Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Milking Process

So, a lot of you have been asking how do you milk the goat, or what's the process of milking a goat. And in this post, I will take you through step by step, of how I milk my goats....

First, I bring all of my clean milking equipment into the garage, where our milking stanchion is located. My milking equipment consists of: a stainless steel milking tote, a saucepan, a kitchen strainer, a strip cup, baby wipes, a brush, and grain and hay for feeding. Next, I bring out the goat from the pen, brush all of the excess hair and hay from her body, and bring her into the garage. Our Alpine, Willow, is pretty good about getting up on the milking stanchion by herself, but sometimes we have to persuade her with a raisin. :) After her head is secured in the stanchion, the milking begins! I use a baby wipe to clean off her udder and teats. I then take the strip cup (a stainless steel cup, with a strainer attached) and squirt a little milk from each teat to test for mastitis. Mastitis is an inflammation of the udder, due to an infection. You can "test" for mastitis by squirting the first milk into the strainer to check for any discoloration, lumps, or funny smells. After that, the real milking begins. After I have milked her dry, I take a baby wipe and clean off her teats. (When you milk an animal, such as a goat, the orifice on the teat expands. You have to make sure you clean it off after milking because bacteria can get in the teat, and cause mastitis) Next, I take the milk in the saucepan, and pour it into a milking tote and cover it with a lid (so that stuff doesn't get in the milk). After that, the goat is released from the stanchion, and put back into the pen. I then bring the milk inside, along with the used milking equipment, and filter the milk into a mason jar. We then weigh the milk and record it. (It is important to record the milk each time.) Next, I put the milk into the freezer for about 30 minutes, so that it can cool down quickly. During that time, I will usually rinse out all of the milking equipment, and submerge it into hot, soapy water, with Clorox. After the 30 minutes are up, I put the milk in the fridge, and by the next day, it will be thoroughly chilled and ready to drink! Lastly, I scrub down the milking gear, and put it on a drying rack so that it can air dry.

Alrighty! That's about it for now... I have posted some more pictures of the process on my flickr account. Enjoy!

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