I find milking my goats helps alleviate the pain some. Now... I milk share so I only do it every other day. I have quite a bit of degeneration of the knuckles and finger joints but find the specialized squeezing and fluid motion helps keep pain to a minimum. The lack of daily repition really helps. Also, I only get 1/2-1gal each time so not like I'm milking a cow, at 3-5gal/day... Been there, done that and it hurt! Teat structure is a consideration as well... Small or short teats can cause some discomfort... For me, home grown milk is to yummy and has so many other benefits to not keep going....
There is a device I've seen that is a simple vacuum system, using a trigger squeeze thingy, pressure gauge, some plastic tubing, a plastic wide mouth jar lid.... Oh yea, and regular plastic syringe parts as teat cups.... I think a few squeezes of the trigger gets enough suction to milk most small dairy animals. Ive never used one but a friend does and loves it... It's cheap and works but not for extensive use as it does not have a pulser and will ruin an udder with regular use. Otherwise there are several milking machines available for goats/sheep that are safe, and easy to clean and use... I don't have experience with either.... Just reading and word of mouth. The simple system my friend uses cost around $120... Good luck!! The yogurt, cream, butter, cheese.... I press on!! Working on having year 'round milk now. I do keep the muscles of my hands and arms very fit also, as that is often most people's problem with hand milking....
Looking at the price of a milking machine and looking at the 'interesting' element of getting parts to make my own.
I could see there being a market for a kit to make a hand powered milker at home (hose, syringes/cups, hand-powered pump, and fittings to put it on the lid). I can't seem to find one for sale anywhere.
Those look neat. But with the current exchange rate, when I calculated shipping and duty, it got very scary. I found one on Amazon for a lot less... alas, it's plastic, but it's a start.
Still, my goat isn't going into heat anymore, so it will be about a year before I can get milk from her. Time enough to see if I can find a better system. Maybe if a permie made one and wanted to do an exchange for something I can make?
The Udderly EZ Hand Milker is inexpensive and was a lifesaver for me, milking my cow with painfully arthritic hands. Because it does not have a pulsator, I got a lot of grief from the Family Milk Cow group who were totally opposed to it, but I then contacted a dairy veterinary scientist at UW Madison who reassured me it would not hurt my cow's udder. It is not nearly as fast as a bucket milker, but it is quiet and relaxing to use. My cow never minded it at all. I was milking up to 4 gallons a day-- a goat would be much faster. I have heard that Udderly EZ now makes a powered version, that can even be solar powered, but I don't know anything about it.
Our resident inventor tried out a cow milker that used gravity or siphoning instead of a pump. It didn't pulse, though he didn't believe that would be a problem. I don't know why but our students, who have the responsibility for milking, didn't continue using it.
It simply consisted of milking nipple holders (or whatever they're called) attached to a pipe, and they had to have the cow standing on a higher level, and the bucket or outlet at a lower level.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
I have arthritis and used to suffer doing almost anything until a friend told me that drinking water into which a small amount of magnesium chloride has been dissolved would help. I didn't believe it but thought I'd try it anyway. Believe me, it WORKS! Dissolve about a teaspoon of it into 2 quarts of water. Drink about half a cup first thing every morning and then another half cup before dinner every evening. Almost all of your pain will go away! And then you can continue milking with your own hands, which I'm sure your animals would far prefer to some contraption hooked up to them. Good Luck!
Uh oh, we're definitely being carded. Here, show him this tiny ad:
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