Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Putting it in the bucket - Goat milking!

Now that Vita's back we are very happy to be milking again. Someone asked me once what I "do" to the milk before I drink it. They wondered how I "clean" it.

There's really no cleaning involved but I do strain our goat's milk. Here's how...


First go and getcha a beautiful bucket of milk from your goat. Notice there is a lot of foam on top of the milk? I just love that - not only does it remind me of a latte - but it acts like a bit of a filter and catches and keeps a lot of the this-n-that out of the milk. Some people milk thru cheesecloth so that no hair or danger or whatever gets into the milk. But if you do a good job of cleaning your goat before milking you shouldn't have a problem.

Then hurry your milk into the house. Don't dilly dally with your fresh milk - you want to get it strained and chilled as soon as possible. Some milk pails have a lid - I just use one from a pot I have in the kitchen.


Next, set up your filter. The filter is just a big stainless bowl thingy, and you use a milk filter (available at any of the goat supply places or at the feed store, secure it with a ring, and pour the milk thru. Don't over flow the jar.

I got 2 and a half quarts from Vita this morning. She'll ramp up to about a gallon soon.

I put our milk into wide mouthed quart jars. They are easy to clean and they seem to be a good size to quickly chill the milk. You want to get the fresh milk under 40* as soon as possible. I put the filled jars in the freezer. Some folks think this changes the texture of the milk, but we haven't noticed any difference.

And you're done. Easy peasy! Where's the cookies?

Fat Deb looking large!

Here's something... Debbie started to act like her babies are ready to make their appearance. We have our 4H Kid on high alert. I keep checking her but for now she's just laying there quietly. But we'll have babies soon! Yay Debbie!

And.. don't forget its Farm Friends Friday! I guess we are getting a headstart this week. Give a click and head on over to Verde Farm!



Happy Farm Friends Friday (almost) everyone!

21 comments:

Teresa said...

This so makes me wish I were milking my goats right now. Babies will be here soon though.

Millie said...

Kuddos to Vita. She's quite the milker!

kenleighacres.com said...

Wow...a gallon! Do you milk her twice a day? How much will she give from each milking? Very interesting! I was milking one of our sheep because she had too much for her one lamb, but the bottle lamb got the milk :)

Buttons said...

Yeah babies. B

Mr. H. said...

That is an amazing amount of milk that you get from one goat. My stupid question of the week would be how do you find use for so much milk?

steve c said...

Even better than putting it in the freezer is to put it into an icewater bath. Water is a much better cooling medium than air. Think of standing outside naked in 50 degree air (cold but do-able) now get in 50 degree water. Betcha don't stay in the water as long.... Plus thats what mom always did after I got done milking the cow when I was a wee fella. She knew everything:) I enjoy your writing style and blog.

the Goodwife said...

Can't wait to see Debbie's babies! Whoo hoo!

The only thing I do to our milk is strain it as well, but then I put the qt jars down in an empty ice cream bucket, put ice in it, then cold water and let them sit for about 20 min (or less, or more...) this gets them chilled really quick. The main reason I do this is cuz I never have room to set the jars in the freezer, and I tend to forget about them, not that it's a big deal, but............

Caroline in NH said...

I do pretty much the same as you - milk into the bucket (I have a very cheap cover purchased at WM), strain through milk filter into jars, and put it in the freezer. The hardest thing is remembering to take it OUT of the freezer before it freezes! I start with quart jars and move up to half-gallon jars as needed.

The Gingerbread House7 said...

It was exciting to know how to take care of the milk once you milked the goat..do you leave it in the freezer?? or is it just to chill it for a spell?....I don't think I'll ever have a goat (since I can't even have chickens:o( but I'd just like to know if I'm blessed with fresh milk...:o)

Naomi said...

I'm jealous.

we have four weeks minimum before our first gal is due - and I can't have cow's milk.

I want cereal again! LOL

Michaele said...

You do a very nice job of keeping the milk clean. Looks wonderful.

Jennifer said...

I enjoyed readin your post, your goats milk looks yummy :)

Verde Farm said...

Ok, I have a dumb question--being I know nothing about goats and milk. Once you put it in the freezer--is it ready for drinking or baking or whatever? That’s all you have to do? That’s sounds doable to me :) I want goaties.

Grandpa said...

That's a lot of work there OFG. But goat milk is the best. Here's to you (I'm holding up a glass of UHT milk - all I have at the moment).

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Teresa - Our kidding season started a bit early but I'm so glad - all that free milk!

Thanks Millie! Can you believe that Debbie - our la mancha - will milk even MORE than that!

Hi kenleigh! Yep we milk twice a day and we use every drop of it. The sheep's milk would have been great for cheese.

You said it, Buttons!

Not stupid at all Mr. H, we use all of it. Either for us to drink, cook with, or make cheese with. Or to feed the barnyard. The clucks, ducks, turks, and oinkers just love it. its a great source of protein and great for the layer's eggs.

Thanks Steve C! (and glad you stopped by) I think that GW siad the same thing. We are ice deficient here tho..yikes! Some folks put frozen stuff (bottles of water) into their milk buckets to start the chilling process immediately. Great thoughts

Oh hey GW - hee hee thats what I thought you said.. and there you are! i'm always opening up the freezer looking for ice cream
;-)

Hi Caroline! Yep we have half gallons also. I use them to store the milk until I have enough to make cheese.

Hi Ginny! Most times I remember to take it oub. But when the quarts in the fridge are used up I just set some more out to thaw.

Cereal, Naomi? How about "goat-meal!" ha ha ha ha

Thanks Michaele!

Hi Jennifer! I can't wait to start having "goat-pucinos!"

Yep Verde, its ready for action as soon as its chilled. Or if I'm baking or making cheese I just start using it.

Thanks Grandpa, I'll pour you a tall cold one.
;-)

Dreaming said...

Thanks for the great post and the answers to everyone's questions. I have learned so much today!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

thanks Dreaming! Now all you need a is a couple of goats to go with those Haflingers of yours. Thanks for stopping by.

Monika Borua said...

Nice Blog ! Thank you for your very nice articles. I look forward to visiting your site in the future!
Methods of Modern Farming

Ohiofarmgirl said...

thanks Monika! feel free to jump into the conversation anytime!
:-)

Wayne from Big Fat Daddys said...

This is a great post. My wife wants a goat. I can't wait to show her this. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey Wayne! come on in and stay a while - if you click on the "goats" category at the bottom of this post you'll see other articles. you can also click on the "What I know about goats" at the top of the page.
:-)

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