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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Milking Made Easy

I'm now finishing my second week with the Henry Milker, and the more I use it, the better I like it.  If I'm in a hurry, I still hand milk, because it's faster, but I've found there are certain advantages to using the milker--over an above saving my hands, that is.  I can go off and check commotions in other parts of the barn, usually caused by my rambunctious Fox Terrier terrorizing the escaped bantams; or I can fill water buckets, checking the pressure on the milker every couple of minutes.  I've even done a quick cleanup of horse poop in the center aisle of the walk-in portion of the barn, fed the geese, and collected eggs, all while the Henry Milker was doing its job and my doe was placidly munching her grain.

Using the milker couldn't be easier, and I'm appreciating the large teat cup for its comfort to my doe, while still maintaining enough suction for the milker to work.  The teat cup is much larger than the "large" size that I got with the Maggidan's, and I was concerned that it would be too big. Not so!  And I think Beatrice appreciates not having her teats squished inside a smaller syringe.  Since I consulted with Mike Henry, I've upped the vacuum pressure that I use.  It's still not quite up to 10 lbs, but higher than I had it before, and instead of a steady trickle, the milk is now delivered in a rushing stream.

The process is shown below.  Just click on the photos to see them full size.  Altogether, so far I'm very happy with the Henry Milker.

Beatrice before milking. Her udder is fairly full.

Attaching the teat cup to the right teat. 

Starting the flow. The pressure is around 6 or 7 lbs and it's already flowing nicely into the half-gallon Mason jar.

The Henry Milker keeps working and I can go water the geese.

There's always an audience.  "Whattadaya doin?  Can I watch?"

Time to switch teats, and only 3 minutes have passed.

Empty udder.

"Are we done yet?  My grain is gone."  Beatrice is ready to get down.

The jar on the right contains the strippings, less than a cup, while the milking jar contains a little over 5 cups.

3 lbs 4 oz, most of it easily extracted by the Henry Milker

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