On April 10, 2007 I had to have surgery on my right hand. The doctor had to remove three of my bones making me unable to milk my goats and to do the crafts I love to do. In March I started looking at some of the hand held non-electric milking machines on the market. I needed something to help me care for my small dairy goat herd, but the prices of these options was more than I wanted to pay. I decided I could come up with something much cheaper than what was available to help me with my hand milking chores.
A spray bottle pump, some tubing, and a syringe make an inexpensive milking “machine.”
I went to the floral department of my local discount store and found a spray bottle with a padded handle. I had some of the 1/4-inch tubing used in aquariums and had a new 35 cc syringe. I put it together, as pictured, and have been using this little milker for over a month now. It works!
I am still under restrictions of no milking but with this I can milk most of the milk from the udder and be able to milk the rest with my left hand.
Janice, a friend and neighbor, has used this for over a month now and I used it a couple weeks before I had the surgery.
Before using it, be sure to loosen the nozzle to allow the milk to make a stream and not a spray. Try water to get the stream right.
Hughlene’s milking “machine” in action.
My little spray bottle milker gets cleaned every night with cold and then hot water pumped through the complete thing. Once a week I soak it in hot water with dish washing detergent. I have also pumped white vinegar through it. I have a second one made just in case it is needed while the first one is soaking. I’ve had to replace the tubing once already, but this is fairly inexpensive.
Here is a picture of it on the doe and you can see the milk going into the bucket.
To use this milker, squirt milk from each teat to get it started. Next wash the teat with warm water (or in whatever manner you normally use) and allow it to be damp so vacuum will form when the handle is squeezed. Massage the udder while squeezing the handle until it feels nearly empty. I still have to strip out each doe after the milk quits flowing into the syringe, but this is much easier than trying to milk a full-uddered doe. After milking I use a clean towel to rewash and wipe the udder and then apply teat dip.
With just a little ingenuity I have been able to save my hands and my money. Hope it works for others needing this same help too.
Printed with permission from Hughlene Dunn, Dunn Milking Farm, OK; www.dunnmilkingfarm.com.