dairying supplies on a budget...greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Our goats arreiv earlier than we thought-we live on a very tight budget and a stainless steel milking bucket for goats is not in it till tax time. I found something I thought might work temporarily-what do you think?
It is in the Lehmans catalog, called a combinet. It is more or less an enamalware tote used to haul the contents of the chamber pot to be disposed of...good think it is new and never used! I like not just the price, but that it has straight sides and holds 13 qt. And a lid. So would it work?
My ither supplies are on order-can I use a bleach water for a teat spray temporarily? What strength? For the strip cup-would enamal ware work too? I have one of those-new and not used.
Milk stand is not done yet-we are improvising temporarily....I think it will work. It is going to warm up-which will make it much nicer!
Our local cow dairies are using something on their cows teats and udders to prevent freezing problems-do I need to do this too? what do you use?
Okay off to milk again...I am having fun! Even with the nasty cold/flu thingy I have had the last 24 hours.
Peace and blessings, Sarah
-- Sarah (email@example.com), January 02, 2001
Sarah, there are several products that can be bought locally. If you have a Target near you they have some nice inexpensive Stainless steel Milk buckets for under $20. Also Walmart has a small enamelware bucket for like $8. They sell it in their camping section. It has a nice lid. the ones at Target are particularly nice and I bought one a few months ago and posted about it. The one I bought has a closing lid with rubber gasket that insures that I don't spill on my way back from the milking shed.
Other great dairying on the cheap tips are, that you can cut through milk stone by soaking your equipment in Vinegar and water for 1/2 hour once or twice a week. Also I took a great tip from JD in his Raising Small Livestock Book, and use iodine based udderwash to sterilize my equipment. Just make sure you soak it for at least five minutes as it takes that long to kill the germs. I consulted with a qualified chemist on this one, and was told that it is Absolutely sufficient. By the way in case you are reading JD, thank you for that book. I can't tell you how many times I'veused that book to get me through. The first day I sat down and milked a goat I had your book in my hand.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 02, 2001.
Sarah if you are going to use a metal container to milk into, the stainless steel is really the only way to go. Now having said that I do have an alternative till you can afford the stainless steel....jars. If you can find something like a pickle jar it would be easier to milk into. When I had goats I had a regular mouth half gallon jar that I used. With glass you can sanitize it thoroughly,and with a jar there isn't a big opening for debris to fall into. Actually it doesn't have to be a milk pail as long as it is stainless steel and seamless it would work fine. Maybe a smaller stock pot from Wal-Mart? I use bleach for an udder wash. What I did was take a 5 gallon bucket (only size I had handy) and put a couple of gallons of hot water(you probably won't need as much water with a goat..I was using it on a cow but the ratio is the same) in it and about 1/8(approximate) cup of CLOROX bleach. Don't use the cheapo stuff. Wash udder with a cloth then dry with either paper towels or a clean cloth. I kept my udder rags separate and washed them in hot soapy water with a bit of bleach. Don't improvise on the teat dip that is used after you are through milking. Buy a quart off of your local dairy till yours comes in. You don't need a strip cup at all. It isn't hard to check for mastitis. Just direct the first couple of squirts gently across your flat palm. Look for lumps or large specks. It shows up real easy this way. I always thought strip cups were a waste of money and just something else to keep up with. Not sure what the dairies are using to prevent freezing problems. I used to work at a dairy in Sullivan Mo and there was plenty of ice and snow on the ground and we didn't put anything special on the cows. I'd say just make sure they have somewhere they can lay down that isn't on ice and snow...preferably with straw for them to lay on. If you have any questions just email me. Good luck.
-- Amanda in Mo (email@example.com), January 02, 2001.
I'd get some Bag Balm too. Our Jersey cow feels unloved if we don't put that on her teats after each milking. It's good for scratches on the udder too. We find it at Walmart for about $5.00, it comes in a green tin box. I think we get more milk when we brush her and treat her "special" Has anyone else noticed that in your dairy animals? Our girl is dry right now, I'm getting itchy to make cheese!
-- Cathey (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 02, 2001.
Our first goats were a real experiment for us. There are no police checking on what you use at home so relax and improvise - the animal doesn't care what you use. I used a ceramic gallon crock. The pickle jar is also a good idea - a kitchen pot like a small stock pot you can buy at a discount store for a few bucks would work really well and you could even run it through a dishwasher if you have one. I like multi-use items.
Don't forget to filter your milk. To strain the milk, bounty (other brands just don't seem to work) paper towels in a colander (run that through a dishwasher too) do a great job. You could also use a really clean pillowcase, unused cloth diapers, just improvise. I use antibacterial dish soap when I have nothing else on the teats, I wouldn't want to use bleach.
Now freezing weather is something we deal with all the time. We use an udder cream for our cows teats. It keeps them from getting chapped and offers them a great deal of relief, especially during sub-zero weather. If you live in a cold climate you want kenag -50 to put on you milkers. It is available through American Livestock - they are online but I don't have their address right on hand - if you can't find it you can e-mail me and I'll dig it up. Put udder cream on after milking.
Good luck and enjoy your goats - ps when it was really, really cold I'd milk them in the house - no reason to suffer you know.
Don't be afraid of your milk. Keep your animals clean, keep your equipment clean, scrub it up when you're done and you shouldn't have any problem. If you are really concerned - pasturize it.
-- Anne Tower (email@example.com), January 02, 2001.
Stainless steel stock pots or the spegetti pot size you probably already have in your cupboard. You can also just milk into the large pyrex glass measuring cup with the handle it would certainly take alot to break it! The enamel ware that is camping equipment is a great idea! When you can afford it buy the milk bucket from Hoeggers with the half moon stainless lid, it will last forever, and is some truly fine workmanship! I use baby wet ones to clean the udder before I milk, always shave the udders, belly, and rear, which keeps your milk cleaner from the beginning. And either in a spary bottle or dishwashing liquid bottle, use water and about a tablespoon of Chlorox, (it should not smell strong) to flood or spray the complete teat with after milking. This disenfects the teat orifice and helps to close it. Antibacterial dish soaps are only antibacterial if used straight from the container, diluted with water and it isn't anitbacterial anymore, read the label! I love comfrey salve, (though I did try a recipe posted on here to make it, I didn't like it, went back to the health food store for another tub)for this time of the year, and keep the tub in my barn coat so it stays warm and soft. I also have never used a strip cup, I run CMT on every doe in milk the first of every month. I strain into stainless steel screens my husband found for me, though the stainers they sell in Lehmans would be nice. Good luck with your milking! Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 02, 2001.
Get yourself a little stainless steel pot with a lid. 4 quarts should do nicely unless you have a whale of a goat! Cut a chunk out of the lid so it gets the half-moon shape. I cut mine with a Dremel tool. So there's your milking bucket.
For peace of mind, I use a small, solid black mug from the thrift store for a strip cup.
At the kitchen stores, they sell a Big Mouth funnel. It just fits into a wide mouth canning jar, and it has a strainer that snaps into the bottom (and holds a milk filter nicely). It's plastic. I've been using mine for two years, washing it thoroughly with homemade soap after each use, and it's still squeaky clean and in good shape. I think they run between 5 and 10 dollars. I use the 4-9/16" filters from Jeffers, at about three cents each, but until my first shipment arrived, I used sheet squares and just washed them with soap after each use, then when I had a few, I'd boil them. Real milk filters let the milk through a lot faster than sheets, by the way.
I got a 2-gallon bucket from the bakery section of the grocery store and have a few pint-size tupperwares in the freezer making ice. When I milk, I fill the bucket with cold water and ice chunks until a half-gallon jar fully immersed will bring the water level up to the bottom of the jar neck. The bucket will hold two jars. Take the bucket, jars, filter, milk bucket, strip cup and wash bucket out to the barn (the towels are already out there). Filter the milk into the jars after each goat, then put the jar into the water immediately so it can chill while you milk the next one. Very clean equipment and quick chilling will protect the flavor of your milk. Also, in case no one has told you, giving your does free choice baking soda keeps the milk sweet tasting.
I also used the Clorox water as an after-milking teat dip until the real thing arrived, but found it quite drying.
-- Laura Jensen (email@example.com), January 03, 2001.
>>At the kitchen stores, they sell a Big Mouth funnel. It just fits into a wide mouth canning jar, and it has a strainer that snaps into the bottom (and holds a milk filter nicely). It's plastic. <<<
I just saw a stainless steel one with the strainer at a kitchen store in a mall over the holidays. Wasn't sure what I would use it for ... I think I will go back and pick it up. It was $9.95 if I remember rightly.
-- westbrook (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.
Sarah, any heavy (so as not to break too easily) glass container wide enough to milk into will work. Also, you don't need any fancy expensive "washes", plain hot as you can stand it soapy water and clean laundered towel to wash the udder, then dry with clean laundered terry toweling will work better, and with less residual chemicals than all those fancy products! Any good quality non petroleum based hand cream will work on the udder for frost protection and general udder conditioner after milking. How do you think our Grandparents did it before all these expensive chemical laden products came along :-) ?
-- Annie Miller (email@example.com), January 03, 2001.
I use a pyrex measuring cup, the large size that holds 2 qts, to milk into, and pour each goat's milk into the stainless steel bucket. That way, if a doe gets ornery and kicks the milk over, I don't lose ALL the milk! The pyrex cup is also nice because you can see how much milk you are getting, and where the foam line begins. I recommend a stainless steel bucket as soon as you can afford it. Get a good, heavy, seamless one, not a cheapo $8.99 one that might be plated or lightweight and will dent up. A good bucket should last your lifetime, and be passed down to someone else,too. I have never used a strip cup. It is pretty apparent to me when my girls have mastitis. For a strainer, you can use a funnel, do not skimp on the milk filters. Coffee filters are painstakingly slow, and cloth lets all the sediment through, if there is any. You don't notice it until it has set for a while and it sinks to the bottom. I also don't use any teat dip or spray- every time I have tried to every doe got mastitis, which it is supposed to prevent! I guess we all have to do what works for us.
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.
I sure miss having goats. I am lactose intolerant and grew up on goat milk. When we milked all we did was make sure the udder was reasonably clean (we didn't shave or use any wash, but I don't recall my goat having much udder hair) and we milked right into a stainless steel pan. I guess is was really a mid sized mixing bowl, like you can get at better kitchen supply stores. Then my mom strained it with paper towels and put the milk into those gallon glass pickle jars. None of us ever had a problem and the milk raised 3 kids (human) and lots of pups, pigs, goat kids, etc.
-- elle (email@example.com), January 03, 2001.
For a strainer I use good quality paer towel folded over in a very fine stainless steel kitchen strainer. I strain it into a pyrex glass measure and then pour from there into quart jars. I also follow someones tip to put the milk in the freezer with the lid OFF for an hour. My milk tastes great and I haven't gotten any sediment or anything. I use a stainless steel cannister from Target that has a stainless cover so that on my return from the barn nothing blows into the milk and it doesn't slosh out. I believe it cost 8 or 9 dollars. this has worked just dandy for 2 years now.
For the udders after milking I sometimes just give the udder some regular human hand cream that can be picked up for a dollar or so. Not eveyday, but maybe every other day.
And DO NOT be afraid of the milk...at first I was! Enjoy...
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2001.
Sarah , Good day and how are the girls milking today? i was a dairy herdmens for a 400 cow dairy for 6 years and another one for 4 years and we owned 23 cows of our own. I can tell you from experience that teat dips and clorine bleach are caustic and can and will with extended exposure cause inverted teat ends due to the drying agent of the chemicals.comerical dairies use them to control bacteria both before and after milking.Teats need 20 minutes after milking for the orfices to completely close.Animals that are fed imediately after milking and not allowed to lay down have less insidence of mastitis than animals that are not.You have to remember that anything applied to the teats has bacteria especially your hands. so air drying is best
-- Diane Brown (email@example.com), January 08, 2001.
Guess I'm the odd one out. When I milked as a teenager, I used a 3 qt plastic bucket that mom ran through the dishwasher between milkings. (The dry heat part stearlized). If Becky (my goats) teats seemed to be suffering, I rubbed on bag balm. I washed her udder with dove soap and water before milking. My "milking stand" was the iron tracks of the catapillar (land moving tractor) we had. They were about 2 feet wide, had metal "steps" on both ends that Becky climbed up. I set food in front of her, she ate and I milked.
That's all. I milked her for 3 years. Never had a problem. Was I lucky, or is it really not all that complicated?
-- Marty (Mrs.Puck@Excite.com), January 08, 2001.
Marty you are right it really isn't that complicated. The problem is, when you give an answer like this, they will be back in a month complaining about bad tasting milk. And our poor goats just have enough bad PR as it is! So you try to explain about cleanliness, and the basics are really a clean udder, and clean milking buckets, and how many folks are going to run the dishwasher between morning and night milkings? I don't even have one! The same folks who are not going to use a commercial teat dip, so clorox and water is the next best, it even kills the HIV virus. Causing inverted teats, never seen them in 15 years of milking goats. Chapped teats? Sure! Just like my hands get chapped, I love comfrey salve and some of the bag balms aren't greasy. That's what is great about this forum, everyone answers with what works for them!
I recently visited a 4H farm near here where the mom was complaining about the milk not keeping. I came out during chore time, and tasted the morning milk, it was fine, but the milk from the previous evening was already goaty. I watched the girls milk, all was fine, until the oldest daughter finished before her sister, poured her milk into an uncovered stainless steel tote, and proceeded to sweep off her milk stand and rake the ground while her sister was finishing milking. I started sneezing, and told the sister to look in the air at all the particles floating everywhere, into my nose :) and into the milk. Case solved... Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2001.