Automatic milkers...???

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Caprice Acres, May 8, 2006.

  1. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,664
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    I posted this on the goat forum and had no luck so far with responses, as I think most hand-milk thier does.

    Ok, so we were cleaning out a an old milkshed (I think) that had accumulated a bunch of junk over the years, over at a friends house. (I'm collecting scrap metal as a fundraiser for my trip to China this summer, and her tenant was moving out, said we could take whatever we wanted from that shed for the trip or our own use... ) The milkshed was old, at leat 20 years old. Anywho, under a bunch o' junk, I found gold! LOL not really, but to me, it was. I found peices to auto milkers! I don't know exactly what they are. I've wanted to buy an auto milker, but since I don't know sqat about them and the only place I could get them would be ebay, I didn't order anything b/c I didn't want to get cheated. All the peices are 'Surge' brand. I found a lid and two (pulsators, are they called? LOL IDK!) They're all in good condition as far as I know.

    Q1 : How do I clean them without breaking/hurting them? (nevermind, I just rinsed with water and scrubbed off the external dirt with a sponge and toothbrush)
    Q2 : What else do I need to use these?
    Q3 : How do I know if they will work or not?
    Q4 : What is a good website on auto milkers that I can look on for more info?
    Q5 : What supplies the suction for an auto milker?
    Q6 : Where can I get auto milker parts/info?
    Q7 : Can I use these on my goats (pygmy)? Is there a special 'suction rate' that it must be at for goats, or is it the same?
    Q8 : I have only seen pictures of the milkers with really short tubes... but I would like them to be longer, is this a problem?

    I am thinking of getting the more expensive items off of ebay. Heres some pics of the darned things, so you can tell me what I'm dealing with.... :

    First one, top :
    [​IMG]

    First one, "open" :
    [​IMG]

    First one, Bottom :
    [​IMG]

    Second one, Top :
    [​IMG]

    Second one, "open" :
    [​IMG]

    Second one, Bottom :
    [​IMG]

    The lid :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

    Messages:
    3,841
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    KS
    I'll start with question 5 as that may be largest investment of system. Suction is provided by a vacuum pump, usually powered by an electric motor. Size and capacity required determined by how many milk machines yoiu wish to run at once , and how much volume of milk you are moving.
    OH, BTW could not access your photos.
    20 year old milkers can still be quite serviceable, and parts, etc. should be available for SURGE company products. All rubber infalations, hoses, etc. would have to be replaced with new. Pulsators can be run by electrical or vacuum control. Both can be cantankerous at times, like high humidity or extreme cold.
    If the ones you found were for dairy cows, you would need to replace the "shells" which are the stainless steel holders for the rubber liners that attach to animal's teats for milking. You would need smaller diameter, or bore of shells and inflations. The folks on goat forum could probably best advise you on particulars of that and vacuum level appropriatte for goats.
    For dairy cows 13-14 inches of vacuum (at the claw)is a commonly used range of operation. If these were dairy cow milkers, a challenge you may find is having 4 inflations and 4 inlets to claw(milk collection bowl the inflations and shells attach to)----The Nubian& French Alpine goat we milked here(by Hand) had only 2 teats. I would guess yours are same?
    Inmichigan you should be able to find parts, supplies for milking equipment
    (UNless you live on the UP) by looking under dairy supply or dairy equipment. Hope this is a start for you on your quest for knowledge......
     

  3. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

    Messages:
    508
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    Catlett Creek Hog Farm Unit 1
    You might go to Parts Dept.com; they have dairy equipment for cattle AND Goats.
     
  4. SpringCreek

    SpringCreek Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Indiana
    For the pulsator, your best bet is to buy the rebuild kit for about $10. It has new leathers, gaskets, o-rings, etc. It's really pretty easy to take it apart and rebuild it. Also, you'll want a check valve and a lid gasket. For the other parts, you could buy the goat conversion kit offered by Hamby Dairy Supply: http://hambydairysupply.com/xcart/product.php?productid=1396&cat=51&page=1

    Once you have the vacuum pump, you'll probably also need a vacuum gauge, regulator, and maybe a stallcock. A balance tank would be nice--you could buy this or make one.

    As you can see, the old bucket/lid/pulsator was, unfortunately, the inexpensive part of the system. You could easily spend another several hundred dollars on the rest.
     
  5. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,441
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
  6. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,049
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ouachitas, AR
    If all you're milking is a few pygmy goats it is not worth the trouble and expense. :) We put together a milking machine with parts from different places. We have a one gallon a day cow and it's not worth the daily clean-up trouble to use it on her. Here's a link to pictures of ours, sounds like you have the same thing.
    http://photo.tcworks.net/Milking-machine
    The surge milker website linked above is an excellant one.
     
  7. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,664
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    Well, maybe. But my pygmy does have teeny tiny teats and one hates the idea of milking. I don't think it will cost too much to get one started, as I want to get into nubians and kinders as well. Maybe then I can convince my dad of a Jersey cow, too! hehe well maybe not... :)
     
  8. SpringCreek

    SpringCreek Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Indiana
    I agree that if time and convenience is the only consideration, it's not worth it. However, I rebuilt an old belly milker and vacuum, because I can never find anyone to milk for me, including my wife, who can hand milk properly. Life can be difficult at times when you never have a substitute milker.
     
  9. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,664
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    Thats another reason... If I ever go over to a friends house, I could never convince my dad to milk them for me in the morning. He would refuse to learn how, lol. But if he didn't have to really 'do' anything, then he would probably do it for me. I don't really mind the cost b/c I can buy the stuff over time and make it into a project, too. I think it'll be fun. How do the vacuums work and how much do they cost? What do they look like? (link to pic, maybe?) And do my pictures posted above work? They work when I veiw them... wondering if everyone else can see them too... :)
     
  10. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,049
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ouachitas, AR
    If you scroll up to my previous post I put a link for my pump. It's an old Delaval. I can't see your pictures, maybe you could just post a link to them instead? :)
    I'm afraid a goat who doesn't like to be hand milked probably really won't like a noisy vacuum pump. :)
    The pump is your real expense you're looking at around $1200.00 new for one: http://www.hambydairysupply.com/xca...1&page=3&xid=0dbfb46a1a1c9d439f606f85236147de

    I've seen them on ebay for $700-$800 but not less.
     
  11. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,664
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    To see the darned pics, lol... See the post on auto milkers in the goat forum, lol. :) You'll have to imagine them being clean, as in the pics they aren't cleaned yet.
     
  12. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    I am curious to what all you guys find out with your animals, first calvers, large framed too, when they put on condition? I looked this up, and it seems to be about 60 days out they start to put on weight again. Typically heifers have fat on them, atleast ones who were fed well, so naturally they will loose fat, because their system no longer needs, and they are milking. Either way, curious to what you all find out with this.


    Jeff
     
  13. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

    Messages:
    3,841
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    KS
    Jeff I think your post got thrown into the wrong thread? First calf heifers that milk well will require more feed than a mature cow, as they will continue to grow until into 2nd lactation. The Sophomore stretch- they get even bigger!
    Takes a lot of feed to milk, grow, and regain body condition. More protien burns fat off of an animal. You need energy and starches to put fat back on an animal....Corn Silage if available else more corn???/// Just some thoughts for you! UpNorth
     
  14. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,049
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ouachitas, AR
    OK, I looked at your pictures on the goat forum. Basically you have the top part of the bucket that is unusable in it's current condition. You'll need the re-build kit for it, a bucket to attach it to, the kit with all the cups, tubing etc. for goats and a vacuum pump. Basically you might as well buy the whole unit from start to finish. Again you're looking at a minimum of $800 unless you can find all the parts seperately and rebuild them. You'll still have to buy your tubing, re-build kit, etc. new though. :)
     
  15. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,664
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    Ok, so maybe it is a little more than I assumed. Didn't think vacuum pumps would be so expensive. don't understand why they are, but whatever. Anyone want a couple of pulsators, a lid to a milker, and two teat cup thingies? lol would it be worthwile to sell the pulsators, at all?
     
  16. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,049
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ouachitas, AR
    You could put it on Ebay, there are people on there who buy the used milking stuff and rebuild it and then re-sell it. Or you could put it on the barter board here, someone who has a milker might want it for a back-up. :) We don't use ours anymore and the vacuum pump is old so it weighs a ton. Otherwise I'd probably sell it but there's no way to ship the vacuum pump.
     
  17. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,664
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    thats a good idea... I'll try the barter board. What would be a good asking price for the pair?
     
  18. Judith

    Judith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Hi,
    Westwood used to make them, or sell them, or fix them, or something send him a PM and see if he can help ya out. He is super helpful and very kind!!!!!!
     
  19. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,082
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    North Central Arkansas
    Your pictures won't come up. Let me know about the equipment you have and I'll try to help you.

    Vacuum for goats should be 12 inches, pulsations at 70 per minute. Cleaning you should use warm water first, then acid wash then rinse.
     
  20. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,664
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    MI