Milking a goat properly is a challenging feat. While almost anybody can extract milk from a teat, milking goats properly preserves the udder and the milk you strive hard to generate! Most significantly, it is a skill that requires coordination and efficiency, which you have to build correctly over time.
The concept of understanding how to milk a goat is similar to that of riding a bicycle. Although it seems easy initially, you only appreciate the work, energy, and time you need to put in as soon as you start the process. However, getting the hang of it is possible and can be achieved with the right guide.
This article strives to serve as a guide to understanding the process of adequately milking a goat. To start with, we need you to understand the materials that are essential in the process of milking a goat.
Essentials for the Goat’s Milking Process
Whether you want to milk manually or with a milking machine, you will require the following supplies. Although you can buy all of these items from goat supply businesses, you can build your own or find cost-effective alternatives in certain situations. Some of these essentials include the following:
This material is among the essential equipment for household dairy for the goat milking process. Milking into plastic might result in milk with an absurd taste, and it is more challenging to sterilize.
Commercial dairies utilize stainless steel because it is easy to sterilize and has no holes where dirt or germs may hide. They are often cheap and convenient to clean. However, the size and availability of a lid to adequately protect the milk from external germs and bacteria is the milking bucket’s most significant flaw.
A strip cup made of stainless steel with a wire mesh filter above it is essential during this milking process. Before you begin milking, the filter notifies you of the presence of chunky milk, which is usually a clear indication of mastitis.
The initial few squirts from each teat should go into a strip cup before you start milking into a stainless steel bucket. This procedure accomplishes two goals.
You can utilize a black cup to make it easier to spot any problems with my milk. First, it lets you quickly notice any anomalies in the milk, such as blood clots or flecks, which could point to mastitis or other issues. Furthermore, you can promptly clean the teat because the initial few squirts contain the most germs and debris, ensuring you have clean milk to further process.
You must filter this milk before storing it since it will contain goat hair and dust. The filtering process is crucial to eliminate stray hairs or other particles that might have fallen into your milk. While milking, you may drape cheesecloth over the top of the bucket to act as a filter.
However, to maintain hygiene, you must clean and boil this cheesecloth following usage. Additionally, a reusable coffee filter basket and canning funnel function appropriately. Purchasing an actual milk strainer is another option; unfortunately, they demand disposable paper filters.
There are undoubtedly several items in your home that you may use to store milk, such as canning containers with plastic lids or pitchers with lids. Use old milk bottles and carafes, then wrap the caps with aluminum foil.
However, avoid storing milk in plastic because it isn’t hygienic and will develop an odd flavor. Additionally, if the container isn’t covered, the milk will taste funny and form a dry film at the top.
The teats of your goat must be cleaned before and following each milking. The teat dip’s goal is to sterilize the teat’s end before it closes in about 15 to 20 minutes after milking.
Additionally, this procedure clears stray hairs, debris, and possibly hazardous germs from the udder and teats. If you consistently omit this procedure, your milk may include more dirt, and your goat may be more susceptible to mastitis.
It’s uncommon to encounter a dairy goat that will remain calm while you collect its milk without a stand. Most of the time, uncooperative goats will let you properly milk them when you utilize a stanchion.
It’s critical to consider the milk stand’s height. The milk stand must be tall enough to conveniently sit next to your goat and start the milking process while being low enough for the goat to jump onto it conveniently.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Milk a Goat
There are ways to milk a goat, and then there is the proper way to milk a goat. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly milk a goat:
Step 1: Lead the nanny goat carefully and quietly to the milking stand after placing a goat halter.
Step 2: In front of the milking stand, place a modest bucket of snacks or feed for the nanny goat to eat while the procedure is ongoing. To stop the goat from crouching down to retrieve her prize, employ a milking stand with a hanger for the bucket.
Step 3: Tighten the lead strap snugly enough for the goat to stand still to stay upright, but not so firmly that, should she abruptly get agitated, the goat may injure her neck as she writhes about.
Step 4: Place the milk pail at the foot of the stand, close to the nanny goat’s teats.
Step 5: Wear disposable gloves; it’s necessary to put on a new one for each new doe to prevent the transfer of germs from a recently milked udder to other goats.
Step 6: Wash the nanny goat’s teats to remove any dirt, mud, dung, or other material the milk would have to pass through to get to the bucket. Additionally, this time is excellent to examine the teats for any indications of ripping, chafing, swelling, or mastitis infection.
Step 7: After cleaning the teat of dirt and debris, dip it for approximately 30 seconds in.5% iodine.
Step 8: To ensure the milk doesn’t look odd, strip the teat before milking.
i. When stripping, place a strip cup under the udder. Use this cup to filter and gather any somatic milk, clots, debris, etc.
ii. To remove any germs from the flow of goat milk, you should strip the teats two to three times each.
Step 9: Employ the use of a single-use cloth or paper towel just after dipping and stripping the teat before milking the goat.
Step 10: Instead of grabbing the teats, grip them and then softly but firmly pull them down toward the bucket. This pressure harms the nanny goat since it can cause the teats to rip and bulge. Apply equal pressure to the teats; do not pull them to speed up milk production.
Step 11: Wash the nanny goat’s teats off one more after milking them all. To keep the teats naturally moisturized and prevent chafing, apply olive or coconut oil.
Tips and Tricks That Work With Milking a Goat
Here is a list of tips and tricks that could successfully ensure that a goat milking process goes the right way
1. During the milking process, provide the goat with a small grain or their preferred treats. A tasty diversion might help a nanny goat temporarily forget that you have her trapped in a milking stand.
2. To prevent the nanny from becoming upset and aggressive, ensure none of the goats can get close to the milking stand.
It is essential to stop the goat from tossing around. At the same time, the milking process is ongoing to avoid injuries and additional emotional stress brought on by the milking procedure.
3. The nanny goat is likely to fuss when on the milking stand, so it would be wise to maintain one hand on her back legs at all times. This process can aid in avoiding or preventing kicking, which can hurt and topple the pail of milk you are trying to gather.
4. Utilize a smaller bowl to avoid it from tipping over when you are milking a dairy goat with short legs or one that prefers to squat after spending some time in the milking stand or perhaps the entire time.
5. From the moment you walk the goat into the milking stand and place a leash on her until you release her, communicate with her in a comforting and relaxed tone.
To get the goat securely onto the milking stand and sustain her as a willing participant rather than an adversary, you must maintain your composure regardless of how much she struggles with you.
6. Avoid approaching the milking procedure like you’re trying to be aggressive. Allowing oneself to become or display agitation is likely to make the goat even more upset, and nothing positive will result from that. The goat must be controlled so milk can flow into a pail without spilling.
7. To hold a nanny steady while in the milking stand, goat hobbles are another option that may be bought or made. Use the hobbles to hold the goat in position before, during, and after milking.
Milking a goat can seem like a lot, especially for an inexperienced person. However, following the appropriate guide, tips, and tricks ensures that this process becomes easy and gives off the best results.