Hand milking supplies- what do you use?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Leah IL, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    I am looking at Caprine Supply for pails, filters, etc. and my husband is wondering if there are any less expensive substitutes for what they sell. Like can we just go buy some stainless steel pails somewhere else or is there something special about the pails they sell. How about the strainer? And the filters? I'm not looking to skimp, but if there is a less pricey way to go, I'd love to hear it.

    Thanks.
     
  2. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    I bought my strainer at a chicken yard sale. Love the thing! I use the non fabric filters from Tractor Supply. Any stainless steel pail should work, but you'll be real happy if it doesn't have any seams. Check Ebay!

    Ruth
     

  3. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of people using stainless stock pots. Cheaper as you can get them local and they have lids that fit perfectly.
     
  4. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

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    Target had nice stainless steel buckets pretty inexpensively. I milked into wide mouthed quart jars for years and then put the jars into a carrier... I use stainless buckets now. I shy away from ANY plastic as it can leave a goat odor after a while...

    I use one small one for the bleach water (very little bleach + warm water - cheaper than udder wash...). Watch the bleach though. You can chap the udders pretty quickly.

    Washcloths and handtowels (for the bleach water and drying the udders)

    Old hairbrush or curry brush for grooming/cleaning the belly hair so crud doesn't get into the milk

    I buy disposable milk filters from TSC. Hand fold them into a funnel (without hole at the bottom) and pour the milk through. Works FAST and WELL. Other products aren't as sanitary and these are inexpensive for the job they do. $6 - $8 for a whole box. TSC also has milkstone remover. A type of acid. Works wonders. Pretty inexpensive. AND they have detergent that works double duty for handwashing dishes. Like $5 or so for a GALLON...

    You can use a coffee cup with a dark washcloth in lieu of a strip cup to check the milk.

    When I'm done, I rinse off her hooves and stand with the bleach water. Serves several purposes...
     
  5. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

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  6. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay I'm CHEAP!

    I use a stock pot(set of 5 $25) when I milk 2 or more goats....wide mouth jars for just one (quarts and half gallons)

    To strain I have a blue plastic funnel that is for milk only (my family doesnt touch milk utensils) and basket style coffee filters. I use a little bleach in dishwater to wash and air dry stock pot and funnel.

    I wash udders with unscented babywipes or bleach and water if I run out. Bleach is hard on udders...I use bag balm weekly at minimum and more if needed.

    I dont strain milk for bottle babies or calf, or other critter....

    We've had no ill effects with this method for 5 years....and we dont pasturize either.
     
  7. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I just got a few of these:
    http://www.leevalley.com/garden/Page.aspx?c=2&p=10025&cat=2,40733,47775
    And so far, I like them. They come with the lid, which is nice and were waaay cheaper then the ones I bought from Caprine Supply awhile back.

    I have a strainer, but you know what, I never use the thing anymore. I just use the filters (also from TSC), and hold them while I pour the milk through. Fold the filter in half, then in half again, and open the slit up and pour thru. (Kind of hard to explain.)
     
  8. gryndlgoat

    gryndlgoat Well-Known Member

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    I do the stainless steel stock pot/coffee filter/plastic funnel/canning jar routine too. Works great for me!
     
  9. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    I use a stainless cooking pot that doesn't have a handle-- maybe a 6 quart size. it's kinda low and squatty shaped.
    I buy milk filters and put one between two holed bowls ( kind of like strainers, but holes only on the bottom so filter covers them) that I picked up at the thrift store. I like the milk strainers, the milk flows through them really quick- works wy better for me than coffee filters.
    I use baby wipes as udder wipes too.
    I can't see spending 50 bucks for a milk pail either... oh I use canning jars too quart and half-gallons.

    Susie
     
  10. banjopicker41

    banjopicker41 Member

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    heck all i have used the last 5 years is a 2 quart teflon coated sauce pan and a reusable plastic coffee filter
     
  11. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    Lots of farm stores sell seamless stainless steel pails as dog feeding pails..for those who do barf diets for their animals...these are usually less expensive than "milk pails" and do exactly the same thing. As for filtering when I started i used a pair of funnels , one with the tip cut off so it would nest inside the other..places a coffee filter between them and strain into mason jars.
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I started out milking into a stainless steel mixing bowl, but only a few months after we got our first two goats, we found a real SS goat milking pail sitting dusty on the shelves of a local feed store. Paid $45 for it, and I've been using it twice a day for most of the last 23 years. It's the right height to fit under a goat (unless the goat is really low to the ground, or has a low-hanging udder), but the biggest advantage is the crescent lid. It really does help keep some of the dirt and hair out of the milk while you are milking. Mine has been dropped a few times and has a ding or two in the bottom, but I expect it will last for the rest of my life, and I'll pass it on to one of my grand-daughters, perhaps. So I would say that it's worth spending the money for the goat milking pail, when you consider the lifespan of the thing.

    I also have a strainer, which uses the six and a half inch milk filters, and that thing is even more indispensible than the milking pail. I take it with me, and the quart jars, when I go to the 'barn' to milk, and filter the milk right there.

    I used to always wash the goats udders, but decided to try not washing, after getting really tired of the goats always having chapped udders, and me always having chapped hands in the winter (it wasn't so bad in summer). The milk keeps just as long as it did before, so I don't wash udders any more unless they are really dirty for some reason (such as the doe slipped in the mud and fell on her way to the milking stand, sigh -- that happened just a few days ago. I wish spring would get here.).

    So, my milking equipment consists of however many quart jars I'll need for the milk, the milking pail and strainer, and a bucket to carry everything in. At this time of year I'm making two trips, because I also have bottle babies to feed, and can't carry everything at once. It would be 'luverly' to have a cement-floored milking parlor and milk room in the barn, :Bawling:

    Kathleen
     
  13. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    Wonderful!!! This is JUST what I was looking for, thank you so much. I knew there had to be a couple of little "shortcuts" and some things that I should spring for. You have all been very helpful, I can't wait to print this and have my husband take a look :)
     
  14. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I'm adding my two cents, too...albeit a bit late!

    I invested in a Hoeggers goat milk pail, with the cresent moon shaped opening in the lid. I love that pail. Since the entire top is not open, there's less chance for things to fall in! It wasn't cheap, but it'll last me a lifetime. And it's just the right height.

    I don't wash udders routinely, either, because it chaps them. I brush away sand/dirt/loose hair, and wash the udder if it has stuck on stuff only, and that's rare. Goats are pretty clean animals, and don't usually lay in mud.

    For filters, I use flour sack dishtowels in a funnel. It's the only thing they're used for, and they go through a bleach wash between uses. I'm not into disposables.

    We don't pasturize for our family, either, although I do for visitors, if they intend to drink it...just 'cause it makes them feel better.

    Meg
     
  15. Concrete Cowboy

    Concrete Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Don't print it out! Being the cheapskate I uuhhh err ummm you husband is, he may not want to waist the ink when I could...I mean he could just read the thread!!
     
  16. midkiffsjoy

    midkiffsjoy Bedias, Texas

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    I have a milk pail that I bought on ebay....not a bucket, the kind of pail you pour the milk into after youre done. The smaller opening helps keep goat feet out. I have one goat I still have to milk into a mason jar because she just LOVES to wait until the milk pail is half full and then stick her foot into it. I think she has an arragement with the cat or something. I use a square plastic tupperware container for my wash water which is water + dishwashing liquid + cap of bleach. I have to scrub their utters everyday becuase they are ALWAYS FILTHY!!! (I have no idea what they get into, but they can get gross) I love using the "budle o' washcloths" from Walmart. VERY sturdy for those filthy utter scrubbings. To filter I love my Busy Liz. It's versital and I use it everyday in the kitchen anyway. Wouldnt be without it. I probably wouldnt care if was just for animal food, but since I make cheese and give it to the inlaws for Christmas, hairy dirty cheese just wont do. giggle.
    I bought one of those big SS pails from Tractor supply, but never bothered using it. The mouth is just WAY too wide for under MY goats.

    Good Luck!
     
  17. cowgirlracer

    cowgirlracer Well-Known Member

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    I have a routine that for the most part is a little of most of the above posts. Here goes -

    Milk into - plastic ice cream pail

    Never strain if I plan to feed milk to other critters UNLESS . . . it is really dirty. Then I use a clean peice of flannel, when done I wash it in bleach water.

    Currently we only use our milk for critters, (used to drink it) but now we are waiting to buy a pasteurizer - long story, but a must for us.

    Now if I were milking and drinking it I would consider a ss milk pail/stock pot or other such.

    I love the baby wipe idea :) very smart.

    Anne
    Cowgirlracer
     
  18. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    Just thought I'd update this- we've been milking for a couple of days now. Here is what I am doing.

    I have baby wipes to wipe the udder with, but so far haven't done so because they aren't dirty- maybe my goats are neat freaks or something?

    I am milking into quart sized mason jars for now. We don't have a stanchion or milking stand yet, so it's easier for me to just put her on a short chain with some grain and then hold the mason jar in one hand while milking with the other- that way I can dodge goat feet :) BUT I also bought 3 stainless steel seamless pots from wal mart for $19.99- they came in a box nested together with 3 lids. They're not that great for cooking because they're thin, but for milking they'd be fine. I am going to cut one of the lids the way Laura Workman showed me, too, so when I get the stanchion I'll probably switch from the jars to the pot.

    I have 1/2 gallon wide mouth pickle jars to strain into and to store the milk in. I bought some big jars of pickles at Wal Mart for 3 bucks- Vlasic brand- and the jar it comes in is really nice! You do have to bleach it first to get the pickle smell out.

    I bought a wide mouthed canning funnel for a dollar and a stainless steel strainer from Wal Mart for 84 cents. I splurged on the filters from Farm & Fleet. I tried coffee filters but the milk strained soooo slow. The filters are cheap and work great.

    So that's it!! The milk is awesome, creamy and sweet, we just love it. We are separating the babies from the moms at night and milking in the morning. Then we turn them all out together. Today I got almost 2 quarts from both does, but I bet when I get the stanchion I'll get much more. I only stopped because once the grain was gone they got REALLY antsy so I quit.

    Thanks so much for all the great advice.