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Hi Everyone,
I am brand new to milking, just started a couple of days ago. I was hoping someone could explain what needs to be done in order to properly sanitize before and after milking?
I was thinking of using vinegar/water as I try to do things on the natural side. I don't have access to fight bac or anything like that because I live in a small town with very limited resources!
We plan on milking our doe and keep her babies on her until she starts to want to wean them herself, so any products used would have to be safe for the kids!
Trying to prevent mastitis which I don't know alot about but I understand one way to prevent it is to have a good sanitation process!
Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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I'm new to milking too. I got most of my info from Fiasco Farms and on here. I use the chlorox and dawn method. So far so good.Fiasco Farm is loaded with milking information along with goat health and care. Good luck on your milking adventure.
 

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we use a cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of water...vinegar conditions the udder as well...
we buy those cheap car towels...two for each girl..wash with one and dry with the other..be sure to wash and dry your hands well between milking each doe..

for washing tools and buckets we wash well in hot soap and water then give a final rinse with vinegar water...we do the same for all jars

to cool milk fast milk strain and put in quart size jars in an ice bath...or recently heard you can do a salt water bath...( add salt to water, put in freezer..it will not freeze solid but be super cold...this will cool your jars of milk faster)..
 

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I use baby wipes as well. We started out using the fiasco farms recipes, and my doe was getting irritated, so we stopped and started using wipes instead. I wash my hands thoroughly before milking, and as soon as I get in the house after, prior to handling the milk any further. I use hot water and the Clorox/dawn combo to wash/sanitize all milking equipment, and once or twice a week we run everything through the dishwasher.


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My take is somewhat different. A bit of research on vinegar will show that PURE undiluted 5% white vinegar is about 90% effective against staph, strep, salmonella, listeria and a few other nasties but ONLY when heated to 130 degrees. Nobody in their right mind would put 130 degree pure vinegar on a goat's udder. Diluted vinegar dilutes the effectiveness.
One cup to a gallon of water is a 1:15 dilution rate. What you end up with is a solution that is about 6% vinegar and 94% water. It's the acetic acid in vinegar that does the germkilling. The pure vinegar is only 5% acetic acid to begin with, so by the time you've diluted it with water there is only a miniscule amount of actual disinfectant in a WHOLE BUNCH of water. It's my personal opinion that you might as well be using plain water. Vinegar is great stuff. I use Apple cider vinegar in my goats' drinking water to acidify it. It really increases their summer water intake. That said, to think it's some sort of miracle sanitizer is magical thinking at best and not based on any rational science.
The goal of sanitizing during milking is twofold. First: Protect the doe from mastitis and Second: protect the milk from contamination. I love and drink raw milk and am a believer in it's benefits. I also know that when my girls are laying out there in the pasture peacefully chewing their cuds they are also mooshing their teats and udders into the dirt and manure. Dirt and manure that's full of all kinds of nasty bacteria that will make them and me sick if given the opportunity. This is my milk sanitation regimen:
I use a commercial dairy udder wash. Mine is Iodophor ll but there are many. A concentrated gallon of it is not inexpensive but for someone with a few milkers it will last for years. I mix it fresh with hot water in a spray bottle each milking. Milk only into stainless steel. I have seen people milk into all sorts of scary things. Old coffee cans, plastic beach buckets. I wouldn't feed that milk to my chickens.
Wash hands soap and water, then sanitize them with udder wash dry with a paper towel, not a rag.
spray down udder and teats until soaked and rub well, then respray to rinse
dry each side with a separate paper towel to prevent cross contamination
milk
respray teats until dripping with sanitizer and allow to air dry

Commercial sanitizers do have a tendency to dry skin out, so I apply udder balm as necessary after the final spraying has dried.
If milking multiple does, milk any that might have suspect udders LAST.
Sanitize pails with bleach and air dry or use a dishwasher.
I'm a firm believer in doing things the natural way whenever possible. When it comes to milking, I have come to the conclusion that it's too risky. Saying "I've always used Dawn-vinegar-whatever and never had a problem" is the same as saying "Every night I stand on the porch and bang two sticks together and I've never been attacked by bears".
My apologies in advance if this was too blunt.
 

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Before I milk I spray and wipe the udder with a weak bleach solution.

I try to keep the bellies and udders clipped of hair that can hold particles.

Depending on whether I'm hand milking or using the machine I milk the goats.

After milking spray the teat openings with Fight Bac.

I try to feed hay after milking so the goats stand up and the teat orifices close before they lay down.

Then I go to my kitchen and filter the milk and pasteurize it if I'm going to feed it to kids or make cheese.

The milk I'm going to save for drinking I like to filter into a clean half gallon jar and put in the freezer till it's just freezing and then put in regular refrigerator. Keeps a long time that way.

I rinse all milking equiptment in cold water, then twice in hot water then wash then rinse in hot water and hang to dry.

Once a week I wash all the stuff in acid detergent to remove milk stone.
 

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I have my doelings still nursing on their mom during the day. After I dip her teats after milking I dry them with a clean paper towel. Then she goes back with her kids. I use water chlorox dawn wash and dip.
 

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Thanks for your input everyone! To those who suggested bleach or commercial detergents- are they safe the use when the kids are still nursing?
Mixed to the proper proportions and dry before mom gets back to the babies I've never seen it to be an issue.
 

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We make up an teat spray using organic essential oils, water and rubbing alcohol.

Fill up a 2 oz spray bottle to the rounded shoulder of the bottle
(We use the brown glass bottles with a sprayer)
1/4 tsp isopropyl alcohol
20 drops of grapefruit extract
8 drops of tea tree essential oil
5 drops of lavender essential oil
1 drop of clove essential oil
Shake well before use
You can either spray directly on teats and let air dry or you can spray on wet/damp cloth and wipe udders with it. I usually apply it to the wet cloth.

Our does have never had any issues with mastitis or any other undesirable udder/teat conditions....and the spray smells so clean and fresh.

You can buy essential oils and glass bottles with a spray lid at www.mountainroseherbs.com as well as other places online. I think www.vitacost.com has essential oils. I'm not sure if they have the bottles, though.

Any of the suggestions here will work just fine. Just decide which works best for you and your girls and go for it. :)
 

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My take is somewhat different. A bit of research on vinegar will show that PURE undiluted 5% white vinegar is about 90% effective against staph, strep, salmonella, listeria and a few other nasties but ONLY when heated to 130 degrees. Nobody in their right mind would put 130 degree pure vinegar on a goat's udder. Diluted vinegar dilutes the effectiveness.
One cup to a gallon of water is a 1:15 dilution rate. What you end up with is a solution that is about 6% vinegar and 94% water. It's the acetic acid in vinegar that does the germkilling. The pure vinegar is only 5% acetic acid to begin with, so by the time you've diluted it with water there is only a miniscule amount of actual disinfectant in a WHOLE BUNCH of water. It's my personal opinion that you might as well be using plain water. Vinegar is great stuff. I use Apple cider vinegar in my goats' drinking water to acidify it. It really increases their summer water intake. That said, to think it's some sort of miracle sanitizer is magical thinking at best and not based on any rational science.
The goal of sanitizing during milking is twofold. First: Protect the doe from mastitis and Second: protect the milk from contamination. I love and drink raw milk and am a believer in it's benefits. I also know that when my girls are laying out there in the pasture peacefully chewing their cuds they are also mooshing their teats and udders into the dirt and manure. Dirt and manure that's full of all kinds of nasty bacteria that will make them and me sick if given the opportunity. This is my milk sanitation regimen:
I use a commercial dairy udder wash. Mine is Iodophor ll but there are many. A concentrated gallon of it is not inexpensive but for someone with a few milkers it will last for years. I mix it fresh with hot water in a spray bottle each milking. Milk only into stainless steel. I have seen people milk into all sorts of scary things. Old coffee cans, plastic beach buckets. I wouldn't feed that milk to my chickens.
Wash hands soap and water, then sanitize them with udder wash dry with a paper towel, not a rag.
spray down udder and teats until soaked and rub well, then respray to rinse
dry each side with a separate paper towel to prevent cross contamination
milk
respray teats until dripping with sanitizer and allow to air dry

Commercial sanitizers do have a tendency to dry skin out, so I apply udder balm as necessary after the final spraying has dried.
If milking multiple does, milk any that might have suspect udders LAST.
Sanitize pails with bleach and air dry or use a dishwasher.
I'm a firm believer in doing things the natural way whenever possible. When it comes to milking, I have come to the conclusion that it's too risky. Saying "I've always used Dawn-vinegar-whatever and never had a problem" is the same as saying "Every night I stand on the porch and bang two sticks together and I've never been attacked by bears".
My apologies in advance if this was too blunt.
LOL!!!! I got the best visual about the bears and some fool on a porch. Is that a saying or did you just make that up? Hilarious.
And, fwiw, I agree with all you said.
 

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<snip>I'm a firm believer in doing things the natural way whenever possible. When it comes to milking, I have come to the conclusion that it's too risky. Saying "I've always used Dawn-vinegar-whatever and never had a problem" is the same as saying "Every night I stand on the porch and bang two sticks together and I've never been attacked by bears". <snip>
I'm sorry, but your analogy is flawed.

Milking happens every day...if I've never had a problem, it's because what I'm doing is working.

Being attacked by bears for beating sticks together on my porch is NOT something that happens everyday...therefore has no relation to whether my cleaning regime works or not.

Be clean, be careful...if it works for you, go for it.
 

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I'm sorry, but your analogy is flawed.

Being attacked by bears for beating sticks together on my porch is NOT something that happens everyday...therefore has no relation to whether my cleaning regime works or not.
Sorry, it's your understanding of my analogy that's flawed. If I stand on my porch and beat two sticks together every day and am NOT attacked by bears, it isn't due to the stick ritual. If I wash my goats' teats with some unproven concoction and they DON'T get mastitis and I DON'T get poisoned, it's not due to my sanitizing "regimen". If I flip a coin a hundred times and it comes up heads every time, it's no predictor of what I'll flip the very next time. Believing otherwise is placebo. Pseudo-science. Magical thinking.
 

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LOL!!!! I got the best visual about the bears and some fool on a porch. Is that a saying or did you just make that up? Hilarious.
And, fwiw, I agree with all you said.
Wish I could take credit for that but can't. I don't remember where I first heard it. Some bio or logic class or something I reckon. Thanks!
 

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Sanitizing udders & teats

I'll start my 1st ever milking in 2 weeks and want to know the best sanitizer. In my research, bleach is not effective because for bleach to really sanitize, it needs to have contact for 10-30 minutes. Just wiping with bleach is not going to sanitize. I also don't want to have to mix it up every day, because it loses potency after a day. I only have 2 does, so don't want to buy a gallon of something expensive. It appears the Fight Bac is for after milking, as it "chills the teat, enhancing closure of the teat". The herbal & alcohol mix sounded interesting, but will the nursing babies not like the strong tea tree oil taste? (I will start just milking in the AM) Any other info or opinions?
 

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If I wash my goats' teats with some unproven concoction and they DON'T get mastitis and I DON'T get poisoned, it's not due to my sanitizing "regimen". Everything used on ourselves or our animals was at one time "unproven". It's used (ie. tested) until the evidence does "prove" it to be effective.

If I flip a coin a hundred times and it comes up heads every time, it's no predictor of what I'll flip the very next time. While that is true, I am NOT flipping a coin. I am using a tried and true formula each and every time.

Believing otherwise is placebo. Pseudo-science. Magical thinking. Yep, and pretty much every discovery was once thought of as "magical thinking".
OP: There are many tried and true formulas out there, just do some research, find something that sounds good to you and enjoy your girls.

So, with that said. I'm out of this thread.
 

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The herbal & alcohol mix sounded interesting, but will the nursing babies not like the strong tea tree oil taste? (I will start just milking in the AM) Any other info or opinions?
We've never had a kid refuse a teat yet. LOL. (Sounds funny.)

Remember that the essential oils are diluted in almost 2 ounces of water. It smells nice and light, so I don't think the taste would be bad. Hold on....I'll actually go taste it. Ok, it actually tastes like if you'd lick a orange peel. Kind of citrus-y and nice. I could not fathom a kid not liking it. I'm glad you mentioned that, though. I should have checked that out a long time ago.

So yeah....the taste is fine and the oils used in this formula are time tested and proven to be antibacterial. No magic here, just clean livin'! :rose:
 

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We've never had a kid refuse a teat yet. LOL. (Sounds funny.)

Remember that the essential oils are diluted in almost 2 ounces of water. It smells nice and light, so I don't think the taste would be bad. Hold on....I'll actually go taste it. Ok, it actually tastes like if you'd lick a orange peel. Kind of citrus-y and nice. I could not fathom a kid not liking it. I'm glad you mentioned that, though. I should have checked that out a long time ago.

So yeah....the taste is fine and the oils used in this formula are time tested and proven to be antibacterial. No magic here, just clean livin'! :rose:
Thanks! I think I'll go with Your recipe, but it didn't mention water - would you amend it to include the water for me?

Fill up a 2 oz spray bottle to the rounded shoulder of the bottle
(We use the brown glass bottles with a sprayer)
1/4 tsp isopropyl alcohol
20 drops of grapefruit extract
8 drops of tea tree essential oil
5 drops of lavender essential oil
1 drop of clove essential oil
Shake well before use
You can either spray directly on teats and let air dry or you can spray on wet/damp cloth and wipe udders with it. I usually apply it to the wet cloth.
 
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