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So I have been milking for a few weeks now and my dad would like to save me time and wants to buy me a milking machine. I'm not so sure if it's something I need or even want, but he's adamant that I should look into it, so I figured I'd talk to you guys about it. So what are the pros and cons of milk machines? How much of a time saver is it? And are there any risks for the doe's health to using one?
 

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Really depends on a few things. I can share why I dont have one.
I enjoy the quality time with the girls
I build muscles where I didn't know I had any lol
I did have kids to help when we were milking 17
Clean up. A bucket and strainer. No tube lines to flush clean and disinfect. I tried to help a guy save his doe after he used a dirty machine on her and others causing a mastitis outbreak!!

So for me, unless one has several to milk or if there is a condition the farmer can't hand milk such as arthritis, I see no need for the added expense or trouble. But that's just me ;)
 

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Following! I’m also interested in what people will say about this. I enjoy hand milking, but I might like to have a machine on hand so that a friend of family member can easily milk my girls for me if I have to go out of town!
 

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Never used a milking machine, so I'm no help there!
About how long does it take you to milk?
I have streamlined my process, and gotten to be a pretty fast milker, so it really only takes me 5 minutes or MAYBE 10 to milk a doe. The most time consuming thing is washing and sanitizing my bucket, strainer, and jars! But it takes me about the same amount of time to wash up for milking several goats as it does for 1, so that makes little difference.
Training an FF to the milking stand can be time consuming, but once they get the routine down, it can go pretty quickly.
It's so kind of your dad to want to help you out by buying you a milking machine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's so kind of your dad to want to help you out by buying you a milking machine!
Oh it really is. I haven't complained about how long it's taking, and I've explained to him that I don't mind, but he sees how much time I dedicate to my goats and he wants to help me out. 😊

I'm currently only milking with one hand because I haven't gotten left handed milking down yet (also have to get myself a bucket with a bigger opening so that aiming is easier). So once I get that down, it will be done twice as fast. The does are doing pretty well on the stand, so I don't waste too much time on that.

One thing that I can think of that might make it necessary, is that my mom intends on helping milk once I am doing twice a day milking, and I question whether she's really going to be able to do it. She has some sort of hand/wrist thing that makes certain motions kind of difficult.
 

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SO worth it! Granted I don’t really have milk goats but a cow and there is a difference between milking a gallon-ish and taking a break to swap out another goat and milking 5 gallons straight, but oh my gosh my hands were over the moon when I finally found a decent Milker I could afford (simple pulse by the way). And I know your young and don’t think about this or even might be rolling your eyes but everything you do now your going to feel when you are older! My grandma was huge into crocheting and she had nothing but issues with her hands. And let me tell you I can crochet all day long and not have sore hands and fingers but milking is another thing.
It does save time! I had that cow milked out in less then 10 minutes. I know a lot of people talk about cleaning time and that’s where you loose the time saved. I don’t know if they are being overly clean or their machine is different but I just ran bleach water and then water threw mine and it takes about 2 minutes to do.......maybe.
I have used the machine on a boer that was so engorged after weaning her kids. She was NOT a milk goat and did not think much of that. She kicked away and I basically just held the lines to make sure she couldn’t knock them off and let her throw her fit. I’m sure your goats are much more well behaved then her lol but if you ever did end up with a sour girl the machine is much nicer then hobbling or getting kicked.
 

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Oh it really is. I haven't complained about how long it's taking, and I've explained to him that I don't mind, but he sees how much time I dedicate to my goats and he wants to help me out. 😊

I'm currently only milking with one hand because I haven't gotten left handed milking down yet (also have to get myself a bucket with a bigger opening so that aiming is easier). So once I get that down, it will be done twice as fast. The does are doing pretty well on the stand, so I don't waste too much time on that.

One thing that I can think of that might make it necessary, is that my mom intends on helping milk once I am doing twice a day milking, and I question whether she's really going to be able to do it. She has some sort of hand/wrist thing that makes certain motions kind of difficult.
Sounds like a milking machine might be a good idea, so you can have someone to help with milking, which would be REALLY nice! I love my goats and I enjoy milking, but it would be nice to have a break sometimes!
 

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Is it worth it? To me, yes! Will it save you time? No! It's a matter of how you want to spend your time. Unless of course you have a physical condition, in which case it's worth it no matter what.

I have Nigerians and it was taking me 10-15 minutes to hand milk each doe. My milking routine took me at least 45 minutes with 3-4 does. I couldn't breed more than that because I wouldn't be able to devote the extra time to milking, so it was limiting my breeding peogram

I got a SimplePulse milking machine and I love it! But it still takes me 45 minutes to an hour to milk. But I'm milking 6-7 does now, and each doe only takes about 2 minutes. The rest is setup and clean up. I keep mine on a cart and I have to wheel it out to the goat pen, set it up, milk, then haul out buckets of water for cleaning, bring the lines and inflations inside, and wheel the machine back to the porch where it's stored. If I had a barn to keep it in and/or hot water out where I milk, it would save me a considerable amount of time. To me, I'd much rather be spending the time moving and feeling like I'm DOING something than sitting at the milking stand slowly slowly milking while my hands cramp. I can do a much more thorough job with the machine. By hand, sometimes I would stop when my hands were tired and my doe was "close enough" but not quite empty. The does also seem to prefer the machine. And first fresheners, omg! There's no more rodeo and milking onto the stand because they're dancing and prancing, and no more spilled buckets! All you have to do is stick the inflations on and keep them held on whole the doe throws her tantrum. They seem to settle into the routine much faster and it is so much less stress than trying to hand milk a first freshener!

So really it comes down to your priorities and your needs. For me it was definitely worth the trade off, but it was an expensive investment and it does not actually save me time. It just makes milking less tedious and allows me to milk more does in the time I'm out milking.
 

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I say yes!! A milking machine is absolutely worth it in the long run. I went from having to take 4 hours each day for hand milking to less than 20 minutes with a machine, including cleanup. I had a simple pulse and loved it. I didn't find it hard to clean at all. I kept my machine on a cart and the buckets for cleaning near the milking stand and filled them with a hose when I was ready to clean. After milking, I ran the soapy water followed by clean water through the lines and rolled the machine away. With a machine, you also tend to get more milk since let down time is only a few minutes, can't remember exactly how long, but I want to say 5-7 minutes. I gave myself carpal tunnel from hand milking after a few years, so a machine is a necessity if I ever have goats again. That's one reason I couldn't afford to get them again.
 
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