May 17, 2010

Please Welcome Miss Bella!

This is Miss Bella!
We picked her up Saturday morning and brought her to our little farm to become part of our family. Miss Bella is a Sable dairy goat and is a wonderful milker. I do have experience milking goats but some make it harder than others. So far I haven't had to use the head chute yet. She stands on the milking platform and eats her grain while I squeeze, squirt, squeeze, squirt until all her milk is in my bucket. The first few milkings I gave to the cats and dogs with their feed and froze some of it for soap-making just to be sure there was nothing but our grain and hay in her system. We bought Bella from our neighbors who raise show goats but it never hurts to be safe!
She got to meet the other goats yesterday afternoon. There was a little pushing and chasing. I made sure Nellie and Nanny behaved with those horns.
From now on I am buying goats without horns or debudding them when they are young. It may seem cruel to some people to do this but I have found Nellie with her head hung in the fence one to many times to wish for more goats with horns.
I check my goats twice a day plus I can see them from the house so I find her before she's had her head in there for very long, but if they were more free-ranging and I didn't check them as often, a goat could die from dehydration in that situation very quickly. Plus, they can be just downright mean with those horns. Luckily, a little head pushing was all that went on here and they seemed to accept each other.
I got a little over a quart of milk this morning. I got almost 2 quarts yesterday morning but I milked a little later last night so I didn't expect to get quite as much.
Before milking, I clean her bag with a mixture of 1 quart of water, 2 Tbs. Clorox bleach and 1 drop of regular Dawn dishwashing liquid. I also use this as a teat dip after milking.
We do pasteurize our milk using the flash method.
I know that some people would never do this because it kills the good stuff in the goats milk and so on but I prefer to pasteurize, at least until I perfect my sterile milking method!
The flash method consists of heating your milk to 160 degrees, holding it there for 15 seconds and then rapid cooling. For the rapid cooling, I use my ice cream maker.
I load it up with ice, pour the heated milk into the container and let it run for approximately 15 minutes. This makes the milk cold but not frozen.
From there I pour it into half-gallon glass jars and refrigerate. I usually pasteurize a gallon at a time but wanted to go ahead and get started since it's been months since we've had any goat milk around here!


Julie Harward said...

Welcome to Miss Bella...she is a beauty! I have never tasted goats milk but have had cheese made fron it and it was real good! Come say hi :D

Millie said...

She is a beautiful girl. It makes me wish I were milking again. I love your use of the ice cream freezer. I'm going to have to try that myself.

Elle Bee said...

This was a great post--I learned so much! The milk looks delicious! I just loved this little glimpse into your life.


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