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Proper Procedure for Raw Milk?

 
Tawny Crawford
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
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Hi All!
This is my first post here at permies!

We are about to get out first dairy goat. A sweet nubian who freshened in November.

My question is: What is the proper procedure for milking to ensure raw milk is as safe as possible? Wee Ones will be consuming this milk, so I want to ensure it is as safe as possible while still retaining all the raw goodness.

Thanks!
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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CLEAN and COLD.

Clean EVERYTHING well. HOT soapy water with a touch of non-bleach sanitizer (available from dairy supplies or homebrew shops) for the buckets, jars, and tools. As warm as you and the goat can stand for hands and udders.

Make sure there is no dirt (or worse) drops off the goat into the bucket while milking. This may take some practice to learn to anticipate the kicks or prevent them. Shoot a few squirts to clean the nipple (into a strip cup or just on the ground) before collecting.

Get the milk COLD FAST. Friends with a bucket milking machine actually set the bucket in ice water WHILE MILKING. We raced it to the house to filter and then set in an icewater bath as soon as possible. We keep a small cooler on the counter and two sets of gatorade bottles of ice in the freezer (one for morning, one for night). Set the milk jars in the icewater and spin them after 15-30 minutes.


 
Tawny Crawford
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
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Thank You so much!! We are total newbies at milking! I think it may be the most intimidating part of homesteading!!

R Scott wrote:
Get the milk COLD FAST. Friends with a bucket milking machine actually set the bucket in ice water WHILE MILKING. We raced it to the house to filter and then set in an icewater bath as soon as possible. We keep a small cooler on the counter and two sets of gatorade bottles of ice in the freezer (one for morning, one for night). Set the milk jars in the icewater and spin them after 15-30 minutes.


I have also heard to place the jar in the freezer for 1 hour...Would that be as effective as an ice bath? (Also, in the off chance we were to not have ice on hand, or we had no electricity, Is there any alternate ways to cool the milk?)

Do we need to periodically test for any type of bacteria? Or just use common sense and make sure there is no blood, puss, infection, dirt etc in the milk? Should we test the goat for anything? Or just be sure she is doing lots of grazing along with supplemental grains and appears to be in good health?

I was curious of any natural products/recipes for dip and wipes? We'd prefer to use as few chemicals as possible. Seems those chemicals could easily get into the milk.

So clean & cold are key! Thank You!
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Nothing is as fast as an ice water bath. Water transfers heat faster than air.

I have heard the suggestion of a small solar system (or car battery) to run this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N6302Q/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000N6302Q&linkCode=as2&tag=knowledgepubc-20
You should be able to make enough ice during daylight for both milkings. It is supposedly more efficient to make ice and use a good cooler than using a solar-compatible fridge. Again, water transfers heat faster than air.

We have used borax and washing soda or just lye soap for washing--but it takes more and hotter water to wash the equipment without the sanitizer. Yes it is a chemical, but it evaporates quickly (never left a taste in the milk) and makes us more sure of cleanliness (especially if the kids help wash up). It did make a difference in fridge time for the goats milk, definitely worth it when you are trying to save up milk for a big batch of cheese but not really needed if you are using it up in a day anyway.

We used all natural bug repellent, udder balm, soap, etc., but still used the boughten sanitizer because we couldn't find anything that worked as well. For wipes we use the cotton shop rags from Sam's or Costco, super cheap and just wash in hot water to reuse and just the right "texture" to get the job done without holding too much water. Or cut up old towels and Tshirts.

There is a test you are supposed to do, especially if feeding to young children, but I can't remember the name of it. We never did it.
 
Tawny Crawford
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
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Thank You so very much for the info!

Bleach, borax, soaps, etc I have not problem using when necessary. So I think that will defiantly work for us!

Thanks Again!
 
Chris Griffin
Posts: 54
Location: Eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mnts. Virginia
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You can do searches on the tests for milk. Look up "Certification of a grade A goat dairy" You should be able to find the information. After you start milking you will begin to learn the smell of good milk and not so good milk. You can buy test strips for testing for infections (mastitis) at www.jefferslivestock.com also. The Mastitis tests strips will react to almost any infection, so if you ever get a positive test you might want to then get your milk tested before sharing it with anyone.

We just freshened 2 girls today and expect to freshen our other two milkers with-in the week. Baby goats are one of the best things God ever created! That and the milk that comes in a couple of weeks.

Look at the healthy teat and compare what you see each and every day. You will know when there is an issue. You will find yourself checking the goats eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and nether regions constantly. We have found that when we are milking we look at each goat like they are children getting ready to go to school. Are they clean, are they healthy... you know the drill. Enjoy your goats! You will never be able to go back to store bought milk once you have had freshly chilled goats milk!
 
richard walker
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What if you don't have a fridge?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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richard walker wrote:What if you don't have a fridge?


Then you learn to drink it warm right after milking and culture/ferment the rest immediately (kefir or yogurt or cheese).

Goat milk is a nearly perfect growing medium (why it is so good and easy to digest for people, too) so it doesn't take much for bad bugs to grow. You need to consume it before that happens or make sure the good bugs win.
 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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I like to milk into a glass jar, and hold the jar with one hand and milk with the other. I always brush down the girls before milking, in case a loose hair might be coming out of their coat that I didn't see. I use a udder wash solution I also get from Hoegger, which is iodine based and you use a tiny amount and the rest water. I put it in a pint jar and dip their teats in it, then dry with a clean wash cloth. I never, ever use milk from an animal that is off feed or looks unthrifty, for any reason. This rarely happens though, as they get very good nutrition and are super healthy. Using the quart jar and brushing them down first virtually eliminates anything falling into the milk. Then I cap each jar and set it on the shelf overhead until I'm finished.

When I go into the house I strain with a commercially available goat milk strainer (Hoegger Supply), with a fresh, disposable paper filter in it, into another jar. All the strainers, and jars are boiled to make sure they are as clean as possible. I like to set them in the ice water bath, but there are times when I've forgotten and left milk in the barn, etc., or once, even on the back porch in a crate. After 12 hours the milk is still very fresh. For long term storage, it does need to be quickly chilled, but it starts to naturally ferment after a day or two of being unrefrigerated, so don't get too alarmed if you can't always refrigerate it immediately. Just use it yourself, or make bread or biscuits with it.
 
Sherry Jansen
Posts: 59
Location: Southern MN
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Hmmm... Not to throw a monkey wrench in the conversation, but milk, straight from the udder has some antimicrobial properties to it. Nature has ensured that kids, lambs or calves do not get contamination from the unwashed udder.

That said, caution is still recommended.

If you do not have refrigeration, and want to keep milk for drinking, try some collidoil silver or gold . . In the ole days they would put a silver coin in to keep it from souring, but find real silver these days is a headache.

On the Steppe, milk is immediately fermented into kefir and yogurt is possible too. To ensure no bad contamination, find a good source of bacteria. Pasturising immediately and sealing in jars to cool is also an option as is taking right to the cheese making process.

All that said, contamination will most likely come from the equipment you use or your own hands so cleanliness is essential. We use soapy water and do a final wipe down with a peroxide wet cloth.
 
Rachel Hoff
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Definitely get the California Mastitis Test, Hoegger should have it (I think it's like $16 but will last a really long time), and test once a month at the very least. It won't necessarily catch all bad bacteria, but it will let you know if you're dealing with an infection in the udder. It's the best, and most accurate mastitis test available. With goat milk, it can sometimes get a little gelled and not necessarily be an indicator of mastitis, but I have yet to see that with my girls.
 
A Philipsen
Posts: 58
Location: OR - Willamette Valley
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You can test for Brucellosis, TB and Jonnes, those are the ones that may affect people. It's unlikely your goat has any of them, but not impossible. It's also wise to test for CAE. That one does not affect people, but can be hard on a goat.
 
kadence blevins
Posts: 595
Location: SE Ohio
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here is what i do with my milk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtHyj6sBLRQ


i drink raw milk from my goats. the trick to getting milk that doesnt smell odd, is keep the buck(s) as far as you can from the does, or at least out of smell distance. a buck nearby will give you milk that taste like goat *gag*. next tip is that you want to get the milk cold as fast as possible. if it just sits there warm then it attracts bacteria and will possibly make it taste funny.

personally i drink it just like ya see in the video. goat, bucket, strain, fridge.
 
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