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Friday, January 14, 2011

Henry Milker: First Impressions

I got my new Henry Milker a few days ago.  I've used it several times now, so here are my first impressions.

It's a lot slower than hand milking. Even with hands that hurt while I milk, I can still milk out my doe in 4-5 minutes.  The Henry Milker takes 8-12 minutes, mainly because I can only milk one side at a time.  On a few occasions, I've used the milker on one side while hand milking the other.   That still gives my hands a rest.

That's actually the biggest downside to this milker.  There's plenty to like.  For one thing, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it gets out most of the milk, so that when I hand strip, I'm looking at 1/4 to 1/2 cup in total.  That's a big improvement over the Maggidan's milker I tried last year, and the self-built unit I tried before that.  With both of those, I had to hand milk a good half and more, since the milkers consistently left that much in the goat's udder.  To be fair, Maggidan's advertises their milker for mini's, and maybe it works great for them. It doesn't work well on a full sized goat like a Saanen.

The Henry Milker has a great pump, and I love the gauge that lets you know exactly how much vacuum pressure is on the teat.  I've been using between 5 and 7 pounds of pressure, and that puts a steady stream into the jar.  Two quart jars are provided.  One was broken on arrival, but my one doe in milk, Beatrice, produces around 6 cups per milking at the moment, and that will increase with lengthening days, so I use a half-gallon Mason jar.

The first few milkings, I put the milk through a filter anyway, just to see if it was really as clean as advertised.  It is, but I still use a filter for the strippings. That's hardly a problem, though, since we're only talking a small amount.

What I'd love to see is a Y for the tubing so I can attach a tube and teat cup to each teat and finish the milking in half the time--or the approximate time it takes me to hand milk.  I'm not sure that would work, but I may experiment.

The tubing is very easy to clean; the tiny brushes provided cut way back on the possibility of tiny bits of milk calcifying in the tubing.  The only difficulty I've had is getting the tubing off the pump--it just doesn't want to let go!  Cleanup is fast and easy, a real plus.

I'll continue using the Henry Milker over the next 2 weeks of my trial period.  If nothing untoward occurs with it, I'll most likely keep it.  Even if it's slower, it sure does give my hands a rest.  That in itself makes the Henry Milker worth every penny of its purchase price..

Oh, and did I mention that Mike Henry is very quick about answering questions and lending support by email?


  1. Very nice update about the Henry Milker... Maybe I will try mine again after my doe freshens next month...

  2. Thank you for the nice comments. If you are interested in trying the Henry Milker II just send me an email. It is not yet for sale, just doing some field tests with some good customers. It milks 2 teats at a time.
    Henry Milker II
    Mike Henry


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