Milk Handling

Purpose of Page

Are you looking for clean, healthy and great tasting goat milk?  You’ve come to the right place.  Mmmm…. good.

We are sharing ideas for you to evaluate milk that you obtain for your family.  We at Northern Dawn hold to very strict standards of testing our milk, sanitizing our jars and milk equipment, cooling and cleaning.

Our Udder Preparation

While there are many methods of caring for the doe’s udder, we have a very specific program for our udders.  We base our system on several types of research and information.  One very interesting bit of information comes from OMAFRA.  Our Utah Dairy Manager gave some other great information.  At any rate, here is our procedure.

Because we hand milk, as well as milk with a hand milking machine, we believe the entire udder must be clean.  However, in cleaning the udder and teats, we also dry them before milking.  We also take care not to get the udder saturated with water while cleaning it.

  • Clean the udder with approved single teat wipe.  Currently we use Milk Check Teat wipe . We just love the convenience of this method.
  • Dry the entire udder and teat surface with single use towel before opening the teat orifice and milking.
  • Clean the end of the teat to remove any bacteria.  Squirt out a few squirts to check for milk problems and also get rid of any bacteria on the end of the teat. We believe the cleaning of the teat and udder must be done before opening up any milking, so that no bacteria enters the teat canal.
  • Our hands are sanitized between does, with a therapeutic grade essential oil blended hand wash that is a known antibacterial hand wash.

 

 Why we choose this method

We believe that washing the udder with soap and water can make it hard to ensure that the udder and hands are completely dry before milking the doe.  Milking with dry hands and dry udder is vital in keeping bacteria out of the milk.

Various udder cleaning methods

There are various methods of cleaning the udder, that are employed in the dairy world.  Some of those are described through OMAFRA

  • Dry wiping with cloth or hand with muli-use or single use cloths.  This method seems good, but its not effective at getting rid of bacteria or dirt. 
  • Washing with hot soap and water.  This works, but is the bacteria actually being cleared away from the udder and teat surface?  Also the danger of not getting the udder clean.  This is not mentioned in the OMAFRA article.
  • Cleaning teat surface and only cleaning entire udder if udder is dirty. This is done with a udder or teat dip solution or teat wipe to remove bacteria and dirt. Then the skin surface must be completely dried with single use towel.  If the udder is dirty, then of course it must be cleaned.
  • Teat dipping and drying it off, with a teat dip solution, is another effective method.

 

 Next up… Milking

  • We either milk into a stainless steel sanitized bowel or using our hand milker.
  • Milk is strained quickly after milk.  We either use the best milk filters we have found yet; Milk Check Milk filters or Gerber flannel wipes.  Both of these have excellent sediment retention and fast milk flow. This, we believe, is something that is vital for great tasting healthy milk. 

 

Then we have to chill the milk fast

There are multiple ways to chill milk.  Fast chilling is vital to keeping it fresh tasting for a long period of time, but also in keeping the bacteria counts low.  We currently chill the milk in the freezer for 90 minutes, which meets state regulations for raw milk.  We do periodically temperature test our milk.

In near future, we plan to quick chill it using an ice water bath surrounding the milk jars.