Monday, June 15, 2009

Time for the Machine!

With 6 milking goats and most of us being novice milkers, it was finally time to break out the machine. I don't know what brand, model, or serial number it has, but it works very well. Trent and I (as well as 2 of his minions) gave it a go last night. It was amazingly fast! Probably less than 5 minutes per goat. Since we can get 2 at once, that will drop milking time down to about 20 minutes once we get the system down. It took us a while longer last night because of trying to figure out the best/fastest/easiest way to get this done and it will probably take a few more times to hit on the best way, but it is substantially more pleasant than hand milking.

Although the milking itself is a huge improvement, the cleanup time has gone up. However, I'd much rather have more time on the cleanup than on the milking. The sooner I can get away from the goats and hay, the better for my allergies. Once we get a better system of cleaning down, that will go much faster as well. All in all, this is going to make our turn of milking much much nicer, save for the fact of having to get up earlier to get it done!

The Milking bucket is pretty cool, in an octopussy, squidy, Cthulhu type of way, tubes and tentacles, and unknown appendages of all types springing from everywhere. I felt like Captain Nemo for a bit. But once we got it all straightened out, it works smooth as butter. It doesn't quite get all the milk out, you need to do a bit of hand milking to empty the udders, but not much. We're guessing it is only a cup or two at the most. Next time we'll bring a small bucket to catch all that extra so we can get a more accurate measure, but I don't believe it will be very much. Even without getting those few extra squirts, we got just shy of 2 gallons so we are right close to where we were expecting.

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