The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Hand milking vs. machine milking

Goat licking lips

Whoever suggested that Abigail wouldn't be as able to hold back her milk if I handmilked rather than using the machine was right. I wasn't able to test the hypothesis until I got my milking technique down, though.

Pint of milkBut Friday morning, after Abigail stopped letting down milk for the machine to suck up, I decided to just try handmilking a few squirts to see how much I'd get. The result? A full pint for the morning, 50% more than I'd gotten the day before.

Actually, I probably could have stripped out a little more milk, but I figured if Lamb Chop was used to a huge breakfast, I shouldn't take it all away immediately. Plus, Abigail wiggled and grumbled a lot more when I began squeezing her teats compared to when I simply let the machine gently suck out her production. I figure everyone will be a little more used to the new routine tomorrow, and hopefully I'll get yet more milk.

"But what about your problematic wrists?" you may be asking. Apparently, milking half of one goat (after the machine does the other half) is nothing compared to the weed-grasping I've been doing lately. I didn't feel a single twinge, so am quite comfortable squeezing again tomorrow. Such a pleasant surprise to be able to handmilk our goat and to enjoy extra milk for our nightly hot cocoa!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I find that to be true as well, weeding bothers my hands and wrists much more than milking. Or I should clarify weeding weeds that got away from me, tall grass etc. I don't have to weed but I do need to milk if I'm going to have a dairy cow. I'm glad she's giving you a little more milk!
Comment by Nita Sun Apr 26 09:26:42 2015

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