(NOTE - We now use a machine to milk our does and I will add info for that when I have time but if you are hand milking here are some of the things you will need)
Udder Wash - To clean udder and teats before milking, we use 2-3 drops of Dr. Bronners Castile soap, preferably Tea Tree for its health and cleaning properties, in about a quart of water. We place several washcloths in the water and use one per doe to clean the udder/teats. Dr. Bronners soap is available at Walmart, Target and many other stores. Milking pail - We use this 2 quart milking pail to milk our does into.
Quick Chilling the milk- We keep a container or cooler next to the milk stand. Every morning we take some ice cubes out and add some water. As we milk each doe we pour the milk into the tote that is sitting in the container of ice water. This way the milk is quick chilling as we milk the other does.
Milk tote - After milking we pour the milk into a tote to carry it to the house for straining and further chilling. We use the 5 liter/quart tote for $35. You can also sign up for their emails and receive occasional coupon codes for discounts.
It is very important to quick chill goat milk after milking. As soon as you get your milk inside, filter it into your glass jars and put it in the freezer for 30-60 minutes and then move it to the refrigerator. We like to keep a timer near the fridge so we can remember to move the milk when it is time. If you use 1 quart jars, 30 minutes might be enough, otherwise, it will probably take 60 minutes or more.
Teat Dip - After milking, it is a good idea to either spray or dip the teats. We use about 5 drops each of tea tree oil, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus and a little bit of a carrier oil such as olive oil. We fill the bottle up with water and shake each time before spraying. This same mixture of oils without the water can be rubbed on their udder in the winter if you see any dryness or cracking. Strainer / Filter- We use this small strainer. We add a piece of cheesecloth about 8"x8". We drape the cloth over the strainer and place the small metal screen on top of the cheesecloth to hold it in place while straining. NOTE - You can save money by buying a large canning funnel that fits your 1 or 2 quart jars and drape the cheesecloth over the funnel.
Jars - We use either 1 or 2 quart jars for storing our milk. We get them at our local Walmart for just under $2 per jar. You can send them site-to-store to your local Walmart store if they do not have some in-stock. 1 quart jars are readily available at local stores and there are inexpensive plastic lids if you prefer them to the 2 pc metal lids that comes with the jars. You can write the date on the lid with a china marker.
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