If you’re thinking of rearing your own family cow for fresh milk, then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to cover all the supplies and equipment you’ll need before getting your first bucket of fresh milk. One common misconception that many people have when they get their first dairy cow is that all they’re going to need is a bucket and a pair of strong hands. While some people might argue and say that’s really all you need, we believe that there’s more to that to ensure that you get clean milk that’s safe to drink and that your cow isn’t stressed out by the procedure. So, without further ado, let’s get on with this article and look at the different dairy supplies you’ll need.
1. Teat Cleaner
First things first, to ensure that your milk is clean and safe to drink, you need to ensure that your cow’s teats are clean. Depending on the season of the year, you might want to switch up which options you choose to use. In the summer months, when cows are usually out grazing, a teat dip that’s made of iodine does the job well. However, during the winter, you may need to scrub your cow down to ensure that all her teats are clean. When washing your cow, use a natural cleaner like castile soap. If this isn’t available to you, you can also consider using dish soap which does the trick as well.
2. Wash Rags or Disposable Towels
Whether you wish to use wash rags or disposable towels to wash the teats is entirely up to you. Both do the trick well. The difference between them really comes down to how much washing you want to do. If you want to minimize your waste, then using wash rags may be a better option. However, if you don’t use eco-friendly detergent, then there might not be a difference between using wash rags or disposable towels. Another thing to consider is how often you’re going to wash your wash rags. You probably aren’t going to fire up your washing machine just to wash a few wash rags that you’ve used to clean your cow’s teats. During the time that the wash rags remained unwashed, bacteria can start to grow. So, in terms of hygiene and cleanliness, disposable towels may be the better option.
3. Milk Bucket
Of course, one of the most important supplies you’ll need when milking your cow is a milk bucket. And, more importantly, you’re going to want to get stainless steel milk buckets. Stainless steel milk buckets may be slightly pricier than plastic ones but when it comes to food safety and sanitization, this isn’t an area you want to skimp out on. Not only is it harder to clean and sanitize plastic buckets, but bacteria also grow much quicker and easier on plastic.
In addition, the size of the bucket you purchase is entirely dependant on how much milk you think you’ll get from your cow. Usually, two-gallon buckets are large enough. You also want to get at least two buckets. The ‘under cow’ bucket where you squirt the milk into and another ‘transfer bucket’. Milk from the ‘under cow’ bucket gets transferred to the ‘transfer bucket’ a couple of times during milking. This is in case your cow moves and ends up kicking over a bucket full of milk and wasting all your effort.
A heavy-duty pail that can hold up to 4.25 gallons, it is suitable for both wet and dry materials. It features an offset bottom that keeps the pail off the ground as well as a wire-reinforced top rim.
The complete guide to milk production, this book will certainly come in handy if you want to learn how to successfully produce nourishing, healthy, farm-fresh milk at home or for sale.
Fast flow KenAg milk filters that are suitable for milk and other types of liquid, it is made of a non-gauze material to fit the bottoms of milk strainers. Plus, it is efficient and quick in filtering.
4. Iodine Teat Dip and Cup
Whether you use the iodine solution of dish soap to clean your cow’s teats before milking, you need to use an iodine teat dip and cup after milking. This ensures that any mastitis-causing pathogens are killed. However, if you are calf sharing, then you can skip this step as a calf’s saliva does that same thing.
Before you bottle and refrigerate your milk, you want to filter it first. Filtering is an essential part of the sanitation process and you don’t want to drink milk that’s just been milked from a cow. Bugs, skin cells, and hair are all possible contaminants that might fall into the bucket, regardless of how well you clean your cow’s teats prior to milking. So ensure that you’ve strained all and any contaminants in the milk, you’re going to want to use filtering discs that are specifically made for straining milk.
Of course, another important item you’re going to need jars to store your milk. You’re going to want to use glass jars to store your milk because again, glass is much easier to sanitize than plastic. What’s more, plastic also holds flavors that will permeate the milk. The same goes for the lids that you use to cover your jars. If possible, use glass or stainless steel lids instead of plastic ones.
With six 16 oz wide-mouth jars to store your milk, you need not fret about the quality since they are made with the highest standards of quality and food safety. It is BPA-free and has an airtight ceiling.
Made from all-natural, fresh alfalfa, it is harvested without additives, preservatives, pesticides, or GMO products. Plus, it is rich in fiber, protein, and vitamins to nourish your animals.
7. Grain/Treat Basket
Last but not least, you’re going to need a grain or treat basket. Preparing to milk your cow and properly storing the milk is one thing. But, the process of actually milking your cow is another. And, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably new to milking cows. Unless you’re really lucky, your cow probably won’t stand still for you to milk it. That’s why preparation is key and you’re going to want to prepare a treat basket to distract your cow while you’re milking her.
What’s more, if your cow knows that she’s going to be rewarded with treats every time you milk her, then you won’t have to spend as much time chasing her around the pasture to bring her in for milking. Grains or alfalfa pellets are a great treat to give to cows when you’re milking them.
With that, we’ve come to the end of our article on the must-have supplies you’ll need when milking your cow. Though milking a cow isn’t all difficult, it does require some practice! This is especially so if you haven’t milked a cow before, or if it’s the first time your cow is getting milked. If you’re properly prepared and have all the equipment you need, you’re well on your way to getting clean, drinkable fresh milk. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Ensuring that your milking and storage process is clean and sanitary will go a long way in ensuring that you don’t get upset stomachs.
|1||Galvanized Pail |
A heavy duty, 4.25 gallons pail, it is suitable for dry and wet materials. It has an offset bottom and a wire reinforced top rim.
|2||The Small-Scale Dairy|
The complete guide to milk production, this book will certainly come in handy if you want to learn how to successfully produce fresh milk.
|3||6-1/2” Milk Filter Discs |
Fast flow KenAg milk filters that are suitable for milk and other types of liquid, it is made of a non-gauze material and quick in filtering.
|4||Ball Wide Mouth Mason Jars|
With six 16 oz wide mouth jars to store your milk, you need not fret about quality since they are made with the highest standards.
|5||Viking Farmer Alfalfa Pellets|
Made from all natural, fresh alfalfa, it is harvested without additives, preservatives, pesticides, or GMO products. Plus, it is rich in fiber.