There is a surprising lack of information online about goat milking supplies!
I can tell you’re shocked. When we first dove into the world of goats, we had absolutely NO clue what we were doing. There were some hard lessons learned in those first years, but I think we can safely say that we’ve got this down!
When it comes to milking goats, having the right supplies can make the difference between a quick, relaxing task and a “Oh my gosh this is a nightmare, goats are the worst” task, if you know what I mean. 😉
“What’s this lady talkin’ about? All you need to milk a goat is a pail! Why, when we were kids, we used a rusty coffee can and everything turned out just fine!”
Well, that may be true, Mr. Old Goat Expert. But
this here is the 90’s, er wait, the 2015’s, and that’s just not how it’s done anymore!
Goat Milking Supplies
NOTE: I just want to say real quick that these are MY recommendations, but feel free to find something else that works for you.
- A Stainless Steel SEAMLESS milking pail | When you’re milking every single day (often twice a day), you’ll need a pail that is equipped to handle getting splashed with milk and is able to be washed clean. A good stainless steel bucket is what you need, and it MUST be seamless so small particles of milk don’t settle into those little grooves. Some people like to use glass as well, but I find that glass is way too heavy to be lugging out to the goats each day. You can find seamless stainless steel buckets like this milking pail, but if you happen to be milking small goats (Nigerian Dwarfs), then you’ll need a short milking bucket like this one. It was the shortest stainless steel bucket we could find to fit under those adorable stubby legs. Note: I really like when the bucket is wide on the bottom. A narrow bottom of the pail means it’s more “topsy-turvy” and if your goat decides to be naughty and kick, then there’s more of a chance that bucket will get tipped over.
- Homemade Udder Wipes | When cleaning the udder and teats before milking, I’ve seen people use a rag and hot, soapy water and I’ve seen people use storebought udder wipes like these. No judgement from me on which one you decide to use, but let me say that I used to use the chemical udder wipes and they really dried out my goat’s udders as well as made me feel like we needed to step up our game since we strive to feed our goats organic and treat them with a holistic approach. My solution was to make our own homemade udder & teat wipes. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but these things rock, you guys. Everything just seems right in the world when you have a homemade udder wipe that’s “au naturale”.
- A stanchion | A stanchion is a device made to hold the goat in place while you milk. Oh you thought you could just tie the goat to a fence and happily milk her? Uh…yeah…no. Ain’t gonna happen. A stanchion also usually has something that you can attach a feeder to so your goat can munch away while you get busy with that udder. You can make your own with these goat stanchion plans here.
- A feeder (to attach to the stanchion) | You’ll definitely need a feeder to help keep your goat munching while you milk. We like to put an organic grain mixture in the feeder, but we also will sneak in some veggie scraps from the kitchen. A goat feeder like this one should do it.
- A goat hobble or dog leash | While part of me hesitated before placing this item here, I do think it’s important for new goat owners to be aware of. Here’s the thing…your goal should be to always train your goat to be able to stand and be milked without kicking. We have all of our goats trained to stand even when they don’t have anything to munch on. They know the drill and they know that we are going to milk whether they kick or not, so they decide it’s much easier to just be nice:) That being said, there are some times when you have a new untrained goat and there’s just no way to get them to stop kicking. Enter a goat hobble (or our homemade contraption below). A goat hobble basically keeps both back feet together so that your goat can’t kick because they can’t lift one leg without lifting both. The reason why we decided a simple dog leash works better is because we found that if you have a really strong goat, they can kick both feet at the same time. Here’s our solution. We tie ONLY ONE leg back to a fence or post. It’s not meant to be tight, the goal is just to make it so they can’t put weight on it. This foot should hover about 8 inches above the stand. They can’t kick if they can’t put weight on the other foot:)In our experience, a goat only needs a hobble or tied leg for about a month or so. After that, they get used to the routine and tend to become non-kickers.
- Glass Jars | In a previous post, How to keep Raw Goat’s Milk Fresh & Delicious, I share that it’s VITAL that you store your goat’s milk in glass containers. We like to use these half-gallon mason jars and mason jar plastic lids.
- Strainer & Filters | You’ll definitely want to strain your goat’s milk after each milking. We love this goat milk strainer and filters.
- Teat Dip | Teat dips are designed to clean and protect the teat between milking times. You can purchase chemical teat dips, but I like to just make my own with essential oils. I simply combine 1 cup of coconut oil, 10 drops of lavender & 10 drops of melaleuca. I keep this in a small pint mason jar and dip a bit on my fingers to rub on the teats when I’m done. Easy.
So there you have it! Once you gather all of your goat milking supplies, you can dive right into your adventure of milking a goat. It’s an experience to remember, that’s for sure.
Want more information on goats? Read my other articles!
- Milk Showdown: Cow vs. Sheep vs. Goat – Which is best?
- Goat Pregnancy & Birthing Checklist
- Post-Partum Care for Goats
- How to Disbud & Dehorn a Baby Goat
- How to Keep Raw Goat’s Milk Fresh & Delicious
- How to Milk a Goat
- How to Milk a Goat: Taught by an adorable 8 year old
- A Simple Guide to Buying you first Goat
- What do Goats Really Eat?
Our funny goat adventures: