New to milking

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by dragonfly farms, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. dragonfly farms

    dragonfly farms New Member

    215
    Oct 4, 2008
    Pfafftown, NC
    I am wanting to start milking my does soon (have some that are about to kid). We are two people from the city who turned into farmers. So, neither of us has any clue on where to even begin on milking. I know that there is a separator, strainer and pasteurizer. That is about it, so I was wondering if you all could get me thru a milking process from start to finish. As detailed and specific as possible would be a big help since we are totally clueless.

    I appreciate the help in advance!
     
  2. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    Congrats on your new adventure! I would imagine everyone's milking routine is just a wee bit different but the general practice is the same.

    For hand milking:

    First, I clip udders. No pesky stray hairs to pull and make your girls uncomfortable or to dirty up the milk. Get a good milk stand and feed your girls well on the stand. You want them to be happy while up there.

    Clean hands, clean udders, and a clean stainless steel milk pail are most important.

    I use an unscented baby wipe to thoroughly clean the udder and don't forget to clean the teat tips really well. Then milk a few squirts from each teat into a cup and check it for any obvious abnormalities. Then just milk steadily with both hands (left, right, left, right,....etc) until the stream starts to slack up. Then I "bump" the udder gently, get a couple more squirts from each teat, and set my milk pail aside with the lid on it. I don't "strip" the teat because I think it's a little too hard on the doe to do that. I wipe the udder down again with a clean baby wipe, spray teat dip on both teats, and let the doe back down off the stand.

    Once I get the milk inside the house (quickly - the longer you wait, the warmer it stays, and that definitely affects the flavor), I strain it through the $14.95 stainless steel strainer and paper filters that I got from Hoegger's and into a clean quart jar. Then I just put a clean lid in the jar and pop it into the back of my fridge.

    We just moved (*sigh* again) and I'm working on getting a nice area put together for milking before spring but if I don't get it ready by then, I'll just set up the milkstand in the barn aisle and that works just as well. In 5+ years, I've had one case of mastitis and that was on a doe who was dam raising her kids and got all lop-sided. If you get in the habit of keeping everything clean, clean, clean you'll do great!

    Best wishes to you and your girls!
     

  3. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    First off....these are mini's right? I have been milking my girls for 6 years...a bit difficult at first because of those little teats but practice makes perfect!

    I don't pasteurize or use a separator so I can't help you there.
    A milk stand is a must, it teaches the first time being milked girls that they need to stay put til you' re done and it is a back saver!
    I don't start milking my girls til the kids are sold...or I'll choose which one I separate kids from at night (I tried this at 4 weeks fresh with great success this past kidding)
    I do milk 2x a day for as long as the production is up, then go down to 1x a day
    Wash/wipe teats and udder with a mild solution or wipies...I use baby wipes and found that a clipped udder is alot nicer to milk.

    I use those short squat ice cream buckets to milk into, they fit very well between me and the "pygmy" belly.
    Grasp the teat at the top near the udder and "pretend" it's a water balloon, clamp off the top with your index finger and thumb, squeeze the filled teat against your palm with your middle and ring fingers, release your "clamp" at the top, bump gently up and clamp and repeat til the udder is empty....it is so much easier to learn by seeing than it is by reading so I hope I didn't confuse you to much.

    Wash down the udder ad teats again and use a "dip" type antibacterial on the end of the teats, this will prevent any type of bacteria from causing a problem.
    Get the milk strained into a jar or any container and chilled as quick as possible. I use the milk filter disks from Tractor Supply, placed into a funnel or small strainer to hold them, pour the milk from the pail into the filter over your container and get it into the back of your fridge or even into an ice water bath to chill quickly. After a day in the fridge, I skim whatever cream separates naturally and put it into a container in the freezer adding to it with each mlking til I have enough to make butter.

    Goats milk does not separate the way that raw cows milk does...it is naturally homogenized, meaning that the fat is broken down into teeny little pieces and blended so well that it is easier to digest than raw cows milk. The milk from my mini's has a sweet flavor...very smooth and so very good!
     
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    call me old fashioned but I dont do much.

    Girl goes on milking stand --- I wipe her udder (clorox wipes work)
    I milk, massage, milk, massage

    Then down she goes back with the herd.


    I bring the milk inside (sometimes I have a cold pack already in the milk at this point to chill it, I do this in the really warm days of summer)

    Then I strain it and put it in the fridge. We like our milk "raw" as it is called. No pasterizing as I think it makes it taste funny. :shrug:
     
  5. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    728
    Oct 1, 2008
    I do it similar as Stacey:

    I get the doe on the milk stand, lock them in then wash their udders down ( I use baby wipes ) then start milking then wipe their teats off again and let them back in their pen or pasture. We use stainless steel totes with a lid inside a cooler too along with the stainless steel milk pail.
     
  6. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I will write more about this in the morning - but you DONT milk like you see in the movies - does get REAL ticked when you do that. NO grabbing and pulling down - LOL! I had never milked - never had anyone show me how to do it - and went by how I saw in the movies - needless to say I had a bucking bronco of a doe that was jumping and kicking with all her might. After about 10 minutes I finally figured it out - :ROFL: :ROFL:
     
  7. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    :ROFL: Practice DOES make perfect....as well as trial and error! Before I had the milkstand...my knees were the "head gate" and I milked with one hand while bent over my pygmies rumps...held the bucket with the other hand and suffered numerous bruises on the backs of my legs from the horns coming up abruptly against me....I love horns on my goats and this wasn't to intentionally hurt me....they were as "green" as I was and didn't like me squeezing them with my knees :slapfloor: Never spilled any milk though!
     
  8. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Minnesota
    We milk twice a day, morning and evening,
    When we milk we:

    Get the doe on the milk stand,
    Feed her (keeps her occupied while your milking her, will help especially if your does are new to milking)
    Clean the udders up with warm water,
    We use a hand pump that we bought from http://www.udderlyezllc.com/ for milking, as my mom and I both have arthritis in our hands, and my mom often has to wear a hand brace so the udderly ez pumps work good,
    Then we pour the milk into a stainless steel milk tote type thing, it has a perfect fit lid so nothing can get in or out,
    Then we take the milk inside, and strain it into glass jars.
    For a while we were getting over a gallon a day, and were selling some to friends, never had any problems.

    Also, when your doe and you and first learning to milk, you might need someone to hold the doe in place so you can milk her w/o any problems, it can prevent tappers and squaters.
     
  9. dragonfly farms

    dragonfly farms New Member

    215
    Oct 4, 2008
    Pfafftown, NC
    Okay, so this is sounds slightly more easy than i thought! That is promising. So if i am understanding everyone correctly

    wash the udder
    milk
    wash and dip when finished
    either quickly chill the milk or use a strainer
    if chilling and not strainer you can pull the cream off the top

    So from what i am reading people are not pasturizing the milk. What do i need to worry about by drinking raw? Also are there things i should be testing my milking does for or their milk, and how do i do that?

    Thank you again, i am starting to get more excited then nervous about milking!
     
  10. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    736
    Mar 2, 2008
    I'm pretty new to milking but have learned tons from different people and put together what works best for me. I'm also always looking for ways to make it better/easier.

    I use a goat stand with a feeder to keep my girls happy/busy. I give them Klassy Goat mixed with BOSS, although I'm looking for something more 'homemade'.

    I wash their teats and udders with an iodine/water mixture and a washcloth. I mix this in a 5 qt. ice cream pail and can use the same mixture for a few milkings before needing to make new. I wash the cloths between every milking.

    I just started using cheesecloth (see my other thread from a day ago) over my pails, I hold it on with clothespins. Thus far I really like it, no goat hairs get into the milk, nor anything else. Before that I was using either plastic wrap over the pail or handkerchief over the pail (also held on by clothespins). I would just fold back 1/2 of whichever I was using to uncover 1/2 the pail and then recover it when done.

    The first two squirts from each teat goes into the strip cup (I used a plain ole glass bowl before I had the strip cup). I check it out to make sure there are no lumps or discoloring and then pour that into the cats bowls .... the sit in a row around me waiting every milking!

    I don't strip the teats either as I think it can possibly damage them. I spray their teats with "Fight Bac" after I'm done. My goats don't like the spray though some when I've used up the Fight Bac I'm going to go with a dip cup.

    I take my first goat back and repeat the whole process on my second goat. I make sure they have clean, fresh water and give them hay and then hustle into the house to get the milk cold. In the hot months I use an ice pack in the bottom of the pail so that the milk is being milked directly onto it. That starts cooling it immediately. I also do their water before milking and then only have to give them hay afterwards - that helps me get the milk into the house faster also.

    I do not pasteurize.... raw milk is the best way in my opinion. But, you do whatever you feel best for you and your family. I use a strainer (from Hoeger) with the paper strainers and run the milk through. I keep a record of how much each goat has given at each milking. That helps me keep an eye on production and if it goes down I can catch any potential health issues or whatever really quickly. I put the milk into glass jars that I actually keep in my freezer so they are already cold when I pour the milk into them. I then put those glass jars into a bucket and fill the bucket with ice and water to start the whole thing getting cold quickly. Then, the bucket goes into my chest freezer for between an hour and an hour and half (depending on the size of the glass jar - I don't want it to freeze and break). When the timer goes off I take the glass jar out of the bucket and put it in the frig. Then, all the goat equipment is run through the dishwasher before the next milking.

    It really is lots of fun, I truly enjoy the time with my goats each day. And, we love the milk!
     
  11. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Actually, it is best to strain it to remove any stray hairs or dirt that may have fallen into your milk bucket....I strain then chill and then skim before the next milking.
     
  12. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    736
    Mar 2, 2008
    I was thinking about this thread while I was milking this morning and just wanted to add that if there are any milk goat farms around you (even a person who only milks one or two goats), I'd highly suggest you set up an appointment to go watch them. I went to four different farms to watch them milk before bringing my does home. I learned something different (and valuable) from each of them.
     
  13. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Minnesota
    Cinder is right, its a good idea to go to a farm and see whats up with how they do it. In my opinion, you should always strain your milk, finding hair or dirt in a nice cold glass of fresh milk turns me off of it. So its strain, then chill, and then if you want the cream, you can skim it straight from the fridge, it doesn't need to be warm. You can also pour the milk into a flat pan and put it in the fridge, the cream will rise faster/better and you can get more that way.
     
  14. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I always strain and chill
     
  15. Sonrise Farm

    Sonrise Farm New Member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Southwick, Idaho
    Just wondering, do you guys clip udders in winter?
     
  16. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I don't but the again I've not been milking in the winter as my girls are usually preggy :wink: This time though I'm milkng Bootsie for as long as she gives me that pint a day....she has retired from breeding so I'm taking what she's willing to give. I have her clipped now but it's not really cold...don't think I'll give her a "naked" udder whn i's freezing outside!
     
  17. Sonrise Farm

    Sonrise Farm New Member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Southwick, Idaho
    I was milking Spirit thru the winter the year before last and she was irritated because I kept pulling out udder hair . . . but I didn't want her to freeze her teats off . . . :shrug: so I was just wondering if any of you did . . .
     
  18. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    736
    Mar 2, 2008
    I was told by the breeders here, in Colorado, not to clip my does udders through the winter because they need that hair to keep warm. So, I'm going into my first winter without them clipped. However, one of them was shown in August and had her udder clipped then, there's a big difference right now in the amount of hair on the one that wasn't clipped. I think I'll clip in the spring and again in late August next year even though I don't show.
     
  19. bigoakfarm

    bigoakfarm New Member

    228
    Oct 5, 2007
    Kentucky
    We usually have does freshening starting in January. I clip udders and behinds before they freshen and I've never had a problem but I'm in KY and may not get as cold as some of you guys. I should point out that I only "clip" the udders in the winter. I "shave" them in the spring and summer so there is still a little hair on the udder in the coldest months - just very short hair. I use a #10 unless I'm showing them or need to get a good photo of a doe's udder and then I shave it with a razor and shaving cream.
     
  20. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I dont clip in the winter.