anyone use the 'hand milking machines'?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by milk and honey, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    I was wondering if anyone uses the udderly E-Z milker or Henry milker, or any other sort like these???? I'm using a syringe turned around backwards, with the business end cut off... to milk my goat right now. She just really doesn't like me to touch her teats or udders... and I dont think I was doing a very good job of it anyway. At least now, I'm getting some milk! So,, what do you all think??? Any opinions on the milkers?
    I cant have a large herd here in my City Farm.. so I will only be milking
    2 or 3 does at the most.
    Thanks
     
  2. I have heard of the Maggidans milker and have seen all sorts of devices online that people have made for milking but after some consideration I thought I would try a breast pump for my Pygmy doe. I bought a manual one because it was on sale at the time and I didn't want to put a lot of money into something that might not work. It worked quite well for me and Gabby (the doe) didn't seem to mind because it does the job faster than I can do it by hand.
     

  3. WarPony

    WarPony New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Michigan
    I use a Henry Milker. As soon as I got it I made some changes, I bought half gallon jars because even with my 75% Boer/25% Oberhasli does a quart each is not enough. I also added a much longer hose to the teat cup side because the tiny short one they send is just not long enough for the way I use the machine. I also got some Plasti-dip rubber coating to dip the part of the teat cup in that comes in contact with the doe's udder because the teat cups are just hard plastic syringes and are hard on the does udders without some padding. I just use the plasti-dip on the top portion and it never comes in contact with the milk, not sure how food safe it is or how well it can be disinfected and i am super vigilant about that kind of stuff.

    These are generally not the best way to milk a goat. They can be hard on the doe's teats because of the type of suction (constant not pulsing). It can also take time to accustom the does to letting down their milk for it. I use the vacuum pump and the pressure release on it to make a pulsing suction that goes between 5 and 10 pounds, never over 10 pounds of vacuum ever. One doe I fluctuate between three and seven pounds suction and that is where she milks the best. But that takes a lot of practice to get to where you can make it pulse without the cup dropping off, etc.

    It takes me about a half hour total to milk my three does and I get just shy of a gallon from the three combined. But it took some work to get them to that point.

    I started them out by hand milking them a little, then applied the Henry Milker and used it for just long enough to get milk flowing, and when the milk slowed down I finished by hand milking. This meant a lot of hand milking at first (I milk them into the teat cup, because they are horrible little bucket kickers and by milking into the teat cup I salvage all the milk they would spoil by sticking a yucky foot into it or kicking it over), but gradually over time I was able to increase the amount of milking done with the milker without making their teats uncomfortable.

    I do find that one of my does teat will look purple immediately after releasing suction. I massage her udder and teat until it looks normal again (takes about 3 seconds, seriously) and milk the other teat before finishing the first teat. I also massage their udder while they are being milked and they seems to help them let down that much better.

    All three of my does prefer the Henry milker to being hand milked. Two of my does have the tiniest teats I've ever seen and they buck like broncos when I hand milk them. But they stand like champs for the Henry Milker. The one doe, Thyme, milks out in about 6 minutes start to finish. Once she learned to let down for the machine she REALLY let down that milk for the machine!!! It sounds like spraying with a high pressure water hose when she is being milked. I barely have to strip anything out at all once the machine is done. The other doe only milks out about half way and I have to finish up by hand but it still saves me a lot of hand work and time.

    I'd much rather have an electric pulse milker, I'm not convinced that this type of milker is all that good for the goat but it IS fairly affordable and with some practice works pretty well. Without the milker I wouldn't be able to milk my goats like I do because of hand problems I have. I can do some milking but not all three does every single day.
     
  4. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    I ended up making my own milker ... based on the Henry / madigan... and used it for the first time this morning.. Worked fine. I am careful to use it 'pump style' by releasing the pressure, pump pump pump, release..... so as not to hurt my girl... She seemed to do fine with it too. I still want to learn to hand milk, so I'll continue to try that too.
    BTW, I did come across the discussion on this forum a year ago with the maker of the Henry milker... and found that helpful... but I wasn't going to pay that high of a price for
    my two little does.
    Thanks for the input!!!