Doing all your prep work for raising goats, you probably got your goat fencing and stall done. You figured out what goat breed to get. You have your goat supplies, goat medical supplies, and goat kidding supplies. And now you have to get your goat milking supplies ready.
Of course, don't forget that in addition to getting the right goat milking supplies, you will also need to learn how to milk your goat.
Milking a goat may seem like there will be a lot involved, however there really is not too much to get. It is one of the more simple parts of herd management. You can also get more elaborate with your milking supplies if you want and we will cover that below also.
Goat milking supplies
Your 7 main supplies for milking a goat are as follows:
- Stainless Steel Milk Bucket
- Udder Wipes
- Milk Stand
- (Optional) Milk Machine
Keep reading below for the details on each item.
This is perhaps one of the most important pieces of goat milking equipment. You want a stainless steel milk bucket, not a plastic or glass or any other material type.
Without a milking pail, you won't have anything to actually milk into.
A stainless steel milk bucket is your best choice because they are easiest to keep clean. It is, of course important to keep your goat milking supplies as clean as possible since they are handling your raw milk. Materials like plastic can hold in bacteria which you definitely don't want.
Stainless steel is non-pourous, so it is less likely than say plastic to harbor bacteria leftover from the milk residue.
Since we have mini goats we went with a smaller 2 quart one. Obviously if you are milking a cow or standard size goat you may want a larger capacity pail.
2) Latex or Nitrile gloves
Gloves are one of the most simple and inexpensive goat milking supplies. You can get these at your local grocery store. You will want to wear gloves to cut down on germs from your hands to the milk.
You will also want to change your gloves between goats (if you are milking more than one) to cut down on germ transfer between udders.
3) Udder wipes
These are a must have in your milking supplies. You can get all kinds of fancy udder wipes. We just use a good ol' fashioned washcloth that has been put in warm water (no one wants a cold rag on their udder!!).
Whatever kind of udder wipe you choose, it will be an essential milking supply. The reason to use udder wipes is to get debris off the udder so it doesn't go into your milk pail as well as to keep dirt and germs from getting into your goats teats.
Need some help to keep your goats healthy and maintained? The G.O.A.T Herd Management Binder has you covered from supplies to routine care reminders.
There are lots of other fancy milk strainers out there to choose from. Basically, you want the holes in the milk strainer to be small enough to catch any dirt/hair that may have made it into your milk.
Again, like with your stainless steel milk bucket, using a milk strainer made from stainless steel is the best choice. It will help keep your milk the cleanest that it can be.
We tried a few different strainers when we started and we like this milk strainer the best.
5) Container for milk
Of course, you're goat milking supplies wouldn't be complete without something to hold the milk in when you are storing it in your fridge. We use glass quart canning jars.
They are just the right size, have easy screw on lids and are easy to wash in the dishwasher.
6. Milk Stand
A milk stand is essential if you will be milking your goats. And it can have multiple uses, it comes in handy for goat hoof trimming and other health checks also.
Having a milk stand gives you a slightly elevated area to secure your goat to while you are milking. Having them raised up helps you get to their udder to milk. And, of course, some goats are super well behaved and will let you milk them anywhere you want. But, many need to be secured and distracted with a treat in order to hold still.
7. (optional) Milk Machine
Owning a milk machine is definitely a little bit of an initial monetary investment. However, if you have multiple goats to milk or if you have any physical restrictions, a milk machine is a great investment.
Hand milking multiple goats can be time consuming and VERY labor intensive.
Goat milkers are not an absolutely essential piece of goat milking equipment because you can do the job with just your hands.
Goat milkers are not particularly cheap, so it will be something you need to weigh out. The money spent versus the time savings that you might get by adding a goat milker can be worth it.
If you've notice a decrease in your milk production, here are a few potential culprits to get your goat back on track.
What do you consider your most important goat milking supplies?
If you need more help keeping your goats healthy and well taken care of, check out the G.O.A.T. Herd Management System - worksheets, calculators, supply management and more to keep your goats in tip top shape while cutting down on time.