Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Get Out There and Milk those Goats!

I have been such a lazy milker this year. I have taken advantage of the kids being with the does and have not stuck to any milking schedule.

I decided that I need to get with the program, I do not keep Dairy goats all year, just for the heck of it.

Last night, I separated our two Toggenburg does from the herd so I could milk this morning.
Delilah, who is a seasoned milker, and Sam who has never been on the milk stand before.

There are a few thing that I like to do that make the milking season go more smoothly.

Clip the goats
The Toggenburg's get a long coat every winter, so one of the first things I  do before we start milking is give them a haircut. Not a fancy grooming job (like we do for fair). just a simple cut, to rid them of their shedding winter coat, I really dislike finding hair in the milk.  I have a set of Lister Shears that get  the job done quickly, and since they don't appreciate the clipping, we like to get the job done as fast as possible. 

Gather Equipment
We don't use any fancy equipment during milking.

Milk Stand
Mike made a milk stand for me, and to be honest, after its many years of use, it is quite a sight for sore eyes.  But, it still serves  its purpose, and I am a big advocate of  "wear it out or do without".
We use a removable feeder that fits on the milk stand. Giving the goats grain, makes the milking process go a lot smoother. I tried milking Delilah, ONCE, without the grain, which resulted in an altercation, which  I lost and had the bruises to prove it.

Stainless steel pots with lids work great. I like the taller ones, especially when I am working with a new goat that may kick. They are easy to sanitize, and last a long time.

Bounty Paper Towels
I use bounty paper towels to clean off the udders before I milk. With our goats being outside on pasture,  their udders are usually pretty clean.  I do not use any special udder wash, just warm water.

I also use the Bounty Towels, to strain the milk.
I know there are filters you can buy specifically for that purpose but when I was first getting started in Dairy Goats, that is what my mentor used. I have considered ordering the filters, but have never gotten around to it.  I am sure that would not be tolerated in a "Dairy Farm" setting, but for our home use, it works.

I really don't mind milking the goats every day, once I get in the habit. The family always enjoys the yogurt and cheese.

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  1. I have always wanted a milk goat - but the milking day in and out regardless is the one thing that has kind of held me back. I wouldn't mind at all during the spring and summer and fall. It's the winter that makes me hesitate!

    1. Lisa, I only milk in the spring, summer, and fall. I let the goats dry up for the winter.
      I am not a serious milker at all :)

  2. Sometimes, milking everyday can be very inconvenient, but most of the time, I find it to be a very peaceful, relaxing chore. But it is a chore. Sandra, we used to use coffee filters to filter the milk, but now we use Frank's old white handkerchiefs. They work great and we don't have to keep anything disposable on hand. The milk is great, isn't it? We milk two to three does during the spring and summer while we are making cheese, but only milk one through the winter. That way we always have fresh milk. Thanks for showing us how you do it.


    1. Fern,
      I have considered making cloth filters, instead of the disposables. Thanks for commenting!

    2. I so understand why you haven't ordered "filters" yet...you are TOO busy and the thought is with you at the moment, then on to the next task and you don't think of it until you're milking again :)

    3. haha, isn't that the truth?
      Such is life :)

  3. I just came by to return the blog visit and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on mine. I started reading and, being a goat person myself, had to comment here! I use coffee filters to strain my milk; hadn't thought about Bounty paper towels. I know a gal who used to use scraps cut from a white 100% cotton t-shirt. She would wash and bleach after each use, but I thought that was a pretty good idea. Have to say I've been a lazy milker too this year. So nice to have the kids to "help." :)


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