How to milk a goat

Annie and Jane

Jane is seriously the favorite baby goat this year. I think it has a lot to do with her being a girl. And, with her being Annie’s baby, she is friendlier than the boys are. Except Cal. He has started to come to us when we are outside and lean on us.

I’m glad that Annie is so sweet. She is able to be milked while standing in the barn, with no milk stand. I have plans to make a milk stand, hopefully later this week. I used to have one, but it’s so old, it’s falling apart.

Milking is pretty easy. Well, I guess that depends on your goat. With Annie, it’s easy. With Indy, not so much. We just ended up leaving Sandman with her. I’m wanting to put a video together for milking, but the goats are so short that it will have to wait until I get the stand done. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see anything!

I carry a small basket to the barn (I have got to get something with handles!).

What you need to milk your goats

A roll of dry Paper towels  to wash and dry her udder. Use fresh paper towels for each doe.

Teat dip/cleaning mix:  a mix of Clorox bleach (please use Clorox, other beach is more harsh), Dawn dish soap and water. I use Fias Co Farm’s recipe.

You need a stainless steel milking pan, OR, I use a glass measuring cup. Pyrex, 2 cups, that has been in the freezer for an hour before milking. I also take a large mason jar, so I can empty the cup into it when it gets full (or the doe gets antsy).  This way, if I spill or the goat sticks her foot in it, I don’t lose it all.

Disposable cup for dipping teats. Since I am only milking one doe, I just take the cup I mix the dip in. I then throw it away.

You also need a strip cup. Back at the house, I have a jar that I will strain the milk into and the milk filters. I don’t have a strainer for the milk and I actually use coffee filters or cheesecloth, but it all comes out the same.

So, basically this is my process to milk my goats.

When I get to the barn, I feed Annie. Then, while she begins to eats, I wash her udder and teats with a paper towel dipped in the teat wash. If you need more than one, use a different paper towel, you don’t want to contaminate your wash.

I squirt one stream to check for abnormalities. Any chunks or blood or differences needs to be addressed right away.

I milk her out, but don’t strip the teat. I don’t think it’s necessary, when she is done, she is done.

I then dip the teats in the teat wash cup. This cleans out the bacteria from the teat.

When I get the milk back to the kitchen, I strain the milk from the jar into the container that I will store it in. I then place it in the refrigerator to cool. Fresh milk will store in the fridge for about a week. I freeze mine as well, to use for soap.

I then wash and sanitize all my equipment for next time.

How to milk your goat

I wrap my thumb and forefinger around the top of the teat, close to the udder. This traps milk in the teat. I then tighten my forefinger and then my middle finger and then my ring finger (That’s about all I can get around the Nigerian’s teat since they are small). You don’t want to pull on the teats. It stretches out the muscles and ligaments and it hurts!

You will get a stream of milk. Continue to milk by releasing your fingers and then re-tightening them. Repeat until the goat is milked and the udder is empty (or almost, Annie never lets down all of her milk).

You can milk one side at a time or both at once. It really depends on you and your doe. When I first started milking, it took forever. I was slow, and only milked one side at a time. I still do that once in a while. It takes twice as long, but, it gets done. And really, it’s kind of relaxing. I like the noise that the milk makes when it hits the cup.

Take your milk inside and strain it. Once it’s cool, it doesn’t last long here!

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