After stripping (getting the last drops of milk from the teat), cover the milk pail and/or pour the
milk into a metal carrier. You'll want to get your milk inside as quickly as possible.
Dip or spray the goat's teats to lessen the chance of bacterial infection.
Strain the milk through your strainer/filter.
Since my goats give only a little milk at a time, I can chill the milk quickly enough in canning jars
in the back of the fridge. I use a freshly boiled canning jar for each milking, as you don't want to
add warm milk to chilled milk.
At some point during this process, you'll need to weigh your milk from each goat and note down the
amount. I weigh mine when in the jars, (subtracting the weight of the jar, of course) and record it on
a chart that I keep inside my cabinet door.
When I get enough milk, I pasteurize it in a double-boiler on the kitehcn stove. You can look on the
internet or contact your County Agent for exact temperatures/times. I use 175 degrees F for at least
15 seconds. Then, I put the pan of milk into an ice-water bath to cool it quickly. You can also buy
an automatic pasteurizer, if you want.
I store my pasteurized milk in canning jars that have been boiled. (Lids are labeled to prevent
mix-up between pasteurized & unpasteurized milk.)
With all of this, the milk that we get tastes good (the cream that rises to the top tastes even better!)
Sarah loves to drink it with Ovaltine.
I wash the pail and strainer first with cool water, and then wash it in hot, soapy
water. I scrub the pail with a scrubber. (I don't use the special detergents yet, but if I
continue to milk I will need to get some.) At least once a day I rinse the pail and
strainer in a 10% bleach solution, then rinse it and let dry. I also wipe down my
countertops and sink, etc. with the bleach solution and at least hose off the stanchion
& stand. This isn't the meticulous cleaning required in a dairy, but I'm satisfied with
the quality of our milk.
Here are some milking tips and general instructions from various sources, including
how I milk. Keep in mind that we aren't a grade A dairy and we only milk one or
two goats at a time.
Get the goat settled. I have to use a stanchion, hobbles and feed with my
goats and they still don't like to be milked. Some goats apparently enjoy the
process, and will stand still.
Periodically clipping the hair under the goat's belly and around udder helps keep
hair out of the milk. Brushing the goat off before milking helps, too.
Wash or wipe off the goat's udder. Some people use unscented baby
wipes, others use a diluted iodine formula. For my goats, gently
massaging the udder and using a warm wipe seems to help them let down the milk.
Squirt a stream of milk from one teat nto the strip cup and look for blood,
strings or lumps. Test the other side, too. If nothing is wrong, it's time to milk.
Milk in the style that you find
comfortable. Nigerians are small and low
to the ground. You can see pictures of
milking technique in Storey's Guide to
Raising Dairy Goats, and other sources.
(Any just-weaned kid will also be happy
to demonstrate milking technique!)
"I'LL show you how
to milk a goat! I'm