how to milk a goat

We're breeding our Nubians for the first time this fall, and they're more spirited than our Alpine. That means I stopped trying to milk them like a cow. You trap the milk in the teat, then you squeeze the teat, and the milk has nowhere to go but out the orifice on the bottom. So the goats associate it with negative experiences and want nothing to do with it after freshening. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. Give Delilah about a week to adjust to her kid being gone, and if she is making more than you need, you can go to once a day milking. Put the milk bucket on the base of the stand just under the nanny goat’s teats. This homesteading skill is a must-have if you raise your own backyard goats. How do we teach the goat to remain standing while we milk? They’re sharing their milk with me because they want to, not because I’m bigger and stronger and am taking it by force. You can either use a hanging scale for the bucket after you milk each doe, or you can set the large pale on a digital scale and zero it before you add the new milk. How exciting! The milking activity will take 12 to 15 minutes per doe, plus milk preparation time. If we are milking more than about five goats, we don’t actually weigh each doe’s milk every day. To transition her goats from being milked by hand to being milked by a machine, Holloway turned on the machine while milking them by hand, then eased them onto the machine over time. When our herd got too big to put every dry doe on the milk stand every day, I started putting them on the milk stand as early as possible after freshening. So, if you just brought home your first kids this spring and won’t be milking until next year, keep reading! She used a goat-milking machine for about a year before it broke and she had to milk her goats by hand for a week until she could fix it — that's when she started hand-milking her goats full time. Small Roll Top Pack Goat Panniers. If she has extra, that’s great. Now that you are ready to actually milk the goat … Trap the milk in the teat by pressing your thumb against the teat, which presses the teat against your hand. With a cow or goat that gives a gallon or more, you don’t get breaks, and that makes a huge difference. In the future, I’d suggest milking both sides in the morning after an overnight separation. I don't have goats at the moment, but hope to in the future. Because there is one way to milk long teats — wrap all four fingers around the teats and squeeze from the top down. By the time they’ve got it figured out, she could be almost dried up. Sure, sometimes goat milk can taste different, especially if you just gave your goat a full head of garlic, however, if you know the secret to delicious tasting goat milk you would be pleasantly surprised at just how amazing it does taste. The variation you use here will usually be dictated by how long the teats are. Unsubscribe at any time. Some goats will reach that by 7 months, but some may take 18 months. She sat on her udder when we tried to milk out some colostrum to freeze. You’re not going for volume. Pasteurization doesn’t help because dead bacteria don’t taste any better than live bacteria. How does this process work for a herd? During milking discard first few squeezes of milk. Doesn’t matter whether you pick morning or evening. If a goat has only a single, you really need to either be milking twice a day without separating or separating overnight and milking every morning, or you’ll have a very wimpy milk supply because she will only produce enough for that one kid. I suggest, however, that you stop using these strong-arm tactics as soon as possible because they’re time-consuming and stressful for both you and the goat. If you give up now, it will be much harder later on. Between daily milking, special nutrition management, and the mandatory breeding necessary to maintain milk production, keeping a dairy herd is a big commitment. There are many goat milk benefits, including making goat cheese or learning how to make goat milk soap. I don’t sell a doe in milk to anyone without milking experience unless I am selling a kid with her. It’s probably a combination of the two. If it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to force blood out of the bottom of your finger, you’re not squeezing tightly enough. When I’m teaching people to milk here — whether it’s adults or an 8-year-old — I show them what I mean by doing the same motion on their pointer finger. It is best to sanitize equipment 30 minutes or fewer before use. New owners are falling in love with their goat’s affectionate demeanor, quirky personalities, and of course, their delicious milk. If you are bottle raising kids, the does tend to be completely mellow about being milked because they don’t know any other way. And in the name of DIY and being the naturally frugal people that we are (you can see how we paid off our house in 5 years , or bought our new farmhouse with cash ), we decided to build one ourselves, using these plans and utilizing many materials we already had on hand. The first few squirts have a higher bacteria level than the other milk because harmless skin bacteria are around and in the orifice (the opening) of the teats. Although I milk a Nigerian dwarf in the video, you can use the same techniques for standard size goats. OR wrap your other fingers around the teat to force the milk out of the orifice. Your email address will not be published. That fresh cup of milk is only a few steps away… I can already taste it. They are very smart and never forget. Thank you for this very useful post! For now, feel free to continue reading. Or should I wait until she has been in with my other 2 goats a couple of week’s? Even though it’s harmless and won’t make you sick, it is what causes that “goaty” flavor that some people assume is normal in goat milk. In fact, once I figured out how to milk them, I preferred milking them to a cow or a standard size milk goat with longer teats. Related products. If not, just squeeze the teats anyway, even if you only get drops. This is because I have really big hands and my pinky would get milk all over it. One quart of milk is plenty for us. When pulling down be sure to leave your thumb and index finger in place, but you’ll squeeze your remaining fingers and the palm of your hand together as you pull down. OR wrap your pointer finger tightly around the teat. Basically keep going until she at least calms down and lets you milk her. I’m milking Delilah in the mornings and getting about a quart of milk from one side. All equipment and utensils should be thoroughly washed in water between 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8-48.9 degrees Celsius), using an alkaline-based or chlorinated cleaner. Because this milk can contain bacteria. Why? Sanitize everything that you will be using. Be sure to check out my Beginner’s Guide to Goats — The sooner, the better — measured in hours, not days or weeks. We’ve only ever done this once, and it was with a LaMancha that my daughter had sworn to “never milk again” after the doe exploded on the milk stand and sent half a gallon of milk into the daughter’s lap. If you have one that lays down, you can have your helper hold up her back end, or you can put something very large under her chest. If you are getting quite a bit less than that in three milking, then keep milking until you are getting at least as much (or more) as what she was getting — or until you decide it’s not worth the extra effort. I bought mine on amazon but they drive me nuts not fitting nicely. Milking machines vary from a simple hand pump that milks one animal at a time to an electric pump that can milk two or more goats at once. Pain and discomfort can caused to your goats due to waiting too long for milking a lactating doe. They usually drop about 30% production when you go to once a day. To practice milking without fear of injuring the goat, use a rubber glove filled with water and tied shut at the top. If a doe has two or more kids, do not start separating them from mom overnight on a regular basis until they are two months old. Don’t be hard on yourself if you get more milk on yourself than in the bucket and if it takes 15 minutes to get a cup of milk the first few times. But can goat’s milk supply all of your dairy needs? Without anyone to teacher her, she learned a lot of her farming techniques from Reddit, which earned her the nickname, “the internet farmer" amongst some of the other local farmers for awhile. (More on that later.). Homesteading Tips On How To Properly Milk A Goat. Some people say that milking a Nigerian dwarf is harder than standard goats. Milking goats is time consuming, so before purchasing dairy goats it’s good to know what you’re getting into. Here’s a video that shows you the step-by-step process for milking a goat and handling the milk afterwards. When a doe’s kids are sold, her milk supply naturally decreases because her hormone levels change, so you will probably see about a 30% drop in production after the kid is gone. My daughter actually studied this when working on her PhD in biological chemistry. ↓↓↓↓↓↓ CLICK “SHOW MORE” FOR RESOURCES ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓This is how you milk a dairy goat. Required fields are marked *. Goat’s milk is not just healthy for a new born baby, but it is also a healthy option for a … This is training. You may think that only you need to learn to milk a goat, but it’s not a natural thing for a goat to let a human take her milk. Learn how to milk a goat, and you will have your own source of fresh, healthy milk for you, your family and a neighbor or two. So, before we talk about how you milk a goat, let’s talk about how you teach a goat to become a milker. What Is the CDT Vaccine and Why Is It Important for Sheep and Goats? It’s about supply and demand, and a single kid will demand as much as it can, but it it’s still nowhere near as much as what twins would consume. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the real answer is to start training your goat to the milk stand months before you plan to milk her. Want to know how to milk a goat? My weekly newsletter includes recipes and articles on homesteading, raising livestock, health, and gardening. This post contains affiliate links. I’ll just leave it there until she stops kicking. Makes perfect sense no kids currently on her they have been weaned for a long while now she’s giving around 7.1 lbs a day ! You can call your does by name and they'll come to the milk room, jump on the stand and put their head in their feed bucket, allowing you to squeeze out long streams of steaming milk. Milking a goat by hand is very easy. The concept is very simple. Your pinky finger may not be strong enough to actually do much, so if it needs to just hang out, that’s fine too. Thrifty Homesteader is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I had a la mancha that would give a quart a day while nursing two kids without ever being separated. Also, since you don’t usually get more than a quart out of one at a single milking, your hands get a couple of minutes rest before moving on to the next goat and milking out the next few cups of milk. Maybe your children are looking for a 4-H project. But any other reason not to? I know I have big dreams and I’ll have a reality check later. This is totally new to her, so she just needs to understand that you’re not going to hurt her. Someone will need to hold up her back end for now. It sounds like a scale in the milking parlor is the way to go. You haven’t separated the kids, and you’re not going for milk volume here. We've been lucky so far, fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that jazz. There is not real right or wrong way to milk as long as you are getting the milk out of the goat without injuring them. I understand. You should milk both sides equally. However, you  may only get a few squirts, and that’s fine. But it’s been years since we’ve had a doe that took longer than three or four days to settle down and let us milk her. Your email address will not be published. Fighting with a goat or hitting a goat is a bad idea. This is all about training. Previously we have described about how to milk a goat. I was caring for a friend’s goats who have never allowed anyone to milk them and I don’t want to find myself in that predicament. The first thing I do is just put her on the milk stand and let her eat, and I’ll put my hand on her udder. If you are not able to get out any milk, then once the kids are a month old, separate the kids as late in the evening as you can so that they will only be separated for about 8 hours before you milk in the morning. Use a milk stand and a head catch and … Her goal was to create a filter to remove the bacteria, which she was able to do, but the problem was the filter also removed the butterfat. How to Milk a Goat A Beginner's Guide. Even if you already keep backyard chickens or are raising rabbits for meat, that doesn We at know you will enjoy this course, and milk like a pro! The doe needs to have goat feed to eat on the stand while you’re milking. If you start on day one, this type of behavior is usually very short-lived — as in minutes, rather than days, if you wait. Check out this article on how many kids a doe can feed for more information on this. If you use these links to make a product purchase, I may receive a commission. She’ll start to kick at my hand, but I won’t move it. (We have a dozen now!) However, that’s not usually possible. If you get it done in the next month or two, you might still be able to find a few goats for sale. Put her on the milk stand twice a day and “milk” for a couple of minutes, just for practice. But as they say, it’s the tone of voice that’s important, so if you can talk soothingly while reciting the ABCs or the weather forecast, go for it. We’re hoping to get goats next year. Great advice! To use goat milk as an alternative feed source requires that th… We do it about every week or so unless it seems that a doe gave quite a bit less than usual, then we weigh it. As you quickly pull down, you should get a solid stream of milk. If their kids are the only ones getting the milk, then they think that the kids are the only ones that should be getting it. If a doe is raising her own kids, you are not necessarily going for volume when you milk her, although I’ve had goats that would produce more than their kids could consume. With my Nigerians, I have three different techniques that I use to milk them, so when a couple of fingers get tired, I can switch to a different technique without missing a beat. The Beginners Guide to Training Pack Goats, 23 Reasons Why You Should Raise Goats in Your Homestead, How to Train Your Goats to Use a Litter Box (and Save $40 Easily), Kiko Goat: Breed Info, Characteristics, Breeding, and Care, How to Handle the Odd Behavior of a Goat Buck in Rut, 31 Goat Breeds for Milk, Meat, & Fiber You’ll Need on the Farm, Kalahari Red Goat: Breed Info, Characteristics, Breeding, and Care, The Complete Guide to Choosing Dairy Goat Stock, Angora Goat: Breed Info, Characteristics, Breeding, and Care, 12 Easy Ways to Get Your Goats Ready for Winter and the Freezing Cold, Spanish Goat: Breed Info, Characteristics, and Care.

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