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It is important to rinse (95ºF - 100ºF) your milking equipment right after milking, then wash with a good chlorinated soap in at least 120ºF water and rinse well. freezing a bucket does not kill bacteria and milk bacteria is dangerous. Listeria can happen pretty quickly with dirty milk equipment.

I know most goat owners are not selling milk for human consumption, but if you use it for yourself or family, please clean the equipment correctly for yours and their health.
 

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We have a very very basic milking set up. We built a little stand out of old timber and pallets, and my husband made a head bail for it. After using it for an extended period of time, it definitely needs some adjusting LOL. The goats can easily get their heads out. But we use it for milking, hoof trimming, vaccinations etc.

On the list for next projects is to build a little milking stall to move it into - right now, it's out in the open next to the goat paddock. I go out in the morning, dump a scoop of feed into the bucket hanging on the front, go to the goat paddock and Pamela (our only current milking doe) knows where to go. I open the gate, she runs out and around the corner and up onto the stand. When I start to milk Lacey I will have to clip her collar to the stand but Pam I can just shut the head bale and she stays put...usually.
I milk by hand into a steel pail after cleaning her udder and stripping the first couple squirts (but now will start keeping it for my cats after seeing that posted here!).
Once I'm done, she goes back into the paddock, milk comes straight inside and filtered into jars that I keep (after cleaning and sterilising) in the fridge to help cool it quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
CBP, good point about the hot water tank. I will see if he will go for it lol.
I think my KuneKune might be preggo but she is inly 9 mos. Ive been looking online for signs of kunekune pregnancy lol. She is currently housed w a male who is 11 mos. I read the males dont breed till 1 yr old and females 9mos to a yr old... but who knows lol. I am gonna start bulding a separate pen and farrowing house, just in case!

fivemoremiles: Wow, that is an awesome milk stand. Very smart on using the Husky Shelves! Maybe when I have more goats to milk someday, I will look into that. I like how you used the rubber mats on the steps. I was thinking of putting one on the stand itself. Florida is so wet and humid and the girls get muddy feet/hooves alot.

Goats rock, good reminder on milk safety.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
McCarthy Farms, Sounds like you have a good setup that works for you. Your goats sound like good girls! I need to work on the gate between the milk area and the girls pasture area.

Pallet wood is so great to make things out of! 10 yrs ago we made 3 chicken coops. One was made of heat treated pallet wood and the other 2 from pressure treated 2x4s and plywood. They were all painted or stained. 2 eventually succumbed to FL humidity and termites, only the pallet coop still stands lol.
We have built a few more by now but we should get more pallets. Its a lot of work to take all the wood off the pallets to make coops with but worth it in the end.
Haha so I thought I would take advantage of the Black Friday sales and got a over the fence type feeder for my milk stand. Well I must have been more tired than I thought, shopping late online one night because, I thought the feeder was 6 quarts but when it got here I realized it is 16 Quarts!! :bonk:
Im sure I will use it for something but not a milk stand lol !!
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I don’t have a whole lot of info for you since I don’t have dairy goats just a jersey cow, I mean I could tell you about my “set up” if you want a good laugh lol
But I can totally tell you about a machine! When you are ready I highly suggest looking into a simple pulse! I purchase mine earlier this year and I have been absolutely impressed with that thing especially for the money.
Like I said not much to give ya but there you have it :p
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Anderson Ranch, Thank you. I will look into the simple pulse. I envy you having a Jersey cow!!
I am always telling hubby that one day I am going to bring home Jersey heifer. They are so adorable and give good creamy milk when they grow up! The property we have now is a little small to add a cow or I would have one! Hopefully when we move, I will get one.
 

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Jerseys are adorable and the sweetest personality there is. But hardy they are not! I honestly won’t get another full jersey. Lol I’ve actually been having to milk my brangus cow so I think she just got promoted to my new milk cow lol
 

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They are easily sick and injured. They really haven’t been bred over the years for anything but milk. When I was shopping for semen I did see where one company was keeping track of longevity score so I do think they are slowly starting to see a issue. Probably mainly just the homestead breeder and not the big dairy breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Thats too bad. I hope the Brangus works out for you. Here in FL I see Dexter cattle advertised quite a bit.
There are also Cracker Cattle advertised here alot lol. No clue on if the Crackers give good milk. I read they give average amounts of milk but are mainly raised for meat. They are exceptionally parasite hardy. In Florida, parasites reign so if this was a homestead breed for the early FL Pioneers, they would have to be parasite resistant to survive here. I would love to get some Cracker Cattle but we would definitely need more than our 4 acres first lol :/

Besides the Jerseys, for cuteness, I love the Highland Cattle. Such cute faces! I see them for sale here but it seems they would surely suffer the heat and humidity here.
 

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I’m not going to milk her full time. She’s like a boer goat, she has the milk but not a WHOLE lot extra. I mean she does at the moment, which I’m able to stock my freezer with colostrum again lol but it won’t be a huge amount. I do like that she does allow me to milk her though just in case I ever do need milk.
I had to look up what this cracker cow was! I had never heard of them before. It looks like they are a Florida long horn. They would definitely be a hardy animal, but I’m not a fan of how absolutely terrible long horns can be lol I could write you a book :p but when they get it In their mind to be nasty or escape there is nothing you can do to change their mind. I’m oh so lucky and our neighbor has long horns, it’s very.........interesting when they get out on us and we have to gather them up lol
I almost got a Scottish highlander once!!! Someone raised them and was selling out and pretty cheaply too. But then I thought about all the foxtails and birds and what not getting in that long hair and backed out :/ from everyone I know those are very sweet and easy to handle cows.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Its good that you are getting a lot of colostrum. That may come in handy!!
Yes the Cracker Cattle do have some horns but nothing as big a the TX longhorns. They are fairly docile and smaller than the avg cow but I am sure they could get hormonal and onery just like any animal. The Tiger striped ones are so pretty!!
They were brought here by the Spanish hundreds of year ago and thrived running around in the swamps. The were called Cracker Cattle due to the FL settlers/cowboys who used a long whip and cracked it behind the cows to round them up. I am not from Fl (originally from Calif) so I love all ahe FL history lol...kinda like the Key West/Gypsy chickens ( we have some of those lol). A little different story on the KW chickens but they are pretty cool. Florida is a wild state lol.
 

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I have read the replies that you have gotten. What works for you may not work for some one else. But you can get good ideas.
I have been milking cows and now goats for almost 62 years. Our method is simple. We have 2 milk stands with feed troughs attached on the end with the head locks under a shed attached to the feed building where we keep a refrigerator and other necessary medicine and tools and such plus feed and minerals. The shed is enclosed with goat panels. At one end of the panels is a gate to the goats. On the other end a gate to exit and enter the building.
We clean the teats with baby wipes with no alcoholic content. Then when clean, we hand milk into a half gallon plastic pitcher and when finished with that doe the lid is put on. Each doe gets a separate pitcher for het milk. That way we can inspect and isolate any milk that might need to be kept separate. After milk the milk is placed into the refrigerator. When milking is complete then we carry the milk to the house and strain it through a fine coffee filter. The kind that comes with a coffee maker. It washable and reusable and removes all particles from the milk. Simple but effective. We can milk our 4-5 milk does before we could even think about setting up and then clean a milking machine and hoses. Good luck and hope you figure out what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
TexasGoatMan, thank you for your reply.
Wow 62 years of milking experience! That is amazing. I bet you could write a book on all your milking and goat/cow "adventures" lol. You must have some stories to tell!
That's a good tip on keeping the milk in separate containers until you can inspect it and make sure it won't contaminate all the other milk. I will be looking into that coffee filter. Its good to have a reusable source.
I need to rig up a little fridge out by the barn somehow. We are converting an old metal garage/barn with a sandy dirt floor (Florida). It has a 3-car metal roof carport attached to it.
I am thinking of keeping the milkstand in a part of that open carport area, gated off from the rest of the barn etc. We set up a gate between the pasture and carport and will have individual stalls with gates built inside the barn.
I ended up making a wood milk stand then buying a metal head stall part.
I decided to start out hand milking so I can become proficient at it before buying a machine. It will be only me milking and I work, so it would mainly be for time saving reasons.
 

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The problem with a milking machine is if you only milk a few goats, there isn't a lot of time saved if you have to wash all the equipment each milking. Hoegger used to sell a belly milker, with only the pan, lid and inflations that needed washing- but I doubt they still sell that.

My personal rule is under 4 goats, hand milk, over- machine! (because I have carpel tunnel, 4 is the max I can milk). Our power goes out, I am toast- milking 65-70 by hand - no way!
 

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Discussion Starter #36
This spring, I'm only milking 3 so hand milking is good. I am planning to keep any does I get from kidding and I have 2 does coming from a breeder next month. I have 2 does now that I didn't breed this past fall because they were a little young still. I will be breeding them next fall.
So, I figure next year, I will be milking at least 7. So maybe it will be feasible then.
I also have Carpal Tunnel, its so annoying sometimes.
 

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We have a large Mini-Nubian and a smallish Nigerian and our stand works for the two. If you cut the space in the stanchion correctly (a wide vertical area) and keep your rail for feed bucket at the right position, it works. We've had a full size goat in milk too. I might make a removable riser several inches high for the Nigerians because it seems like it would be more comfortable. I want to hinge it on to the stand so it folds up and creates a little wall on one side so they feel a little more contained. My goats are leaners.

I've yet to find my perfect bucket system. Sometimes I use a disposable coffee filter (actually tea, I screw it on the jar with the ring), and sometimes a reusable gold coffee filter. When I have my stand in the attached garage it's great- right next to kitchen.
 
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