We’ve been working on installing some new fencing out in the pasture, splitting it into two separate sections. The goats have had fun “helping” with the project. Betsy, Supervisor: Dozer, in charge of shovels: Dozer, also in charge of tools: Buttercup, chewing on the fence posts: Betsy, eating the grass off the tops of the clumps of dirt we dug out of the hole. Apparently this is better than “normal” grass: Mo, standing on the not-quite-dry concrete and leaning on the not-quite-set post: Mo, standing on top of Goat Mountain: It would certainly be easier to work with this little herd tucked away in their stalls, but it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining. : )
The baby goats are spending the afternoons away from their moms to encourage weaning. I feel like such a meanie, but it’s good for them to get used to exploring on their own, and it encourages them to eat more hay and grains, which is going really well. Peabody asks to go out every half hour or so, just to check on them. : ) Such a good babysitter.
There are a ton of tutorials out there with great instructions on making a homemade goat milking machine. I won’t get into all of the details since all of that is already available, but I’d like to share some photos of my homemade goat milk machine along with some tips on problem-solving the issues I had and what I would do differently.
First things first. I based my milk machine on the one in this very nice video tutorial on youtube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK2JsEWwMEs Thank you, goatfinder. This was super helpful.
The basic idea here is to create low pressure in the jar by sucking air out of it through one tube, forcing the milk to flow into the jar through another tube. The air line side and the milk side are completely separate – the milk never goes through the pump, and never touches the air line side [Unless you’re like me and accidentally fill the jar to the tippy top, causing milk to flow into the airline side creating a huge mess. But I digress…]
My changes to the milk machine in the video include adding dual cups to milk both sides of the udder at once and a battery powered pump. I also used different connectors because I couldn’t find the ones in the video. Here’s a quick sketch of how this thing is put together:
I believe my total cost came in at under $75. Here’s a rough list of the materials I used and estimates on my costs… [Read more…]