Oct 2, 2009

The tangible benefit of goat kisses

Here at Swede Farm, we rotate responsibilities, usually every 6-8 weeks or so. The goal is to ensure that everyone here can run any part of the farm so that we do not screech to a standstill if someone is unable to function in their assigned role (say, morning sickness). Anyone can take over for anyone. It also works well to train our children in responsibilities that they can take with them as they grow and move on to other pastures, if you will.

Linnea was our milker for the last month. Linnea is very diligent and efficient. She prides herself on functioning well and fast. She doesn't cut corners but she also doesn't go out of her way to add steps to the process.

This month Sara and Grace have taken over milking in tandem. Together they take as long as Linnea did. With one noticeable difference. Production--which had plummeted--has started to rise quickly.

We asked Sara and Grace what exactly they are doing differently. They denied any changes.

After a few days, Sara did notice a difference. Seems Linnea, efficiency expert that she is, is all business in the dairy. The goat come in, they go up on the stand, they get milked, they get down. Nice and straightforward.

Sara and Grace do the same. With one exception--whereas Linnea was all business, Sara and Grace take time for goat kisses. Sara shared that they tend to spend more time petting the milking does, talking to then (as opposed to just about them) and in general being more affectionate. Now this is not to say that there is anything wrong with getting down to business and being efficient, but apparently the goats noticed the lack of cuddles and kisses.

And I wonder if Linnea's recent crankiness indicated that although she didn't know it, that she was missing the extra kisses as well?

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