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Author Topic: Considering getting a milker  (Read 3035 times)

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Considering getting a milker
« on: January 10, 2013, 02:18:57 pm »
Been thinking for quite a while now about getting a milking goat.  Looking at various topics over the months is making me think a lot more about doing it plus I bought a book on making lots of interesting things foodwise. 
 
I know its a commitment, so I've been thinking on and off through various months of warm, rain, cold, snow etc looking for things to put me off.  Kids are very keen and we are building a couple of new barns/sheds/stables type buildings this year and I have visions of a creamery. 
 
OH has been very into making his own wine, very successfully and he has managed to maintain his enthusiasm  ::)  making it for years now and it's quite theraputic I can see (not that I need therapy, I think).
 
We only have wee pygmies at the moment which are great fun, but I wouldn't milk them.  I was due to get some Bagots last year but stalled at the last as their milk volume is very low and I don't want to carry passengers (even for the RBST, sorry). 
 
I know lots of you will support the idea of a milker, but is there anything you can tell me that might make me think again?  OH likes the idea as it means we finally have livestock we can benefit from other than the feelgood factor.  ::)  Nitty gritty please, thanks in advance.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs
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jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 03:21:05 pm »
It does just mean it's much more difficult to go away. At all, even overnight.

I milk mine with the little Udderly Ez handpump, in part so that when I do get a relief milker overnight (my mum usually) it isn't too different for the goats and they therefore don't refuse to let their milk down  ::)

I only milk in the mornings, which does help with just how much it ties your day, at least I don't have to worry about having to be home for set time in the evening too.

For the first 6-8 months the goat kids are with their mums all day, after that the milk yield has reduced enough for once a day to be ok.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 04:59:06 pm »
I'm still milking twice a day so it is a tie but I've never had set times (so long as it's fairly near the same time each day/evening) so it's not too bad.  You have to think about having males destroyed at birth or sending them to the abbatoir when the time comes.

TBH, when I think how hard I have fought to keep my goats since becoming disabled (with an awful lot of help from some lovely people), I'm probably not the best person to be talking about the negatives.  Goats are so worth keeping.  And you will need more than one if they are to be happy.

jinglejoys

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 05:03:25 pm »
As with Jaykay milking wise.Bagots are not dairy goats neither are pygmies, angora's,etc so do your research into the type of dairy goat and how much milk you want first.it is better to get a slightly older goat which is calm at being milked and has got over the terrible teens stage ;) ;D remember goats are herd animals too so unless you are prepared to be a herd member you'll need more than one

adamhfc

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 05:31:47 pm »
it does say she already keeps pygmeys

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 07:00:04 pm »
Thanks Adam  ;)  yes, we kept larger pygmy/Togg X before but one of them was always having foot problems and it became a pain, we kept them for 2 years and then sold them to a farm park and we have 3 pygmy goats, not the same handleability of course, but we are goat experienced.
 
Note what you say Jaykay about going away and have read your previous posts about the hand pump.  Smallholding would be so much easier to have someone around all the time, someone you trust, wouldn't it  ::) . We don't go away much at all so I have thought about that and it's not a problem - sods law though that you get one and someone gives you a surprise holiday.  ;)  The routine you have sounds good, I'm still a bit soft so I like the idea of leaving the little one/s with mum and the milk while their little, it sounds the right thing to do.
 
Note what you say JJ about teenagers etc, would probably consider a slightly older lady, non-smoker, likes hay and long walks etc.  :D
 
Don't think I'll do it until next year when we will have a stable block up and less mud around (hopefully).  Any more comments welcome please.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 10:04:16 pm »
Invite yourself round to mine and we can talk goat until the ... :cow: , no the  :goat:  come home...
 
1) Yes it is tie - we have dug deep and bought a milking machine (I also have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands). My parents and husband are happy to milk by machine, my chidren can hand-milk some of the goats too. OH and I even got away for a whole week in summer to Shetland.
 
2) If you are really keen on GG's there may be some for sale next year, not too far away. GG's will give about 3 to 4 ltrs per day during the summer, in winter it drops to just over a litre a day, milked twice.
 
You should go for it - the milk is really, really nice - I didn't drink pure milk before, only in tea or so - but now all the time a glass of milk instead of water or juice... and the same for my children too

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 02:31:25 pm »
Yes, I was keen on a GG for a long time and was actively seeking some, then it seemed everyone wanted them and that put me off (a bit flimsy of me I expect).  Then thought I should do Bagots because there are so few, but we are carrying too many passengers which don't give us a return and the poor Bagot really just has to be kept for 'conservation grazing' and not much else. 
 
Added to that this years rain has made me think seriously about what we are actually doing with all these animals and the related costs, an expensive hobby is smallholding. 
 
Yes, I would like a visit Anke, would be nice if you have some kids to awe at  :D  many thanks.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 10:53:47 pm »
One thing to consider is the monthly hoof trim.  Not the nicest of jobs but it is satisfying when you look at well pedicured hooves.

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 11:07:21 pm »
My pygmy's quite like their monthly hoof trim  :innocent:

Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 09:11:08 am »
Trying to think of negatives for you....


It is a tie- not just for going away for overnight stays, but as with any animal, you can't be sick and not go out and milk, it all has to be done regardless.


Some people will tell you routine and times are really important (I know people who religiously milk at 6am and 6pm), but in reality, your goats have to fit in with your routine whatever that might be. I know people who milk at 11am and midnight, in order to fit the goats in round working shifts.


Ours know to be flexible, they normally get done at about 8am and 8pm, but that can vary according to what we are up to, and also shows as we have to milk at different times at shows. If there aren't people in the goatshed by 5 past 8, they don't mind at all!


It will just generally increase your workload, there will be extra feet to trim, milking takes a little bit of time, straining the milk, feeding them morning and night etc etc. Also, it's more common for dairy goats to kept inside more, so there may be more mucking out! All small stuff, but it will increase the number of things you have to do.


You probably are best to visit a few people before you commit, and try and decide what breed you want. GG's are an endangered breed, and will probably do everything you want, but think about it. *Ahem* Don't Anke let hear this but GG's aren't my favourite breed* don't really know why either.


I have to say I would probably recommend BT's, they milk well, will run through (milk on) for 2 years (or longer) and are nice and hardy. Pure toggenburgs are lovely too, but a little harder to get in Scotland.


Beth

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2013, 01:51:09 pm »
Thanks Beth, we have kept goats now for 3 years so used to all the goat husbandry - it's now that I feel comfortable with that which makes me consider going to the next level as it were and so I was interested in your paragraph on milk husbandry - you're right it's all the wee things that add up and I expect you have to be scrupulous about milk handling and more maticulous about goat housing etc.  I'm not going to run out and buy a nanny in kid - it is something I need to consider more and get the housing right first.  We have lots of building projects on this year so hears to a dry year so we can get that sorted. 
 
If anything I've learnt to get the basics right or it just causes stress.  I'll give Anke a visit at some point - it's maybe the Afghan coat that puts you off Beth  ;D
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2013, 10:34:46 pm »
I don't know about scrupulous.  I use teat wipes on my hands and the udder and strain through butter muslin placed in a sieve over a jug.  Milking bucket is washed in the dishwasher once a day and by hand the other time.  Jugs and sieve go in the dish washer.  The muslin is rinsed and soaked for 12 hours.

The shed gets cleaned out once a fortnight in summer and every couple of months in winter as I use the deep litter system.  My lot live in a garden shed with holes drilled in the floor to allow drainage.  They sleep on straw and shredded paper.  The roof and walls get cleaned once in a blue moon.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 04:49:29 pm »
Sounds do-able Mad, and realistic  :D
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Considering getting a milker
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 08:47:28 pm »
It's defintely doable.  I'd hate to be without mine now.  Apart from anything else I'd just be the mad woman of Madeley.   :roflanim:

 

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