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Milking goats by hand is a time-consuming process, especially if you have a large herd, as it requires patience, knowledge, and experience. Therefore, many people have turned to using milking machines to speed up the process.
But how long does it take to milk a goat with a milking machine? Generally, milking a goat takes most people between 5 and 8 minutes using a milking machine. If you are raising goats for milk, consider getting a milking machine, as it will save you time, money, and energy. Also, regularly milking your goats using a milking machine will help improve milk production and reduce potential health problems.
Read on to explore the average time it takes to milk a goat with a machine and key factors that can affect milking time. Hatching Chicks? Check out the Top 7 Best Egg Incubators to Consider!
What Is a Milking Machine?
Machine milking aims to extract milk from a goat or cow by vacuum, and it is designed to apply a constant and regular vacuum to the end of the teat to suck the milk out and convey it to a suitable container and give a periodic squeeze used externally to the whole of the teat to support blood circulation (Source: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FA0))
Typically, milking machines come in different types and sizes, and their operation affects the time it takes to milk a goat. For instance, a single-animal milking machine usually takes longer than a multiple-goat milking machine.
Furthermore, the size of the milk jug in the milking machine is crucial as it influences how frequently you need to empty it and hence affects milking time.
The picture below shows the structure of a milking machine
Key Factors That Affect How Long It Takes to Milk a Goat with a Milking Machine
The amount of time it takes to milk a goat with a machine varies depending on different factors.
- The type of milking machine you use can affect the time it takes to milk a goat. A single-unit milking machine is designed to milk one goat at a time, while a multi-unit milking machine can milk several goats at a time. A multi-unit milking machine can be more efficient as it can milk more goats at a time, thus reducing milking time.
- The age of the goat also determines how long it takes to milk with a machine. Normally, large dairy goats that produce a substantial amount of milk take less time to milk than smaller breeds that yield less milk. Similarly, a young animal is likely to take longer to milk than an older one because the latter has a more mature udder that allows milk to flow quickly.
- The breed of the goat can affect milking time, as some breeds produce more milk than others. A dairy goat such as the Saanen or the Nubian may produce more milk and require more time to milk.
- If a goat has never been milked before, it may take longer for them to get used to the machine and the process.
- Another factor that can affect milking time is the goat’s udder size. Goats with smaller udders containing less milk can be milked faster than goats with larger udders containing more milk.
- The skill level of the person milking the goat can affect the time it takes to milk a goat with a machine. Experienced milkers who are knowledgeable about the machine and the milking process can milk goats faster. One person can milk a goat faster than another; for instance, someone who is not familiar with the machine may take longer to attach and detach the cups from the goat’s teats.
- The milking process itself can determine how fast or slow the machine milk a goat. Usually, the process consists of four phases; stimulation, milk flow, milk-out, and flow-stopping phase. It takes about two minutes to complete all four phases for one goat, but the time can vary depending on the machine’s speed and the goat’s milking ability.
- The milking time for a goat using a machine may vary depending on the goat’s milk yield. A goat that is producing more milk will require more time to milk regardless of the milking machine used.
How Long does it Take to Milk a Goat with a Milking Machine?
Typically, the time taken to milk a goat with a machine may vary depending on factors such as the type of machine used, goat breed, the age of the goat, and the skill level of the person handling the machine. On average, it takes about 3 to 8 minutes per goat to milk with a machine. A good portable milking machine may milk between 10 to 12 goats per hour.
The truth is that milking a goat by hand can take up to an hour per goat, which can be a time-consuming task for anyone. However, with the use of a machine, you can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to milk a goat. A milking machine can milk a goat in under 10 minutes, on average.
For example, a single-unit milking machine can take longer to milk a goat than a multi-unit milking machine. Also, if a goat is new to the milking machine or if their udders contain more milk, it can take longer. Additionally, your skills and knowledge about milking a goat using a machine can help speed up the milking process.
How to Milk a Goat With a Milking Machine
- Properly sanitize your milking machine with a safe sanitizer and wash your hands.
- Turn your milking machine on and ensure that you inspect that a vacuum is being formed in each attachment before connecting the inflations to the doe because inappropriate vacuum attachment can lead to mastitis.
- Carefully listen to your milking machine for a hissing noise with the cluster vacuum shut off to check whether it works effectively. If it is working correctly, the hissing noise will generally decrease.
- Attach the goat to the milk stand, give her some grain, and then hand-milk about one or two squirts from each teat into a cup to double a check for abnormalities and clears any milk near the teat’s surface that might be contaminated with bacteria.
- Use warm water, soap, or any sanitizer to clean the udder and teats, and ensure you entirely dry the udder and teats with a clean paper towel. It is recommended never to milk a wet udder as it can irritate the teats and lead to mastitis (Source: Dummies)
- Put the teat cups of the machine on the goat’s udder and then slowly turn the vacuum on.
- Gently remove the milking machine when you stop seeing much milk through the tubing to prevent over-milking your goats because it can cause mastitis.
- Handling milk the last bit of milk (also called stripping) is also recommended to prevent disease and decrease milk production.
- Before returning your goat to the herd, ensure you have some fresh hay or alfalfa and fresh water for her right after milking.
- It is crucial to ensure that the goat’s udder is thoroughly cleaned before milking with a machine. Any dirt or debris may contaminate the milk and reduce its quality. Also, your milking machine should be correctly adjusted to suit the goat’s udder size to ensure a comfortable and efficient milking process.
- The machine should be used with a gentle and rhythmic motion to stimulate the milk production process. A milking machine shouldn’t hurt or injure the udder or teats, so it’s important to listen to the sound of the machine to adjust its speed. A regular and gentle pulsation of the machine will help prevent overmilking or undermilking.
- After milking, the goat should be released, and the machine and other milking equipment should be cleaned and sanitized. This helps to prevent contamination and the spread of diseases. The milking machine should be dismantled, washed with warm water, and sanitized with appropriate sanitizers.
Benefits Of Using a Goat Milking Machine
Milking goats with a machine is a faster, more efficient, and more comfortable option. While the time taken to milk a goat with a machine may vary, it’s generally faster than hand milking. Therefore, it is essential to understand how to use the machine correctly and efficiently to avoid contamination and injuries.
On average, it takes 5 to 8 minutes to milk a goat with a milking machine, but the time can vary in both directions. However, regardless of the time, machine milking is more efficient and faster than manual milking.
With the right milking machine and correct operation, you can simplify the milking process, save time, and improve the health and production of your goats.
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Milking a goat with a machine can take between 5 to 8 minutes, depending on different factors such as the type of milking machine used, the goat’s breed and age, udder size, and the skill level of the milker.
I also found that using a multi-unit milking machine and having a skilled and knowledgeable milker can help speed up the milking process and make it more efficient.
With a milking machine, milking a goat has never been easier, making the process more enjoyable and less time-consuming.