We currently milk 12 Nubian goats with plans to milk 16 next year. We use some of the milk to make goat's milk soap and sell the rest to a local creamery.
The Milking Parlor
One of the last steps to getting our dairy license was finishing off the milking parlor. The parlor must be closed off from the rest of the barn which helps to keep the milk super clean during the milking process. Of course we chose to paint it white. We can milk four goats at once with our current setup. The girls come out in the exact same order every time we milk. Although there are those nights when someone tries to take cuts.
Milking Our Goats
We milk our goats using a bucket milking system. The setup incorporates a vacuum system connected to a large stainless steel bucket that is equipped with milline and inflations which attach to the teats of the milking goats. It typically only takes 2-3 minutes to milk a dairy goat. So, we usually spend no more than one hour milking, transferring the milk to our bulk tank and then cleaning the equipment. We do this both in the morning and in the evening, every day from the start of the milking season in March till the amount of milk that each goat produces is so low as to make the process not worth the effort. This usually happens in October or November.
Aged Goat Cheese
Some of our milk is transform into our own aged goat cheese, called Maladeta. The cheese is somewhat similar to Manchego goat cheese from the Pyrenees region of Spain. Due to the similarity we named the cheese after one of the peaks in the Pyrenees mountains.