Then and Now: Milking

Echo doesn’t mind sharing her breakfast with Dale.

Dale doesn’t mind Echo’s big nose.

I love the chickens! They clean up all the grain that the
goats and Echo spill onto the ground.

Chippy is very friendly. On Saturday she decided to take
a ride on my shoulder while I was doing chores.
I think Chippy is cute when she sits on my shoulder!
*     *     *     *     *     *

On a small farm like ours we do some things the old-fashioned way, the same way they did them a long time ago. Sometimes we do chores the way bigger farms do.

Feeding the animals is done the old way on our farm. I fill each bucket with the right amount of food for each animal. Some animals get more food than others because of the job they do. If a goat or cow is pregnant we give them more food. If they give milk, they get more food. If they aren’t pregnant or aren’t giving milk they get less food because their body isn’t working as hard.

We don’t milk the cow and the goats the same way. We milk the cow with a milker, which is how big farms do it. A milker needs electricity and it is a lot of equipment.

We milk the goats by hand. I only need a bucket and a cover to milk the goats, which is how farmers used to milk cows and goats a long time ago.

The milker is hooked up to a vacuum pump. A vacuum pump is just what it sounds like. It sucks air just like a vacuum. The vacuum sucks the air out of the big, covered milk tank. Your vacuum sucks air out of a tank, too, which sucks the dirt into a tank or a bag.

The vacuum pump pulls air out of the tank which sucks the milk out of Echo’s udder.

I don’t need anything special to milk the goats. I need a pail and a cover for the pail to keep the dirt out if the wind blows the hay around in the barn.

This is the filter for the milker. A filter keeps the dirt out of the milk
just the same way the cover on the goat milk bucket keeps hay and dust
from blowing into the bucket.
The white filter was inside the metal tube. The milk goes through the hose,
through the filter, and into the tank.

There are advantages having the vacuum pump and milker. It’s fast, and it works without me standing there. While the milker is milking Echo I have time to clean her stall and put some hay in her feeder. If I milk Echo by hand, like I milk the goats, it takes me about 45 minutes. I only need a pail and a cover.

The are also disadvantages to the milker.  It cost a lot of money. It was over $2,000 to get a milker set up like the one in the video. We need electricity to run it, so if the power is out I have to milk Echo by hand. It takes about 20 minutes to clean, and costs money for filters.

We decided on our farm that it was worth it to get a milker for the cow.

We decided that it’s best to milk the goats by hand. I could use a milker on the goats, but I have to clean the inflations and hoses between each goat. The inflations are the parts that attach onto their udders. It’s faster to wash my hands between goats than it is for me to wash inflations and hoses between goats.

It takes about 10-12 minutes to milk each goat. That’s less than 30 minutes, which is faster than milking the cow. If I used a milker it would take me 20 minutes to clean the milker between each goat, that would be about 40 minutes of cleaning, plus 6-8 minutes for the milker to milk each goat, a total of almost an hour!

A long time ago when more people had small farms, the boys and girls would often be the ones that would do the milking. Quin and Xander like to help milk when they are visiting.

It makes sense for me to use the milker for the cow, and milk the goats the ‘old-fashioned way’ by hand.

I hope you learn about the way things were done a long time ago, and the way things are done now.  It’s nice to know a lot of different ways to do things. You will be able to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things if you know a lot of different ways to do things.

Remember to 
Do something kind 
for someone else
every day!

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