Sunday, July 31, 2011

How Does Goat Milk Taste

Guest Author - AK Ben
Is Goat Milk Better Than Cow Milk?
I had the opportunity to visit the Henrys' Red Fence Farm in Palmer, Alaska. I've heard so much about Phoebe and Lindsay and their horses, and Mike about his goats that I had to make the trip and see it all for myself. I'm on vacation from another country. I am not a farm boy and wanted to know as much as possible about the 5 acre operation at the little farm and most importantly, I wanted to discover how the fresh milk tastes directly from the goat. It is a common misconception that goat milk tastes bad. People believe that it tastes "like a old billy-goat." To my very pleasant surprise, this is not true. If goats are properly fed and the milk is handled and stored well, there will not be an off-taste. Mike says, "milking into a closed system, like with the Henry Milker, prevents the milk from becoming tainted with all sorts of outside elements and debri during the milking process." When folks first taste fresh, clean goat milk they are expecting it to taste different, but to their surprise it tastes just like cow milk, only better.I recommend it! AK Ben

Other shorts you may enjoy:
Does Your Goat Milk Taste Like Your Goat? 
How to make Goat Cheese? 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Handmade Goat Soap

I am often contacted by vendors wanting to sell their wares on the Henry Milker website. Everything from goat halters to goat lice control. I am very picky about partners and co-products but have been seriously considering the sale of goat milk handmade soap and am currently talking with the good folks from Maple Ridge Soaps & Sundries. A great deal of experience and love go into each bar of Maple Ridge homemade soaps. Their soaps are made with goat milk (removed from the goats with the Henry Milker of course!), fresh dairy cream, herbally infused olive oil, organic coconut and palm oils. 
That's not all, Maple Ridge soaps also contain a generous amount of cocoa butter & organic shea butter.  Jojoba, sweet almond, avocado and other nutritive oils are used in all of their soaps.   Infusing the olive oil in every bar of our soap with herbs such as calendula, lavender, chamomile, alfalfa and plantain is one of the secrets to a truly luxurious bar of soap. Maple Ridge says, "Our soaps are truly Good Food For Your Skin  because it not only cleanses your skin, but nourishes as well". This is much easier than making your own goat soap. Maple Ridge knows how to make goat soap!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mini Horse Fun

Phoebe Henry and Mini, Carmel
lPhoebe's pony, Carmel, gives his first ride ever to our neighbor girl, Myel.  Training any animal is hard work! It's so important to start kids and animals at a young age as forming positive habits and practices is important.  Carmel has been in training since he was 3!  When he came to Red Fence Farm he had had a hard time getting along in his herd.  He has blossomed with consistency, calmness, high expectations and love!  Kids working with animals need to practice these skills to inspire confidence from animals as well as trust.  Carmel has been working up to carrying a rider for 2 years.  Phoebe is dedicated to training him in a firm but kind manner and Carmel has learned to respect direction and commands.  It was no accident that Myel's first ride was a success!  She has learned to work with horses in a way that exhibits confidence and control.  
Carmel had a great first ride including riding in a round pen and out on the trails. He was a very happy pony and gave a very safe and enjoyable ride to Myel. Carmel most definitely has a future in ponying little kids around. He proved that today with his calm and responsible attitude.  He has really come a long way and Red Fence Farm is proud to have him as a part of their family.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Henry Milker Goes to Japan

With all of the disasters in Japan of late it's a relief to see how the people are making a comeback. A sure sign of the nations economic recovery is the purchase of 1 single Henry Milker by a lone goat owner in Itoshima (糸島市, Itoshima-shi?). 

Itoshima is a city located in the western area of Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The city was formed on January 1, 2010, with the merger of the city of Maebaru with the two towns of Shima and Nijo. People from all over the world milk goats and have the need for a small, inexpensive goat milking machine.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How To Milk A Goat

Goat Milking Made Easy

Cy Henry milking his first goat
Goats have been milked by hand for centuries. There is really not much to it after you get the hang of it. Milking by hand does have it's drawbacks, hoof in the bucket, spilled milk and then the straining and filtering of the milk from the milk bucket to holding container and from there to the storage container for refrigeration. 

Easy Enough For A Kid To Use
I milked by hand for many years but as my age progressed, my hands started hurting too much to enjoy milking my goats. After searching the internet for a practical solution to my aches and pains, I set out to build my own milking machine from common materials found around my farm and in my shop. I had lots of quart canning jars, found an old used hand operated vacuum pump and some clear tubing. It took many attempts and lots of experimenting on my goat, Millie, but finally developed something that would actually milk my Millie as fast as I could hand milk and without the pain to my hands.
A home made carry box makes it really easy for a kid to use.
Cleanup is now a snap. No hooves in the bucket, no milk spilled, and the same quart jar that collected the milk gets a wide mouth canning lid and goes directly into the frig. After many design improvements the Henry Milker has been sold in each of the 50 States and in over 50 countries. It's easy enough for a kid to use and I still milk 4 goats twice each day. It was a real honor to be featured in the Dairy Goat Journal this past year. However you choose to milk your goat, happy milking to you! kids milking goats teach a kid to milk kids learn to milk goats

Living in Alaska

The Real Alaska
Tom Gray cleaning salmon with his Ulu
On a daily basis, I have the rare opportunity to visit with people from all over the world. Henry Milker customers call, text, email and facebook with lots of questions. The first question is seldom about the Henry Milker or about goats. Neither is the first question about Sarah Palin, even though they always get around to asking about her; if I know her, if I can see her house from my kitchen window. The first question people ask about is living in Alaska. There is a worldwide curiosity about the 49th State and folks want any information they can get about this place. 
BeeJay Gray cooking up a storm
My family has lived in Alaska for 15 years and spent the very first 2 years in White Mountain, Alaska. We had the opportunity of a lifetime in White Mountain. Fishing, hunting bear, wolves and ducks/geese. Catching crab and netting for white fish were activities we were able to experience. Gathering caribou and moose was a part of the subsistence lifestyle shared with us. Our most fond memories were of helping with the reindeer herd, picnics with everyone in the village, birthday parties, lots of coffee, all of the kids and being a part of the educational system. We were made welcome from the moment we stepped foot off the plane. Dan took me fishing the first day I arrived.
Too many people to mention, the Simons, Lincolns, Ashenfelters , Harrelsons and the Grays were some of the families who took us in and made our stay so fun. If you want to see the Real Alaska, go to White Mountain, a short 60 miles east of Nome. Our great friends, actually more like family, Tom and BeeJay Gray have a family business, Alaskan Northwest Adventures, that will cater to your personal needs. Photography, site seeing, hunting, fishing and the guaranteed best time of your life. Go see the Real Alaska.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How To - Nesting Box For Chickens

I have built many nesting boxes for my chickens over the years. They really don't need anything fancy, they will lay an egg almost anywhere they can find a safe isolated place where they can concentrate on getting that egg out.
Cy Henry gathering eggs.
This nesting box has 6 compartments and a large, hinged door that gives me complete access from the outside of the chicken coop. It  makes gathering eggs easy, cleaning easy and the addition of nesting material easy. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Henry Milker Makes It's Way To Bahrain

The Henry Milker is in over 50 different countries but this place is a little unusual for a goat milker. I don't even know where they would keep a goat.
The Kingdom of Bahrain—a name that translates as “Two Seas”—is actually an archipelago of 33 low-lying islands located in the heart of the Gulf. Situated along major Arabian and international trade routes between Asia and the West, the Kingdom has, for millennia, served as an important port and center of business. Today, the capital city of Manama is a vibrant cosmopolitan center offering an open economy and an educated workforce enhanced by modern cultural amenities like museums, shopping, restaurants and fine hotels.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How To Make Goat Cheese

Cy Henry Reveals Goat Cheese Recipe
Cy Henry
A very common question I get from Henry Milker customers  is: "How do you make goat cheese". I have had this question  asked so many times, I asked my brother Cy to reveal his Henry family recipe for making goat cheese. It's and old recipe but it is not very difficult to follow and it provides instructions to make perfect cheese every time.

Few ingredients and basic cooking equipment is all that's needed. I use 1 gallon of goat milk, seasoning, apple cider vinegar, a pan, wooden spoon, and a clean towel.

Pour the gallon of milk into the pan and heat on high until the milk just begins to boil. To avoid scorching the milk, constantly stir with a wooden spoon. Right at the time the milk begins to boil, add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and continue to stir. Curds should form immediately.

Pour the entire mixture into the open towel and drain. Squeeze, press and do anything you can think of to get as much moisture out of the curds as possible. Spend some time on this step, it will pay off with a better cheeses that is not watery.

 Remove the curds from the towel and place into a container so you can separate and add your favorite seasoning. Garlic, dill, and salt are the ingredients in this batch of goat cheese. Get creative!

Forming and pressing the cheese is the next step. I like to use a large coffee cup lined with parchment paper for the mold. Fill and find something you can use to press and push the cheese down to make a firm block.
I use another coffee cup (Mickey) as my cheese press. After pressing, turn the cup upside down and there you go, a block of cheese. This is ready to eat now but should go into the refrigerator for a day to cure and take on all of the seasoning flavors.

Friday, July 1, 2011

How To Trim Goat Hooves - Goat Hoof Trimming

So easy......Uncle Cy trims a Nigerian Dwarf left handed.
It's as easy as trimming your finger nails, as quick as cutting your own toe nails. Don't be nervous about the technical terms or the perfect way to get the job done. Get yourself a very nice set of hoof trimming shears and do some trimming. 

Before trimming, place your goat in a safe secure place while trimming. Some folks lay their goat on it's side, grab a leg  and begin the trimming process, one hoof at a time. I much prefer placing my goats on their milking stand and locking them in with some nice grain to munch on while the manicure proceeds. Hoof trimming is necessary for general hoof health and proper goat posture. Keep a pair of hoof clippers hanging on your goat milking stand and trim hooves on a regular basis.