Emily and others...Question on milking machines!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Cat, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Okay, I spent my entire life being known as a goat-herder, finally got rid of the goats and can't help but be drawn back to them by EVERYONE! A local guy who I ride to and take class with and who is also on the fire department with me asked me the other day if I wanted to buy some goats...seems another local man had sold all of his goats to my sheep-farming friend who is neighbor's/friends with the man I go to class with! (confused, yet?) Anyway, I told him, that, truthfully, I'd LOVE to have a few but I don't want to be tied down to milking. I like being able to up and go whenever I want...as long as I have someone to feed animals...milking is a whole 'nother story, though! Anyway, this guy raises most of his own food or buys natural, pastured chickens and such, and said he'd love to have good goats milk butter and cheeses but he doesn't want to have to milk, either. Don't blame him. We talked about whether there would be a market locally for raw milk, butter, things of that nature and I have to admit I'm really, really, tempted to go for it but...I'm a hand-milker. Never used a machine, never accepted that practice. I have thought, however, that a milking machine might be the way to go and that maybe we could work out an arrangement where I care for, house, and milk the goats and he provide feed and his wife/daughter milk the week or so I'm on vacation and they get a portion of the raw milk to do with as they see fit. (Haven't thought that through, yet, just mulling it over.) My question is, I know absolutely NOTHING about milking machines and I don't want some huge contraption that I have to set up...do they make small, portable milking machines that can be carted around? I don't know if I'm making it up or if I've really seen them with canisters similar in size to the propane canisters that are found on barbecue grills?!? You just grab the jug and go from doe to doe to doe...am I crazy? (Incidentally, if I get more than 2-3 does I WILL NOT BE HAPPY!) lol

    I'd love to have feedback on what everyone uses and any secrets that are worth knowing before considering this...because I'm seriously considering it which is SCARY! lol
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 6, 2005
    I think they do make ones similiar to what you describe. The ones I have seen are set up to milk one doe at a time and the vacume pump is on wheels so its easy to move from place to place. My set-up is much bigger and is set up to milk two does at a time.
    Sounds like you have a good idea, but seriously if you are only thinking of 2-3 does.......setting up, sanitizing and cleaning a milking machine is going to be much more trouble than its worth in my opinion. :shrug: Up to 10 does, I'll choose to milk by hand. Clean-up is so much faster and I enjoy relaxing with my girls. Hope you find something that works for both of you!! :)

  3. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    North of Houston TX
    Our show milker is the size of a loaf of bread and weighs about 12 pounds! The milking machine I use in my barn is on a dolly and is the size of an air compressor. Even the small one will milk 2 does easily. We have the information on them up on dairygoatinfo.com in the goatkeeping 101 section. The machine itself is right at $200...the rest (can and lid (found on ebay), lines, inflations, pulsator etc (partsdepartmentonline.com or Hambydairy.com on ebay also)... is from $200 and up depending on what you want). No more of the $1500 milking machines unless you are one of those :)

    I use my machine on the very first doe who kids! Cleanup is not a huge deal, having a good routine is. I suck soapy dishwashing machine soap (so it's low suds) through my inflations and lines first, then bleach water..hang to dry...I only clean the lines with a tube brush and clean my stainless can to shiney on Saturdays. It stays spotless like this. I put 4 does up and milk 2 does at a time, during milking with a machine I can refil the hay feeders, mineral feeders, sweep a pen, trim a hoof.....anything that is within ear shot of the milker. So really I get my chores done much faster than hand milking, although anyone who hand milks much can easily beat a milking machine milking out.

    I would never be without my machine, and have a spare because of that! I also have an inverter for my disiel truck so I can machine milk during black outs...the generator is used for the house, and for some reason the family gets all upset when I want to unhook to milk! :) Vicki