Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Milk Stand With Modifications

Billy aka Pooter Bill
is modeling our new milk stand

I promised to make a friend of mine a milk stand.  What I ended up doing is making another for us since there were some changes we needed to make and I am cleaning up the first milk stand for her.

Originally we were only planning on milking pygmy/Nigeria mixes so the stand was built to size.  However since then we have started to milk the neighbor's lamancha and the stand is a bit small for her even though it does work.

The new stand has a taller head gate and a longer platform.  We are also planning on milking Barbado sheep at some point.  I know some of you think we are crazy but then again if we were not then what kind a life would we be living... boring.

We have also added a jar holder on the front as well as the back leg of the stand since we are milking with a hand pump.  This will make it much safer as some of the goats still put up a bit of a struggle since they are not milked daily.  We are still working on training a few of them.

Another modification that we have made is instead of using a latch to lock the head gate we use an angled board that we slide down between the head piece and the frame of the stand.  This keeps is secure no matter the size of goat that is on the stand.  From small kid to full grown.

Current summary of the milking.  We are enjoying the milking.  It takes dedication as you must milk every 12 hours.  It keeps you pretty tied down but you just have to set your priorities.  We have been excited to finally have milk and milk products again.

We have made, buttermilk, yogurt, and cheese so far.  We plan on also putting some milk back in the freezer for when we are not milking.  This will keep us from having to buy the soy milk were were having to use.

Are we saving money?  Probably not with the feed purchase and all.  It is good to know where your milk comes from though.

Things we have noticed.

1.  When the grass is wet the milk production improves.
2.  Dairy feed improves milk production.  (We have only been able to find cattle dairy feed at this time but we are still looking.

Our girls free range during the day and are put up at night with their babies.  Those nannies that still have nursing babies are milked once a day when we do milk them.  We milk them just before putting them in the evenings.  The babies are big enough to wean however we do not have the accommodations at this time to separate them.  Another thing to add to the never ending to do list.

Note:  Check out the pretty green grass in Texas.  I am so excited to see green after last year's drought/heatwave.

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