Milking on the homestead… When you do it wrong it can be a real chore. But with the right routine and the best hand milking gear it can be downright therapeutic!
This milking buyers guide is designed to help a homesteader select the right equipment for their small at home dairy.
Below we are going to share the equipment we use, or when the equipment we use is no longer available (like our awesome milk strainer 🙁 that I can’t find anywhere anymore), something closest to it that we could find online.
Some of the links are affiliate links and if you buy through these links we make a small commission from the sale but it cost’s no extra on your end.
Hand Milking Goats (or a homestead cow)
Hand milking goats or a mini Jersey is a great way to get started in homestead dairy. A few goats can get you a half gallon to a whole gallon of milk depending on your goats, feed, and if you leave the kids on or not. And smaller cows can be a good fit too for a homestead family.
We milk Nubian does and mini Jerseys on our Homestead.
Each morning we lead our girls into the stanchion with a dog leash and collar. Make sure to use a thick nylon lead as it is easier on your hands if your goat is fighting to go where you want it to go as goats usually do 😉 Once our doe is in the stanchion we give her some feed, and begin our milking.
We use a dip cup to apply some iodine to her teats, and then wipe the iodine off with a few clean rags. Next we use a strip cup to make sure the milk looks clean.
Now it is time to start milking. Find a nice 9 qt stainless steel pail with a lid does a good job keeping the milk contained and not spilled, while still fitting under our girls. We use an elastic headband to wrap around the bucket and hold a piece of cheesecloth as a filter for hair and debris that may fall into the bucket.
I like to weigh the milk each day, I like using a digital scale that can tear the bucket weight for me and give me an extremely accurate measure.
Once the milk is weighed it is brought inside to be strained. We strain the milk through a filter into half gallon mason jars. 2 Good does will give at least a half gallon of milk a day, and even if you have more than that from a cow or a bunch of goats, we prefer to store the milk in half gallon jars as it keeps better than a gallon jar. Gallon Jars cool slower and each time the milk is brought out of the refrigerator more milk is being warmed, leading to the milk spoiling quicker. It is better to use smaller jars and keep excess milk in the cold refrigerator longer. Make sure to us plastic lids, and the metal lids tend to rust over time and are harder to clean.
We like to clean our milk parlor each day, I find a lightweight hose and a pressure washer adapter work nice for cleaning the parlor.
Dog Lead – https://amzn.to/2KoJbNG
Dip Cup – https://amzn.to/2QTuMNo
Strip Cup – http://amzn.to/2EAW1DW
9 QT Stainless Steel Milk Pail with lid – https://amzn.to/2LdBR6n
Elastic headbands – https://amzn.to/2GTVS0X
Cheesecloth – https://amzn.to/2Yz0Rib
Digital Scale – https://amzn.to/33vQ0EO
Strainer (not the one we use, closest match we could find, could not find ours online anymore…) – http://amzn.to/2FGVf7Z
Straining Filters – https://amzn.to/2LeY0ky
Half Gallon Mason Jars – https://amzn.to/2Ca08aF
Plastic Lids for wide mouth mason Jars – https://amzn.to/2rAbpLc
Lightweight Hose – https://amzn.to/2GVyMqq
Pressure Washer Adapter – https://amzn.to/2GTmU8o