Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goat Milking 101

A couple months ago, our family started drinking goats-milk. There were several reasons for doing this. I have goats, they have milk, and... why not? Then I researched a bit and found out that fresh goat milk is actually quite good for you. There's lots of good stuff in it.

So, here is my lesson in goat milking.

First of all, you'll need one of these
...lots of this
plenty of fresh water
and a bucket.
This bucket is just slightly over-kill for milking a goat but it works.
Also, a handy milk stand is a must.
I built this one myself, thank you, thank you very much.
Having a few helpers for moral support is nice, although annoying at times...but cute none-the-less.

Once you have all your supplies, your ready to milk. Hopefully you have a cooperative goat that won't kick and scream on the way to the stand as if going to the gallows. Thankfully, most goats cooperate nicely. They get a nice quite meal and it provides a great deal of relief for them.
Once you've got your goat secured on the stand, the fun can begin. If you happen to have three assistants, it is at this point that they will become very excited and impatient. They will wonder why in the world you are taking pictures when such critical proceedings are imminent.
Make sure you have a good balance of grains to feed your goat while she patiently allows you to collect her milk.
A nice, patient goat makes this event pleasant for both of you. She is, after all, allowing you to become quite intimate with her. Be kind, go slowly and thank her for her generosity.
Beg her pardon and begin by cleaning the teats with a clean moist towel.
Then, gently but firmly, compress the teat with your hand; starting at the top and working your way down. It takes some practice but is easy to pick up on with just a little effort.
You will be amazed, if you are anything like me, at the volume of milk that will begin to freely flow.
Periodically, squirt some milk on the milk stand for your helpers. This will keep them happy and out of your bucket.
It also creates an outpouring of brotherly love and community service as they assist one another in their efforts.
Everyone comes away from the experience with a great deal of satisfaction.

Your milk will need to be strained. As careful as you may be, it is very common for a stray goat hair or other debris to fall into your milk pail. A coffee filter and sieve work very well for this task.
A well-fed and cared for goat will produce about 2 quarts of milk per milking. It is best to do this twice a day. I like keeping mine in smaller containers so each milking can be kept separate. A container with a lid is ideal so you can shake the milk before pouring. There really is nothing quite like a cold glass of fresh goats milk. You can read here for more information on why it is beneficial.


The Heartbeats said...

This is very cool! Again I ask myself why do I live in a city? I grew up in more of a rural setting and miss it desperately. I LOVE the picture of the kittens, puppy and milk together.

Lana said...

What a wonderful post! I would have loved to have been there to help you take the pictures, but they are absolutely precious, especially those of all your helpers! Great job!

Ott, A. said...

What great pictures. You have a lovely blog which a blogging buddy told me about and I'm so glad she did. Happy to be your newest follower!