Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And By Golly We Have Goat Milk



Micah picked up the newest addition today. She is a Mini Alpine and she is so sweet. Not the least bit shy, unlike the other goats when we first brought them home. We are continuing with our Irish name theme for the goats and calling her Aisling. By the time Micah got her home and rigged up the milk stand, it was dark and I had to put the kids to bed, even though they really wanted to stay up and watch us milk her.




Micah, if you can't already tell, is a freaking genius! A genius I say! He somehow managed to create our very own hand milker using a syringe (without the needle) and tubing. The whole contraption cost $25 and once we got Aisling up on the stand and eating grain, it took less than a minute to extract the milk. Not bad for our first time eh?



Okay, okay, it's not a a lot. I'm thinking she nursed her kid right before Micah picked her up? Maybe? But it's more goat milk than we had this morning. So for these two college kids who are new to farming, we're pretty happy with ourselves.

I just pasteurized the milk and we are letting it completely chill in the fridge before drinking it (because there's nothing worse than warm milk), BUT I must say I am so happy that we were able to get any milk from her at all.

I think this is a good step in our sustainable living quest. Now if I could just get rid of the snakes and mice, I'd be one happy camper.

5 comments:

  1. Awesome!! I had been anti-dairy goat, but this kind of makes me think it might be a go if we can find a quick and easy way to milk it! Yay for you!

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  2. Woo Hoo! She's pretty & I'm happy she's tame & sweet....I bet your kiddos were thrilled!! I've seen a milker like yours, very clever. One thing to keep in mind...milkers like that, the Maggidans milker & the Udderly EZ (what I have) do not completly empty the udder, so for optimum milk production, use your handy, clever milker (wish I could invent things like that!) then massage her udder a bit & finish milking her out by hand. Fully emptying her will signal her body to produce more milk than the time before... Careful not to pull down like you see them do with cows, you can damage the udder tissue, or worse, pull some of it out through the teat!! Since she's not nursing kids anymore be sure to use a teat dip after milking (homemade recipe is on Fiasco Farms website) to prevent bacteria from entering the open orifice (baby goat spit is natually acidic & seals up the teats naturally).

    Don't be discouraged on the milk amount. Stress drops production & it can take a week on a regular schedule to get her up to par again. Lots & lots of alfafa pellets or hay & in no time you'll be enjoying homemade cheeses & yogurt! Milk production is based on demand. I've had lots of luck moving a low producer on to 3x's a day milking for a week & fuel her up on alfalfa to bump production...Did this with my mini Alpine & we went from a 4lb a day milk average to her current average which is almost 6.5lbs per day.....we now milk her twice a day & she still averages a hair more than 1/2 a gallon.

    I love her name!

    Oh BTW- Let me know how the milk taste after pasteurizing. We drink raw milk.... I milk, bring in as quickly as possible, filter with my Hoeggers mini strainer & place in the freezer (the quicker you get it chilled, the better it taste & the longer it stores). For 1/2 gallon jars I leave in the freezer for at least 2 hours before placing in the coldest part of my fridge....Milk keeps a fresh flavor for about 2-3 weeks this way.

    Anywho..... I've tried pasteurizing (after filtering of course) at 165° for 15 seconds in a sterilized, SS pan, then rapidly chilled. Tasted goaty & "cooked".....even had an "off" smell.....Tried the lower temp method of holding milk at 140° (or was it 145°?) for an hour, rapidly chilled & got the same results :-(

    I've tried store bought pasteurized goat's milk & hated it too....So I'm curious if there is a secret trick to getting good tasting pasteurized goat's milk that I haven't figured out?? I know lots of goat folks who pasteurize & love the milk, so I'm certain I've done something wrong when I tried to pasteurize!!! We prefer it raw & don't need or want to pasteurize it, but for my nephew who isn't a year old yet, we pasteurize it....he likes it, but I surely don't...lol

    Best of luck, can't wait to see more pics after she's settled in :-)

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  3. Crystal, THANK YOU for all the tips. I really appreciate it. :) Yes, the milk did taste a little burnt after I pasteurized it. I thought about not and it might be the way we go. We'll just have to continue buying cow milk from the store for my toddler. :)

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  4. Crystal, we normally drink it raw too, which I think is fantastic. The commercial stuff tastes the way my goats smell, which I'm not exactly a fan of. No wonder so many people have an aversion to goat's milk. I have pasteurized at 145 deg for 30 minutes for some cheeses and it didn't seem to affect the flavor too much, but I hate wasting so much time so I try not to pasteurize whenever possible.

    And I totally have to second you on the milker as well. My goats actually hate it. H-A-T-E it so we only hand milk now. We get a much larger amount that way and it really doesn't take that much longer.

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