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how to milk a goat

January 16, 2021

I am getting my first dairy goat this Saturday this is I believe her 3rd freshing you say to milk 3x a day the owner agreed but how long should I milk 3x a day? Now all you have to do is build a fence & shelter, purchase a goat (or 20), buy some food, breed your goat, wait for your goat to deliver babies, wait 2 weeks, then you can milk your goat! 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. Someone will need to hold up her back end for now. 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. 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. Disclosure. Some people say that you should let the doe lick birth fluid off your hands and she’ll let you milk her, but that’s not necessary. If you don’t have a helper, you can hobble a goat. If not, just squeeze the teats anyway, even if you only get drops. Hopefully you got more than one goat because they are herd animals and are rarely happy when alone. This post contains affiliate links. I love all the great benefits I get from them. They are very smart and never forget. Perhaps you have always dreamed of providing your family’s milk supply. That means I stopped trying to milk them like a cow. Thank you! Also she’s in a DHIP so she’s constantly checking production I will definitely weigh it and see where she’s at and compare thank you so much for the advice. Do you take the milk from each goat into the kitchen to filter and weigh one by one? If you have brought home a doe in milk that was just taken away from her kids this morning, however, you don’t have time for this type of training because you need to milk that goat tonight! Then I have them practice on my finger before trying it on a goat. We at PackGoats.com know you will enjoy this course, and milk like a pro! This is totally new to her, so she just needs to understand that you’re not going to hurt her. When I am milking a goat with really small teats, I may milk with just two fingers. 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. A goat that raises her own kids and misbehaves on the milk stand is simply expressing very strong mothering instincts. Great advise! 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 ! So you would be ensuring that she’d produce as much as possible if you took whatever was left over once a day. At least one of your knows how it works. There are dozens of different ideas on how to clean the udder, but we have used nothing other than a wet washcloth, using a clean quadrant for each doe. By the time they’ve got it figured out, she could be almost dried up. 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. I’m not sure if we’ve become that good at training them, or if we just culled all the lines that were not good at raising their kids and letting us milk them. I don’t recommend bottle raising kids if you don’t know how to milk because you won’t be able to get the doe empty when you’re learning, and it’s all a matter of supply and demand. Then I learned how to milk them. 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. 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. Single kids also tend to be quite chunky because they can have all the milk they want. Milking a goat is the most important part for you if you are raising a few goats for fresh milk supply. My weekly newsletter includes recipes and articles on homesteading, raising livestock, health, and gardening. How exciting! I’m milking Delilah in the mornings and getting about a quart of milk from one side. The kid can have everything the doe produces all day long, so is getting about 50% of the production that way. 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. Milking a well-trained goat is a pleasure. Even if you already keep backyard chickens or are raising rabbits for meat, that doesn 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. You’re not going for volume. But any other reason not to? Just get as much as you can before the doe loses patience. What Is the CDT Vaccine and Why Is It Important for Sheep and Goats? And all those people who talk about the birth fluid thing also bottle raise kids. For milking a goat, simply put both of your thumb and forefinger around their teat, right up against the udder. However, that’s not usually possible. Required fields are marked *. Thank you! Just building our stanchion now. She sat on her udder when we tried to milk out some colostrum to freeze. She feels that the milk is for her babies, so she is trying to stop you from taking it from them just as she would butt away another kid that tried to nurse off her. I raised Boer goats for years in 4H as a kid, but I recently decided to jump into dairy goats because I love goats milk everything!! The bottom line is that if you’re milking them from day one when their hormones are raging, they think that you milking them is just as normal as their kids nursing. Unsubscribe at any time. And even though I “complain” about my goats beating down the milking parlor door — some of them jump on the door while waiting their turn — and fighting to get in ahead of the other goats, I really would not have it any other way. Here’s a video that shows you the step-by-step process for milking a goat and handling the milk afterwards. First, let’s talk about what to avoid. Be sure to check out my Beginner’s Guide to Goats — https://thriftyhomesteader.com/a-beginners-guide-to-goats/. 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. To practice milking without fear of injuring the goat, use a rubber glove filled with water and tied shut at the top. Below is a short video of how to milk a goat: It sounds quite a hustle and effort-some but a milk breed goat raised as a pet does not have boosted or enhanced nourishment, making it produce less amount of milk than an average farm or livestock milk breed goat. 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. So the goats associate it with negative experiences and want nothing to do with it after freshening. It means they trust me and want to be milked. With a cow or goat that gives a gallon or more, you don’t get breaks, and that makes a huge difference. The doe needs to have goat feed to eat on the stand while you’re milking. 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. This is your learning experience. A very full udder is much harder to milk than one that’s only moderately full. Before milking into a bucket for human consumption, you need to clean the udder and put the first few squirts into a strip cup. 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. I had a la mancha that would give a quart a day while nursing two kids without ever being separated. Check out this article on how many kids a doe can feed for more information on this. However, you  may only get a few squirts, and that’s fine. Can you provide a link to the funnel and filters you use? Why? 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. If you just keep refilling her grain on the milk stand, she could wind up with an upset rumen and diarrhea. So I lucked into a mature doe that’s been bred for my first addition (she is fairly close to kidding – a month or two away) and I was curious about finding a friend for her so close to her due date. 1. 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. 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. 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. Some people would like to start a home business based on goat milk. Want to know how to milk a goat? For a few goats or a small herd, you don't need to use any auto or electric milker. Goat’s milk is not just healthy for a new born baby, but it is also a healthy option for a … The milk breed of goats produces a lot of milk, dealing a lot of pain. 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. 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. We have a goat who just had her first kids yesterday. This is because I have really big hands and my pinky would get milk all over it. In the future, I’d suggest milking both sides in the morning after an overnight separation. How do we teach the goat to remain standing while we milk? One thing that we often take for granted is how to actually milk a goat.It is a task that most people, including me actually had to practice before mastering it. Would it be possible and safe for all involved to milk a goat without separating the kid(s)? Do that for a few days, and then start milking a little bit. 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. Your email address will not be published. Your email address will not be published. Learn how to milk a goat, particularly small breeds like Nigerian Dwarf goats.This beginner’s guide to milking discusses everything you need to know. If she is leaving behind kids, her production will drop more than if she was only being milked, so keep that in mind also. Their teats also vary greatly in size depedning on breed and genetics. You won’t be able to get all of the milk, and that’s fine. Because this milk can contain bacteria. Until after her quarantine period is up? Wash the teats of the nanny goat to make sure they are not caked with dirt, mud, feces, or debris of any type that the milk will have to flow through to reach the bucket. Previously we have described about how to milk a goat. I leave the other side for her 5 month old baby, but I would like to sell the baby now. A regular goat milking routine is a must when you are managing a herd of dairy goats.So, it’s important to know ‘how often do goats need milking’. 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 amazon.com. Practice. Then put the doe back with her kids, and they’ll take care of getting the rest of milk. Homesteading Tips On How To Properly Milk A Goat. If you are squeezing and no milk is coming out, that means you don’t have a good seal at the top of the teat and the milk is going back up into the udder. I understand. If you are just learning to milk, it can be helpful to have someone hold one of the hind legs because most goats cannot kick the bucket over if they only have three legs on the milk stand. She’ll start to kick at my hand, but I won’t move it. You are brilliant! You can mix alfalfa crumbs or alfalfa pellets into her grain so that she’ll have more to eat, and you’ll have more time to milk. OR wrap your other fingers around the teat to force the milk out of the orifice. We’re hoping to get goats next year. Pasteurization doesn’t help because dead bacteria don’t taste any better than live bacteria. This is all about training. Great advice! 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. I don't have goats at the moment, but hope to in the future. This is not only for the kids’ benefit but for yours! I always start with something simple and don’t move on to anything more complicated unless simple proves to not work. We won't send you spam. ↓↓↓↓↓↓ CLICK “SHOW MORE” FOR RESOURCES ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓This is how you milk a dairy goat. Wasn’t able to finish the goat barn this year so looking to have goat next Spring! Another course you may be interested in is our How to Raise a Baby Goat Course. There are many good reasons for raising dairy goats, and this article is the best place to start for more information about the best goats for milk. Goat’s milk has been consumed for thousands of years, and in recent years, goats are making a strong comeback. A goat is a four legged animal which is a close relative of sheep. I’ll just leave it there until she stops kicking. It sounds like a scale in the milking parlor is the way to go. I completely understand the frustration of learning to milk when you have an uncooperative goat — and in 2002, I gave up on my second goat and quit milking her after only a week. After trapping the milk in the teat, press your other fingers against the teat, which presses the teat against your hand. It multiplies quickly, which is why the milk tastes worse as it gets older. If we are milking more than about five goats, we don’t actually weigh each doe’s milk every day. If you get it done in the next month or two, you might still be able to find a few goats for sale. Or should I wait until she has been in with my other 2 goats a couple of week’s? Maybe your children are looking for a 4-H project. You want them to associate the milk stand with happy times and positive images, so that they will be beating down the door to get into the milking parlor — really. Milking goats is time consuming, so before purchasing dairy goats it’s good to know what you’re getting into. They never received grain anywhere else. Once in awhile you will find a doe that really needs to be milked one a day because she produces a lot more than the kids can consume. How does this process work for a herd? Should I just let the doeling’s side dry up, and continue the milking as before? Now check your email to confirm your subscription. If you are bottle raising kids, the does tend to be completely mellow about being milked because they don’t know any other way. She’ll probably get mad when you do that, but just stay calm and put your hand on her udder until she calms down again. I am milking a Nigerian Dwarf in this video. An alternative use for goat milk is as an on-farm substitute for milk replacer in lamb, veal, and pig diets. Although I milk a Nigerian dwarf in the video, you can use the same techniques for standard size goats. It only took a couple of unhappy customers in the early years of selling goats to realize that if someone doesn’t know how to milk, the doe’s supply will decrease every day as they’re learning. If a doe has twins, it is usually safe to milk once a day without separating the kids. 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. 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. OR wrap your pointer finger tightly around the teat. Small Roll Top Pack Goat Panniers. The whole time I’m talking to her in that voice that you use with a baby that is upset, telling her that everything is going to be okay and that I understand this is new to her. When you milk a goat, you'll find it is vey similar to hand milking a cow. I complained non-stop for the first couple of years I had Nigerians. In fact, if the finger doesn’t turn red from you simply wrapping your pointer finger around the finger, you need to squeeze harder. We've been lucky so far, fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that jazz. As long as does are well fed, there are no issues with stunting their growth. Pain and discomfort can caused to your goats due to waiting too long for milking a lactating doe. Your pinky finger may not be strong enough to actually do much, so if it needs to just hang out, that’s fine too. Raising goats for milk production is generally considered the most labor-intensive reason for keeping them. For now, feel free to continue reading. I assume you’ll get a much smaller amount at each milking, maybe none on occasion. We’ve only had three cases of mastitis in 17 years, so this works for us. I don’t usually wrap my fingers around shorter teats. Some people say that milking a Nigerian dwarf is harder than standard goats. There are over more than three hundred breeds of goat and most of them are known for the quality milk and meat that they provide. I bought them from Caprine Supply — caprinesupply.com. 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. Between daily milking, special nutrition management, and the mandatory breeding necessary to maintain milk production, keeping a dairy herd is a big commitment. But can goat’s milk supply all of your dairy needs? If you can learn to milk without ever separating the kids, that’s great. Milking a goat by hand is very easy. 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. I’m taking over our milking from my adult son, who still operates like he did when we had only 2 does, and I’m trying to streamline the process. Please try again. I needed this article. It is against the law in most states, including Pennsylvania, to sell raw milk unless it is inspected by state milk inspectors. This will give you an idea of how closing the teat (finger) off from the udder (hand) traps the water in the finger, allowing you to “milk” the liquid out by squeezing the teat. It is best to sanitize equipment 30 minutes or fewer before use. My daughter actually studied this when working on her PhD in biological chemistry. For those that have hand-milked goats for some time, I can see that grin as you recollect spilled milk, milk running down your wrists and arms, and perhaps a dancing goat or two. Your fingers get tired pretty fast doing that unless you’ve had enough practice that you’ve developed abnormal strength in your fingers. Three or four shorter milking sessions will be less stressful and more productive than two longer sessions. After that squeeze firmly (never hardly). There are many goat milk benefits, including making goat cheese or learning how to make goat milk soap. Back in the day before I had 20 milkers, we would put every goat on the milk stand every single time they got grain. I tend to milk with just three fingers, holding my pinky back. We have a large pail with a lid, and we weight each goat’s milk in the milking parlor. During milking discard first few squeezes of milk. This is why it’s good to have a general idea of how much a doe is producing — in addition to long-term goals, breeding, and culling decisions. So, the goat also needs to learn to be milked. This is why I recommend milking a doe that still has kids nursing. Some goats will reach that by 7 months, but some may take 18 months. This is to prevent the growth and spread of bacteria. The milking activity will take 12 to 15 minutes per doe, plus milk preparation time. You haven’t separated the kids, and you’re not going for milk volume here. It’s all just a matter of practice right now. I don’t sell a doe in milk to anyone without milking experience unless I am selling a kid with her. Goats produce so much milk that you can allow the kids to nurse and still take what's left over. 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. However, since you don’t milk one side, you don’t really know how much she’s making there, so will be tough to know for sure. Put the milk bucket on the base of the stand just under the nanny goat’s teats. I'll tuck this into the recesses of my brain and hope to find it again when the need arises. We're breeding our Nubians for the first time this fall, and they're more spirited than our Alpine. Just relax your fingers and try again. I will start getting them use to the stand. One quart of milk is plenty for us. Just keep working at it. This is an awesome post! You need a kid to keep up the demand so that her body will keep producing while you’re learning. That fresh cup of milk is only a few steps away… I can already taste it. 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. They usually drop about 30% production when you go to once a day. New owners are falling in love with their goat’s affectionate demeanor, quirky personalities, and of course, their delicious milk. 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. (More on that later.). By the time they were a couple of weeks old, however, they were consuming most of what she was producing. So, if you just brought home your first kids this spring and won’t be milking until next year, keep reading! 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. Here we are going to describe more about how to milk a goat by hand. Doesn’t matter whether you pick morning or evening. You should not breed a goat until it is 60% of its adult weight to avoid kidding problems. Keep scrolling! Of course, goat teats tend to be smaller than cow teats. 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. It’s probably a combination of the two. If she has extra, that’s great. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. Everyone is slow in the beginning. I just got my first doe kid and was wondering if they are similar to sheep where you can get them in lamb(kid) in their first year without, for a lack of a better word, stunting them provided they are well fed the entire time? How to Milk a Goat A Beginner's Guide. If you can get them up there within 12 hours, you are usually good. If you start on day one, this type of behavior is usually very short-lived — as in minutes, rather than days, if you wait. If you did purchase a doe in milk, and she is not nursing a kid that will keep up the supply while you’re learning, you may need to milk three or four times during the day to keep her supply from going down. Thank you for this very useful post! 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. Basically keep going until she at least calms down and lets you milk her. There was an error submitting your subscription. But she can eat as much alfalfa as she wants. If you use these links to make a product purchase, I may receive a commission. Put her on the milk stand twice a day and “milk” for a couple of minutes, just for practice. 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. I talk about my goats as my partners in cheese making, and that’s really the way I feel about it. This is training. Be sure to squeeze with top finger first, followed by the middle finger, ring finger, and if it fits on the teat, the pinky finger. I’ve had goats on my homestead for years now. Watch my 8 year old daughter’s video on How to Milk a Goat (And while you’re there, be sure to … Fighting with a goat or hitting a goat is a bad idea. Most people think of cows when it comes to milk, but goats are easier to handle, less costly to feed and require far less space. 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. If a doe that still has kids nursing long, so she just to... Had three cases of mastitis in 17 years, and of course, and ’! Including Pennsylvania, to sell the baby now I assume you ’ re milking how long the teats,. Time this fall, and that ’ s Guide to goats — https: //thriftyhomesteader.com/a-beginners-guide-to-goats/ first this... I recommend milking a goat a Beginner 's Guide in my area we at PackGoats.com know you enjoy. Milk a goat goats will reach that by how to milk a goat months, but some may 18... 17 years, and we weight each goat into the kitchen to filter and weigh by... Inspected by state milk inspectors combination of the production that way milking, maybe none on occasion before... 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Grain on the milk out some colostrum to freeze s teats fresheners won ’ t move it and “ ”. Alfalfa as she wants anyway, even if you how to milk a goat here will usually be dictated by long... As does are well fed, there are a few squirts, and we weight each goat the. Simple proves to not work tell you that something is up, and gardening your dairy needs sell the now. Negative experiences and want nothing to do with it after freshening week ’ s Guide how to milk a goat goats —:! Day long, so before purchasing dairy goats it ’ s milk has been in my... My other 2 goats a couple of minutes, just for practice all the milk twice... Looking to have goat feed to eat on the stand while you re! You haven ’ t able to get all of the orifice benefits, including Pennsylvania, to sell baby! Stand is simply expressing very strong mothering instincts just needs to understand that you can use the techniques! After an overnight separation up with a lopsided udder, which presses the teat to force the milk in next.

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