Update 2017: Our farm has applied for a grant through the Farmer Veteran Coalition in hopes to be able to purchase a stainless steel 15 gallon professional grade milk chiller. We are excited and hopefull to be able to increase the quality of our milk products.
Our goal is to give each little lady our best, while they give us theirs.
Our milking parlor is in a small alcove next to the barn. It is both easy to keep clean and allows the girls sight of their herd members which keeps them relaxed.
We also bathe our little ladies regularly and use a plant based essential oil conditioner which keeps their skin supple and coats shiny. This in turn cuts down on any loose hair that may fall during milking.
Then we make sure that human hands are washed and teats and udder are clean before each milking. We cover the bucket with a large strainer that has a filter in the bottom. This ensures catching any loose hair during the milking as well as allows the milk to filter at least once before being chilled.
During the milking our little ladies enjoy a special treat of sunflower seeds and oats.
After each goat we weigh the amount of milk given and record this in our record books. This is important for breeding and resale purposes.
After each goat is milked we place the pail in a cooler of ice water. And while one person preps and milks the next goat another helping hand stirs the chilling milk to speed up the chilling process.
After all goats are milked the parlor is swept down and prepared for the next milking. Goats are given fresh hay and water and extra love before we head back to the house to finish the chilling process.
Back in the house the timer and thermometer are being closely watched while the stirring continues. On average we are able to chill our milk down to 40degree, between 20-25minutes which puts us in a Grade A milk standard based on chill time.
Chilled milk is then filtered a second time while it pours into our sanitized glass jars. Labeled with date and placed in the fridge.
Per the state of Nebraska goat milk laws we have to label it for pet consumption only. However, our family drinks it and our customers are either buying it for their four-legged animals (or not). Either way we want the highest quality standard for our family, and yours.