Milking the Goat

Put your doe in the stanchion and give her some feed. Close the stanchion. First off, wash the goat's udder and teats with a little warm water. Run your hand over her belly and a little bit down her back legs.

This gets her used to your touch. I do this every time I put them on the stand. It also knocks off any loose hairs and/or dirt that may end up in the milk. We use a Stainless Steel pail about 6" high. It has a handle and holds about one gallon. 

When you actually do the milking, you need to wrap your hand around the teat. Gently squeeze the thumb and first finger together to stop the milk from going back up into the bag. Now gently squeeze the other fingers into the fist one at a time, starting with the center finger and then the ring finger and then the pinky. The milk should start coming out when you squeeze the center finger and just continue as you press inward with the other fingers. Release the thumb and the first finger and you should feel the milk flowing down into the teat. Close off the bag and repeat the finger squeezes. Do this over and over, you will pick up a rhythm as you get more practice. When the milk stops coming down, work the bag with your hand... gently butt it like a baby goat would. This will allow all the milk to 'come down', when the milk stops coming again. Gently work the bag and strip the teats. You need to use your thumb and first finger to actually pull all the milk out of the teat. Any milk left in the goat will start to cake up and cause mastitis. This is Very Bad.

You could practice with a rubber glove. Put warm water in the glove and make a needle hole in two of the ring finger and the first finger next to the thumb. Now tie it up somewhere and practice until you get the hang of it.

We filter our milk right after milking to remove any debris from the milk, then it gets put right into a refrigerator. We filter into gallon jars. That way I know how much my goats gave me this milking and its already measured when I go to make cheese. Providing Jack hasn't gotten thirsty and drank a quart or two.

Salt is a preservative, a purifier, a flavor enhancer, and a drying agent. That's what we use it for. If we put salt into something, its usually a soup stock.

When you start a recipe that calls for water, you need something to pull the flavor out of the veges or meats that you put in and add it to the water. Salt does this. Otherwise, we don't use it much. I use more of it in the butcher shop than on the table.