Milking Recommendations

Discussion in 'Goats' started by JA in WA, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. JA in WA

    JA in WA Member

    Jul 29, 2005
    Eastern WA
    We're milking goats for the first time; three days now on our first one and two more this week. We've talked of getting more for next year.

    How many goats make it more time efficient to switch from hand milking to a machine; 3, 6, 10?

    What do you recommend if going with a machine (Brand, parts, kits, new or refurbished, stainless or clear)?
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I've milked six by hand, and know people who are milking quite a few more than that. It depends on the individual, and on how easy your goats are to hand milk. I have one doe I can milk out in less than two minutes, easy. If I had ten like her, I would still be able to hand milk all of them without any problem. But some will be harder to milk (tight teat orifices or tiny teats). If you get too many of those, you may decide you want a milking machine!

    I've never had a machine, so can't help you with the info on that.


  3. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    I don't have a machine either, yet. I have milked three for three years, and am adding three more to our milking line very soon. I am having a blacksmith build me a double stanchion - so we can milk two at a time - and save time. We milk as a family, many hands make light work - someone lets out, the five year old grains, and then there are the milkers. We usually have two people, for when our hands get tired! We can milk three in about 15 minutes - including gathering the 'stuff' and getting out there, and getting the milk in the house. Cleaning and straining are not included in that estimate!!

    A friend of mine owns Black Mesa Ranch in Snowflake, Arizona and she milks with a machine. I think she milks anywhere from 20-30 goats. She can milk four at a time - which is definately a time saver. I watched her clean it (the daily cleaning) and evidently once a month you have to take EVERYTHING apart and clean it 'special'. BLM is a certified cheese processing plant. It looked............complicated. Kind of scared me off - but if I were milking that many I'd have a machine in a heart beat!

    I agree that it really depends on the doe - and I cull based on ease of hand milking. Some of the more established show herds have definately selected for hand milking traits, and some have not. It makes a huge difference. I have a doe with smaller teats, but lovely orifices and I can milk her out faster than the other two.