Sunday, December 20, 2009

Goats In the Parlor

Milking in the remodeled Milking Parlor is a real pleasure. The parlor will hold 16 goats and I milk 2 at a time with the bucket milker. It only takes about 12 minutes to milk each group of 16 goats. Now that's progress!

Here are the LaManchas loading into the parlor for milking. They find an empty stanchion opening pretty quickly and dive into the grain buckets! This sets the auto-lock securing them into the stanchion.

LaMancha girls ready to milk

Most of the LaMancha does in these photos are the ones shown as babies in the earlier post on Feeding the Kids. The 2009 milking season was their first freshening.

LaMancha does locked in for milking

For about the first week of using the new milking parlor and milking by machine instead of by hand was interesting to say the least !! Most of the does took to it easily. However, for some of them it was a real rodeo! There was bucking, kicking and jumping around! But, even the most ticklish does got used to it pretty quickly.

I did, however, get kicked in the nose by one of them! I learned which ones were likely to kick and I held their back leg with one hand while putting the milker on with the other one. I'm glad there wasn't anyone in the milking parlor watching because it was quite a comedy routine!

Milking

The 7 gallon stainless milk buckets are set up to milk 2 goats at a time. I have two of the buckets, but only used one this season. The girls learned to let their milk down pretty quickly so it only takes a couple of minutes for each doe.

Milking Opal and NaNa

When the LaMancha does are finished milking, I release the stanchions with the release lever at the end. They go back to their area of the barn to eat fresh hay. And, it's time to bring in the next group of does.

The Nubian and Alpine group is shown below coming into the parlor to find their place to eat.

The second group coming in

They come into the parlor so fast that it was hard to get a photo of them before they all had their heads in the stanchion and eating their grain!

The Nubians and Alpines ready to milk

This group of does are my more mature girls. During the peak months of the season, most of them give a gallon and a half a day ... I have 2 that give a little over two gallons a day. Needless to say ... I am keeping all of their doe kids. Their daughters are milking great too.

Milking Emily

Milking Kat

Lilah says that they're all done and ready to go back out!

Here is some of the delicious fresh milk going through the strainer into one of the 5 gallon buckets. I use these FDA approved buckets to store the milk in the large fridge before making cheese.

Fresh Milk

I am very pleased with the Milking Parlor. The goats are at just the right height for me to milk. It is easy to use and the goats flow into and out of it easily. I think they enjoy it as much as I do!

7 comments:

Spring Lake Farm said...

That's awesome. I have two Nubian does that will be freshening for the first time this spring. I have so much to learn about milking before then....

Happy Holidays!

Sandy

Brenda said...

Happy Holidays to you too, Sandy.

I think the most important thing to remember about milking is to follow sanitary milking procedures. Wash their teats and udders before milking. Milk them out completely. Dip their teats in an antibiotic dip after milking. This will give you the best chances for preventing mastitus and keep their udder healthy.

Just relax and enjoy the milking time. You'll find their warmth and the rhythm of milking soothing to the soul!

~Tonia said...

I bet the first week would have been the time to have a video camera mounted to catch everything!Lol!! Goat Rodeo!!
Yes! Making sure thing are clean is A very big deal!I wash their udder and dry and then milk. I milk by hand though. I am anxious to see how it works with us having more than 4 to milk this year!! I am hoping to get up to 10! Of course I have 3 Skilled milk maids besides myself!lol

goatmilker said...

That is so cool. Glad it is working good for you enjoy and have fun. Have a good day Rebekah.

Feral Female said...

Great entry! The parlor looks cool and the ladies look happy. Yup cleanliness when milking is a top priority and it may sound like alot but once it`s worked into the routine it really isn`t.

Brenda said...

Yes, Goat Rodeo! And, with 20 first fresheners this season I'm sure we'll have another one! I don't think I'll set up the video camera though. LOL!

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Methods of Modern Farming
Goat Farming
What to Feed a Goat