Friday, July 10, 2009

Amish Dairy Goats

We enjoyed an absolute treat today during our stop at Schwartz's Country Store, a local Amish store. Schwartz's caters to Amish and carries everything from black boots and shoes to coal and coal burning stoves. We were greeted inside the store by the very talkative father and five of his very quiet girls. Another toddler girl and three young boys ran around outside.
The Schwartz's also run a dairy goat business, so after shopping (a tub of bag balm for me- supposedly great for chapped hands - and a pair of scissors for my mom) we wandered over to the barn to peek at the goats. One of the girls happened to be walking behind us on her way to milk the goats. Delilah invited us into the barn to watch the milking, which takes place twice a day - at 4 am and 4 pm. We watched as the four girls (the oldest no more than 15) ran barefoot through the barn, filled the troughs with feed and led the goats in to the milking area. With bare hands and tin buckets, they milked each goat. An amazing thing to watch. I managed to get a few pictures of the goats, but didn't take any of the family since they don't allow their picture to be taken.
After watching the milking, though, I will say that there is a reason our dairy products are pasturized. I would not recommend raw milk products!

Our view inside the barn. The goats were very noisy and ready to be fed and milked.

The baby goats jumping up at us.

These goats are ready to be milked. The walked into this room from the attached barn that you see in the background. They immediately jumped up onto the raised platform and found their place.

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