Monday, June 7, 2010

Udder Relief

LaFonda is giving us about 4 gallons of milk a day.  Cadence milks her in the morning in about half an hour and gets  2 1/2 gallons. When I milk her in the evening, it takes me over an hour and I only get a gallon and a half. 

Cadence can milk with both hands simultaneously. My old-lady hands cramp up when I milk, so I have to alternate, giving each hand frequent stretches and rests. 

I  have been watching Craigslist and Ebay for a bucket milking machine. Although I have found reasonably priced used bucket milkers, I still would need a vacuum pump and that gets too expensive. 

A couple weeks ago I saw an ad in a magazine (Mary Jane's Farm, kind of a cross between of Mother Earth News and Martha Stewart Living) for the Udderly- EZ Milker,  a simple hand-operated pump that sounded like the perfect solution. It turned out that the  inventor/entrepreneur lives not far away, so I called him up.  He was very friendly and helpful and even offered to come over to help if I had any problems.  He originally invented this device for collecting colostrum for horses, but now  he sells many EZ Milkers to people who hand-milk  cows, goats and sheep, often with arthritic hands. He had just sent some to Dubai  for milking camels!

I have been using the Udderly EZ Milker for a week now. The first few times LaFonda tried to nudge it off with her  hind  foot, but now she is used to it and  ignores it entirely.  It isn't really much faster for me than hand-milking, but my hands are now painfree- what an improvement. I also like that the milk goes into a closed bottle rather than an open bucket, so there is no chance of anything falling into it.  The only  downside is that I miss the musical ringing of the milk hitting the stainless steel pail. 


katiegirl said...

Wow, that's a lot of milk. What do you do with all of the milk?

I'm glad you like that little milker. It's hard to milk when your hands are hurting!

Nancy J. Bond said...

Udderly fascinating! ;-) Looks like a handy gadget; I'm glad LaFonda is so generous. (Nancy @ Leaping Greenly -- Blogger is being a snot about Open ID today.)

Susan said...

It IS a lot of milk. So far, keeping up with the milk is the hardest part about having a milk cow. We have been making yogurt, ice cream, creme brulee, cheesecake, and Cadence has been making lots of cheese: ricotta, parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, romano, queso fresco...I'll post about that as soon as I can.