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Hand milker for dwarf goats?

 
Sarah Yao
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Can anyone recommend a hand-milker for Nigerian dwarf goats? The farm where I bought 3 of my girls used the Henry Milker when she needed to milk and the farm where I got 1 girl used the UdderlyEZ. I am new to milking and also have fibromyalgia. The one doe that is currently in milk starts acting up and trying to knock my hand away pretty much as soon as I touch her - while she's eating sweet feed. Maybe that will get better when we have a routine, though. I just can't get any milk!
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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I had one who was doing this, with plenty of feed. First of all, you can do what country farmers do, wrap rope around her back legs (this is done with cows). Are you using a stanchion? If not, make one. They are easy to make, great to use, and it keeps the goat from doing much.

I went to make a hand milker, but by the time I got around to it, I was milking so fast, that I couldn't imagine it helping any. I figured unless I motorized it, I still had to squeeze. Part of it is technique. You don't need a lot of force, what you need to do is think more of a stripping motion, than a squeezing motion. Reach up on the udder as far as you can, and start compressing up above, this will achieve a lot more milk per squeeze, with a lot less effort. I end up, after the udder is a little less full, squeezing most of the udder (I have big hands)

Just my two cents.
 
Ben Plummer
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Paul posted a video of "maggidan's hand milker" a while back:

 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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One thing brought up in this is the work you have to do to clean them. I guess if you had a bunch of goats, the cleaning might be worth it, but a few? Seems to make more sense to just do it by hand. The other thing, squeezing with your hand to milk, or squeezing the machine. I get more milk out per "cycle" than the example in the video.

Once you get the hang of it, milking a goat is fast and easy - I am not sure how much it actually helps to have a device between you and the goat - unless you motorize it, of course.

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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I've been looking for something that would help me milk my Nigerian too. She has small teats, 1 1/2 - 2 inch MAX. My right hand is already numb most mornings when I wake up. I've looked at the videos for the Maggiedan Milker and the Henry Milker, and both are squeeze action. Not much help for me unless I use my left hand, but I think it might help with the tiny teat situation.

It appears there are some other closed system milkers with different pump actions, but I don't remember the names. There are also build it yourself plans.

I think what it comes down to for me is the closed system. Leave the hair on the goat, leave her udder dry and "un-disinfected", just clean the teat, and still have clean milk.

I don't know much about it yet, but I have seen it mentioned that when kids nurse, the channel is not left open, but when milking, the milk channel is "open" making the does vulnerable to mastitis, unless you keep them from lying down for half an hour.

Some closed system milkers come with a pressure gauge, and some do not. With some of them, you pump and create a "reservoir" of suction, then go do other things then come pump some more. I wonder about this. If the suction milker mimics the kid's nursing action (?possibly making it better for the doe's health and longevity as a milker?), maybe pressure fluctuation is an important consideration, then better to get one with a gauge, or one you can add a gauge to, and find out about appropriate pressures.

Then, there is a Henry Milker that has two teat cups, so you can milk both sides at once (and have twice the tubing to clean), and one of the other milkers with a lever action pump you work with your arm, is set up so you can milk both sides of two does at once.

Lots of options, lots of people saying different things.....

I do hope someone who has already studied all this will post and help us out.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I've done a little research, trying to figure this milker thing out.

I found this: http://www.udderlybettermilk.com/health.htm, an anti conventional milking machine website, (they have a new and improved system to sell) which documents some of the things that can go wrong in machine milking. Continuous suction is not good, too much suction is not good. What it does IMO, is disrupt the circulation in the tissue of the teat and udder, causing injuries at the cellular level, that never get a chance to heal. There are photos of deformed udders, and grotesquely deformed teats. These types of injuries and deformities appear to be quite commonplace, almost accepted in that line of dairying.

A good milker will provide a way to monitor the suction created, and somehow provide for the amount of suction to fluctuate, without the teat cup detaching from the teat.

And I found this: http://pholiafarm.com/milk_and_milking.htm, a small Nigerian goat dairy with enough does that they use an electric milking machine. They talk about the pulsation feature on their milker, that's the term for the fluctuation in amount of suction. Now I know more about what I am looking for in a hand powered milking device.

They also talk about one of my other concerns, that my doe has very tiny teats. They have two sets of photographs of does at first freshening, and years later, the teats change in shape and size, as do udders, with successive lactation seasons. I guess I should have been able to figure that out, having been through two lactation cycles myself. Things have never been the same.

They also have plans for a PVC built Nigerian milking stand. Looks like just what I need at a fraction of the cost and within my abilities and half the materials just lying around in the way.

So far, so good, but still plenty of research left before I buy any milkers.

Thekla





 
Jeff Wesolowski
Posts: 34
Location: nw ohio
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I used the maggidan's hand milker to milk my friends goat when we shared milking duties. I loved it and the goat didn't seem to mind either. I liked it cause I didn't have to worry about small teets and there was no learning curve. I heard that if too agreesive with it you could hurt the udders, I just took my time. You occasionally get a hair in the one way valve is a problem but is easly fixed. Low cost and no power needed also was a plus.
 
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