How to Milk a Goat

Get some tips on how to milk a goat.  Especially, if you're milking a dwarf dairy goat by hand!  You'll learn the important steps on correctly milking your goat.

How to milk a goat by hand does require learning a certain technique to get the most milk from your dairy goat without hurting her milking parts or yourself.

For people who have a lot of dairy goats, a portable milking machine may be more practical.  However, milking a goat is a lot less intimidating than milking a cow and even young children can learn to be successful at this venture.

How to Milk a Goat - Milking by Hand

A goat has one udder and 2 teats.  And the teats are what the milk comes out of when milking your goat.

  1. First, you push the milk down into the teats with your hands.  Then wrap your thumb and forefinger around the base of the teat tightly enough to trap the milk inside the teat.
  2. Squeeze teats with your middle finger along with your ring finger and then your pinky in one smooth motion.
  3. Relax your grip on the base of your goat's teats and repeat this procedure when milking by hand.
  4. If your goat's teats are too small, you can try the stripping technique which is closing your fingers around the teats and then sliding your fingers down the teats to push the milk out.
  5. And when you see a noticeable lack of milk or udder shrinkage, it is probably time to stop milking.

Even the young can be involved with milking a goat. Since a mature doe typically weighs between 120 to 200 pounds, they're much easier to handle than a gigantic cow.

Goats are milked twice a day - usually 12 hours apart.  Milk will last a couple of weeks or 10 to 14 days in your refrigerator.

The milk production of your dairy goats will vary, but a good sized doe (not a dwarf goat) in her prime will produce at least a gallon of milk per day. 

The average lactation period for a goat is about 10 months.  And up to two years under the right conditions.

Tips for Milking a Goat

  • Make sure your goat has enough grain or supplemental feed to keep her occupied while milking your goat.  Also, make sure she can't move around on the stanchion by securing her head.
  • Be sure to clean then dry her udder and teats (however you deem it necessary) before milking begins.  Then discard the first squirts of milk from each teat - which may contain unwanted bacteria.
  • Be sure that you wash your hands and use clean equipment, glass jars, etc.  Then start to milk your goat.
  • Do not tug too hard on your goat's udder while milking and be sure to milk both sides of the udder evenly out.
  • To get all of the milk out of the udder towards the end of milking, try massaging and gently slapping the goat's udder for 30 seconds.
  • Most goats kick, so don't bring your face too close to the bucket and after milking think about a teat dip such as iodine to ensure no infections occur. 
  • Pour the goat milk into a glass jar using some sort of filter system to catch any goat hair, etc.  Date the bottle and store in the refrigerator.

How to Milk a Goat - Portable Milking Machine

A portable milking machine is for the more serious dairy goat farmer. This will come in handy if you have made it your business to sell goat milk or other dairy goat products.

It won't really come in handy if you only milk 2 or 3 goats, as cleaning these milking machines does take time.

And a decent portable milking machine will cost you close to a thousand dollars, so it may be something you may need to plan for in the future.

Go to What do Goats Eat

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