Hand milk. I picked up a milking machine ( on Craigslist) 2 years ago and have yet to use it. With practise<smile>, it takes me about 10 mins to hand milk 2 gallons ( what my cow is giving right now). Granted, as I look at the udder on the cow that is yet to calve, my hands hurt. My solution, being old and arthritic, is to milk one cow AM and one PM to give my hands a break. Last year I was milking 1 cow and 2 goats for total 4 gals milk/day. IMO, by the time you set up a milk machine then have to clean it......washing a milk bucket is faster and easier. I can get the cow milked in the time it takes to clean the milking bucket, hoses, etc. Have fun!
Depending on how tall your cow is, there used to be a lot of Surge belly milkers around. I use on on my Jersey and Jersey cross cows, but a Dexter may be too low to the ground to use the milker on the surcingle. A Surge can be adapted by installing longer hoses to the inflations.
I'm sorry, I'm not going to be much help. I hand milk my Dexter. Im with Liebrecht in It seems like it would take much longer to clean out all the hoses each time, then it would be to throw the milking bucket into the dishwasher... Keeping a family cow pro board would also be a good forum to check out for this kind of information.
We got a used Surge milker and put on longer hoses to the inflations so we can leave the tank on a rolling cart. Once we got our cow familiar with the sounds of the machine, it worked great and she prefers it to hand milking. It really doesn't take all that long to clean out the hoses and the tank after milking, and being able to milk all four quarters simultaneously cuts milking time by a lot. To wash, we use hot soapy water and stick the inflation up to the the faucet head and it pushes the soapy water through to the tank, then just wash and rinse the tank. Two or three times a week we fill the sink with a hydrogen peroxide solution and turn on the machine to pump it through the hoses to disinfect. (The H2O2 solution doesn't discolor the hoses like iodine or ruin them like bleach).
I've also heard good things about the Udderly EZ milker. It's inexpensive and supposed to help over hand milking for people with arthritis or repetitive-stress type injuries.
Post by laughingllama75 on May 1, 2012 20:08:45 GMT -5
I had bought a delaval and sold it after I cleaned it once. I hand milk....and for one cow, you would be better off. It takes 10 min to milk (once you get used to it) and 40 min to clean milker. Try milking first, remember.....you need to do it at THE SAME TIME every day, no matter the weather or where you are/want to go. Unless you are sharing with the calf, that makes it a little easier. But see if you like it first.
Alicia A. Bentley Llaughing Llama Farm Salisbury, NH