Milking goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Rockin'B, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    So, I've been doing some pondering........

    I've always dismissed having a goat for milk as being not worth the trouble. Now I'm wondering if I'm not missing the boat here. We have 3 teens and we go through a ton of milk. I haven't been able to find a source for raw goat or cow milk here.

    Maybe I should consider keeping a goat or two for milk. I've had goats as brush clearers before but never milkers. I like having goats around, they have a ton of personality.

    What is the process with goats milk? Does goats milk need to be seperated like cows milk? Or, does it just go straight into the fridge?

    I'm giving this some real thought and appreciate your help.
     
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We handle our goats milk the same as we handle our cows milk. We use a clean stainless steel bucket, be sure the goat is clean, milk, strain milk immediately, place into very cold refridgerator. Not sure what you mean by "separated like cows milk"?? We don't separate our Jersey milk.....??
     

  3. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    I've never had a milk cow either, but my Aunt always ran the milk through a cream seperator before she took it to the fridge for use.

    If that isn't necessary, I like the idea even better. :)
     
  4. nduetime

    nduetime I am a Christian American Supporter

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    We do not necessarily seperate the cream before we consume. it depends on if I get to the seperator right away or not. i do not like to seperate just a little milk. I would rather do a couple gallons at a time since it is such pain to put it together, take it apart, clean each piece, then put it together again. I run ours every two to three days. The milk is good either way for us.
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ahhh, that explains your question. The cream on goats milk will separate a *tiny* bit but just give it a shake before drinking and its all good.
    With our Jersey milk, we just let it separate in the fridge, skim the cream off the top and make butter....Yum! If we don't need the cream for butter, we just shake it up as well.
    But with goats, there is much less cream and you won't hardly even notice if you forget to shake it up.....goats milk is naturally homogenized. :)
     
  6. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    Before you get your milk goats, make sure that your teens will drink it!! I've been milking goats since last October, and it's only recently that dh's girls have decided to touch it. Of coures, in all fairness, the youngest one is only here every second weekend and the oldest less than that.

    I'm milking two goats right now, a Saanen and a Nubian cross. The Saanen (I paid decent $ for her) is nursing two kids and still gives me 2-3 litres at one milking. The Nubian cross is a first freshener, nursing one large buckling (he's about ready to wean) and I usually get 1 litre from her. The Saanen, when I bought her last year, gave me 4 litres/day right through her 13th month of lactation. That was all the milk and cheese we could consume between two of us.

    My "chores" take me about 35-45 minutes in the morning. Maybe 15 minutes for milking the two, the rest is feeding, watering and making a fuss of every one that wants it. :p That includes 17 goats, plus barn kittens and chickens and ducks - and the horses if they're up near the barn.

    We rarely watch TV - if we want entertainment, we go down to the barn and watch the goat channel. They're delightful creatures and can be amazingly affectionate.
     
  7. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all! This is a big help!

    Do you milk goats once a day or AM and PM?

    Now I just have to convince DW that it's all good! :)
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    You can milk once a day, twice a day, three times a day, morning, evening, both, or the middle of the night if it works for you! :) The more often you milk, the more milk you'll get, though. If you have does with kids, you can leave the kids on the does, separate them at night, and milk in the morning before returning the kids to their mothers. This saves quite a bit of trouble, but if you want the kids to be tame and bonded with people, you'll have to spend a lot of time with them.

    Take your DW to see some tiny baby goat kids! I doubt that you'll have any problem convincing her!

    Kathleen
     
  9. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    That's what I'm doing right now with my two - although I'll have to wean the kids in a few weeks, at least the buckling! All three of their kids are quite tame and very sociable and affectionate. Of my Nigerian kids, two are friendly and three are not - yet. Valentina, the week old doeling, was sociable from the get-go, even though I wasn't present at her birth. Her mother, Violet, is friendly (although she was unsure when I first got her). Sadie, the little doeling with the hernia, is like a puppy dog (have you ever tried to milk a goat with a kid trying to jump in your lap? :p It's weird, she's had an abscess on her belly (from the hernia) which had to be treated several times, and she's friendly. Her sister, Sukey, who hasn't had any problems, is still rather suspicious of me, although she's getting better. Bridget's two little bucklings are very skittish - but so is she! Always has been, even though her sister isn't.

    Or show her these :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    My goat milking history:

    1991 Got some wild-acting Nubians with poor milking ability and it was a horrible rodeo every time I tried to milk. I paid $60. and $90. I was a newbie, the goats were not milking stock or trained to be milked. There was not enough milk for anything but a bottle here and there and maybe some for my coffee. It was a disappointing fisaco.

    2004: Got 2 Lamanchas that were already in milk. Bought them from a dairy off a dairy line. They were tame and trained to be milked. I paid $150. each. They gave HUGE quantities of milk and did not even need to be restrained to be milked. I could not believe the difference. That year i struggled with learning proper milking technique, strengthening my hands mostly and getting the family "into" goat milk. Getting 2 1/2 gallons a day.

    2005: Still milking the same two Lamanchas in '05 getting better at it, the herd is growing. I am a pretty good milker. Learning even more about it. Family is really enjoying the milk now. Getting about 3 gallons a day.


    2006: Milking original goats and now two of the offspring. Really getting alot of milk. Family loves it, making cheese now, feeding gallons each week to the dogs, sending it to the city with the family, my hands are very strong. I feel like I know what I am doing, can do it in my sleep and often do.

    Next spring 2007: will have 7 plus milkers if all goes right.....SCREAM!!!!!!!
     
  11. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Pookshollow,
    Those are great pics!! I really like that first one. That little goat is really cute!!!

    TCW,

    Great info. Thanks!!!
    I have some work to do out at the barn and corral before I can get any, but I'm really thinking about it.
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    :baby04: Have you ever tried to milk a goat with SEVEN kids trying to get into your lap? :baby04: You get very creative at devising ways to imobilize all of them until you are done milking, LOL! (No, they weren't siblings -- I had a set of quads, and about three weeks later triplets -- they all learned to jump out of the baby pen by the time they were three weeks old!)

    Kathleen
     
  13. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Well, I had five human kids helping me milk a goat all at once. Five little girls. My yankee cousins from new york were down here along with some city cousins from houston and my little granddaughter. They all wanted to milk at the same time and there are only 2 handles on a goat. Thank goodness, the old goat was a lady about it!
     
  14. ~PrairieGirl~

    ~PrairieGirl~ Well-Known Member

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    i just got my milker this past March and she is well worth the trouble :) I do have couple other with her that are under a year also. Dairy goats can still clear brush for you too. I have loads of ankle saws out back and the goats just eat them up!

    pookshallow what kind of goat is that white one with the foppy ears?
     
  15. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    That's Gabriel - Angel's buckling. His daddy was a Saanen (a gorgeous buck!), and Angel is 3/4 Nubian, 1/4 Alpine. She's a nice brown chamoisee - so I guess the white is dominant. He's a sociable little guy (not so little - almost as big as mom at 3 1/2 months) so we just had him wethered and will keep him as a pet/companion for the buck. So, basically just a little mutt goat - but we love him - and he loves us.

    She's beautiful, isn't she? :angel: That's Valentina (don't know if you can see the heart on her back) on her birthday. She's a Nigerian Dwarf - blue-eyed - and just as friendly as can be. I think she just realized the other day that I wasn't just a pair of giant rubber boots - she looked up and saw the rest of me. :p
     
  16. pyrnad

    pyrnad Well-Known Member

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    I have had milk goats for 15 years. I make cheese and soap from it. We drink the milk and love it. I also make sour cream, butter and yogurt from it. It is a lot of fun and all of the family enjoy the products from the goats. Not to mention the really cute babies the goats have.
     
  17. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Milking goats is quite addictive. I milk and milk and milk for months. Then I think, ok, I need to stop, I am tired of all this, I don't want to be so tied down to the farm etc. I'll dry the does up and within a few days I am soooooo sorry! It is such a bond. You become the goat's baby. They are so sad when you quit milking (well, some of them) and the special quiet time in the barn is over. Milking time is when I am alone with my thoughts and I find my "zen". Then I wait and wait til the new babies hit the ground and it all starts over again. The too full udders. Then the too much milk. Then everything falls into place and I milk and milk and milk again. There is nothing that makes me feel richer than having the fridge and freezer full of goats milk, being able to send it to the city with my family, keeping the dogs fat on it and having such a wealth of it to learn how to make all the products with it..plenty of excess milk to mess up with......I never cry over spilt milk. The doe can kick over a whole gallon of it and it really is okay.