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