How to Milk a Goat by Hand

Having one or a few dairy goats is an excellent way of fresh milk supply. And before starting to milk a goat, you need to know about the process of how to milk a goat by hand. Actually hand milking is a good option for raising a few goats for family milk supply. But it's not a good option, if you raise dairy goats commercially. In commercial dairy goat production, you will need to use milking machines.

Goat milk is obviously a good alternative to cow milk. It is easier to digest and actually good for all aged people. And goat milk is becoming popular gradually, mainly due to the higher butterfat content than the cow's milk. So if you are thinking about having one or some dairy goats or already have some, then you must know about the process of milking a goat by hand.

What do You Need for Milking a Goat by Hand

You will need some essential things for milking your goats by hand. Here we are listing all these essential things.

  • Feeder
  • Grain
  • Collar
  • Bucket (metal recommended)
  • Milking stand
  • Clean water for washing and hygiene washing cloth
  • Post milking balm, dip or spray for preventing the does from infection

How to Milk a Goat by Hand

Milking a goat is not as easy as it looks. Because milking a goat is not the same as milking a cow (although some people say, milking a goat by hand is much easier than milking a cow). However, you can become an expert goat milker with a little patience, perseverance, and a willing and lactating participant. Here we are describing more about the steps for milking a goat by hand.

There are some easy to follow steps for milking a goat by hand. Here we are describing about the ways of milking a goat by hand.

Prepare the Milk Bucket & Grain

Before you start milking your goats, prepare the milk bucket and grain and keep the feeder on the milking stand. Don't provide the doe more than 1 lbs of grain, because excessive grains can cause bloat in goats.

Bring the Doe

After placing some grains on the feeder, bring the goat for start milking. You can hold and bring the doe to the milking place by it's collar (if the doe has collar).
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Keep the Milking Does Separated From the Herd

You should always milk your goats in a separate place. A dedicated room/place will be good for milking your does. Your milking doe will be disturbed, if there are other goats in the place during milking.

Set the Doe on the Milking Stand

You can allure your doe by giving her something interesting to eat (grain will be good). If you do so, then your doe will stand on her feet on the milking stand. The doe will probably put her head through the stanchion, if she find something interesting to eat. Clip the stanchion closed once the doe put her head through it. And the stanchion should not allow the doe to slip her head back through once closed. The stanchion should be loose and comfortable enough for the goat. Your doe/does will easily come up and jump onto stanchion, if you do the same process regularly (but you need to ensure that, there are no stress involved with this process).

Clean the Udder and Teats

Always try to wash down the udder and teats of the doe before milking. Use sterilized cloth and warm water for cleaning goat's udder and teats. The process of cleaning the doe's udder and teats will also cause the release of oxytocin, triggering milk letdown.

Use Metal Bucket

Place the bucket on the stand, after properly washing the udder and teats of the milking doe. Place the bucket slightly in front of the udder of the goat. Metal bucket is always recommended for milking goats.

Start Milking

You should start milking the doe within 60-120 seconds of teat preparation (this is to capitalize on your goat's optimal milk let-down time. Wrap your forefinger and thumb around the base of the teat. Squeeze with your middle finger, then your ring finger and then your pinky finger. You need to do all these in one smooth, with successive motion. Never forget to keep your grip tight on the base of the teat, otherwise the milk will slip right back up into the udder instead of going into the bucket.

Direct the first squeeze outside the bucket, because the first squeeze from the teat may contain bacteria or dirt. Relax your grip on the base of the teat for allowing milk to refill the teat. Repeat the steps with one hand (squeeze one teat while other teat refills). You will find an efficient rhythm after milking for a certain period.

You should stop milking when you see there is not enough milk left. Stop milking when you notice the teats are almost of a 'deflated' appearance. The amount of milk per milking can vary depending on the goat breed. You should message the teats after milking, because this can help to prevent bacterial growth after the milking process has finished.

Take the Bucket

Take the bucket away after milking, and keep it in a safe place.

Use Teat Dip

Don't let the doe go immediately after milking. You should use a teat dip after milking each time. Doing this will keep the teat free from bacteria, and ultimately your does will stay healthy and productive.

Release the Goat

You can release the doe and let it go after using a teat dip. Grab the collar of your doe, unclip the stanchion and let her go.

These are the common steps for milking a goat by hand. You can become an expert milker if you practice regularly (because, practice makes perfect). God bless you!

How to Milk a Goat by Hand How to Milk a Goat by Hand Reviewed by Tanmay Roy on June 13, 2018 Rating: 5