Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I love my Henry Milker $$ Give Away

Our contest is over and the 3 lucky winners have been drawn. The rules were easy; just tell us what you love about your Henry Milker Goat milking machine and send it in as your official entry.

$100 winner - Karla Schaerer, "As I have said before, this is a great tool.  I can't imagine my husband or the neighbors trying to hand milk my girls.  This tool makes sure the milk is exceptionally clean.  We drank raw milk direct from the farm during the entire milking season last year.  From the goat to the fridge to whatever I was cooking, or when I needed milk to drink.  My sister in law fed it to her children, too.  No possibility of contamination if you clean the teat first and give the first couple of squirts (by hand) to the cat!"

$50 winner - Hannah Pillow "Thank you so much for this genius invention!!  We just got goats in kind of a short notice and are in the learning experience mode still and realized that goats are a bit of an up-keep. The Henry Milker has saved us a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and we love it, especially at the end of a hard day when you know  you can rely on The Henry Milker to not cause you any problems!"

$25 winner - Dianna Moore "I am so pleased with my new Henry milker.  I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about how well it would work after reading  the reviews of other brands, but I am a happy believer now.  I was struggling to get 1-2 cups of milk from each of our goats a day, resulting in frustration on all our parts and sore hands for me.  The first time I attached the milker to one of our goats and the milk poured out so fast,  I was amazed and ecstatic.  I get a quart out of each side now in less than 10 minutes.  They are much more contented while I am milking and I look forward to it each day.  I now wish I had more goats to milk, but I’m getting so much milk we can’t use it all.  Your promptness in filling my order and your friendliness are much appreciated.  Thank you".
Winners can go to the Henry Milker web site and log into your account. Your cash credits have been awarded and waiting for you to spend on any item(s) listed.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Home Grown Tomatoes in Alaska

Zack and Zane showing off their 2012 produce.
How to enjoy beautiful, fresh tomatoes in Palmer, Alaska. There was a time when I managed a 3,300 square foot hydroponic tomato greenhouse in Southern Arizona. 1,000 plants producing 125 giant tomatoes everyday year-round. While in Northern Arizona I grew the best outdoor tomatoes, filled with flavor and an acidic pH that would make you weep. I have been in Alaska for 16 years and have not yet learned to grow a tomato that comes close to the tomatoes from my past. 
Zane very proud of those jewels.
So how do I do it? 
It all starts with having 2 nephews who live in Arizona and love to grow tomatoes. I trade fresh halibut and smoked salmon for their fresh tomatoes grown by Zack and Zane Langenbach.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Clean Goat is a Healthy Goat

Keep it Clean

Kitchen floor, but not for long.
Goats have to be kept clean and the barn area free from waste that becomes disease infestations.  Because goats are pretty tough and relatively independent in many ways, folks often think that regular cleaning of the pen area is not necessary. Not true. You cannot take the short cut and allow your goats to live in filth.

I’m not going to list all of the health problems your goat can encounter from unclean conditions but one of the most common disease with goats is mastitis and can be prevented by keeping your goat living area clean.

How do I keep the goat pen clean?
Pallet "growing floor".
1. Be sure the floor of the pen is clean. Dirt is OK, rubber mats are great, I prefer wood. All of my goat sleeping/resting areas have 2x8 lumber flooring.
Concrete, very easy to keep clean.
2. Use bedding in the sleeping area. Pine shavings or straw both work well. I prefer shavings because it seems to be easier to remove than straw once it becomes soiled.
3. Bedding should be completely removed once/week. I mix this with horse manure to make an excellent compost.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

World Use of Goats and Milk

Maybe just a little too friendly with his goat?
How Popular Are goats?
Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans,some say about 10,000 years ago, older than my mother-in-law. Neolithic farmers began to herd wild goats for easy access to milk and meat, primarily, as well as for their dung. Yea, that's right, they collect the dung to use as fuel. I'll not complain about gas prices anymore.
Go where the food is.
Today there are about 500 million goats in the world, give or take a dozen or so. The United States weighs in at a tiny 3 million of the critters, China has 170 million. Much of the worldwide goat population is in the developing world. The largest importer of goats is the U.S. and the biggest exporter of goats is Australia.  
 Goat Milk Drinkers of the World
Worldwide, more people drink goat milk than any other type of milk. (Yes, this includes cows).  It is estimated that 72% of the world's milk consumption is from goats. The taste of goat's milk is nearly close to cow's milk for most people. I actually prefer the milk from my grain fed Nigerian Dwarf Goats over any milk, cow or goat. Those that claim they can detect a difference are usually correct. Does kept close to their male friend will produce a milk that has a distinct flavor, not very pleasant. Goat milk is fairly similar in nutrients to cow's milk and can replace it in virtually any recipe. However, goat milk is "naturally" homogenized. The fat molecules are five times smaller than in cow's milk which makes it much easier for humans to digest. It is also claimed that some individuals with allergies to cows milk can drink goat milk without problems. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Preventing Mastitis

Preventing and Managing Mastitis
clean, healthy udder
Mastitis, the inflammation of the udder, is one of the most common diseases of milk goats. It has been reported that about 30% of all does have or will experience some form of mastitis. Almost all mastitis is caused by bacteria that enter through the teat end and infect the milk secreting tissue in the udder. 
sanitary living area

How Can You Prevent It?
Keeping the udder clean and sanitary at all times is the best prevention program. Having sanitary living conditions for your goat and keeping it clean of manure is a must. Cleaning the udder and teats at milking time is necessary for clean milk and good udder sanitation.   Each half of the udder is completely separated by tissue, therefore each half can become independently infected with bacteria.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

How To Make Your Own Udder Cleaner

Make Your Own Udder Cleaner
Making your own solution to clean teats before milking is not rocket science, it's really easy. Your Goat deserves the best.

Before Milking
As a boy, I would complete my milking chores and carry the bucket of milk into the house for my mom to strain. Straining was really necessary because the pale of milk always had a significant number of "floaters". I probably did not do as much udder or teat cleaning as I should have.
 Basic Teat/Udder Cleaning Rules
1. Take your time.
2. Use a "wet" cleaner initially.
3. Take your time.
4. Finish with a "dry" wipe.

Making Your Own Solution

A. Start with 3 cups water.
B. Add one squirt (1 Tbs) dish washing liquid, I like Dawn.
C. Add one squirt (1 Tbs) Baby Oil

Ready To Spray and Clean
Pour the cleaning solution you just made into a spray bottle and your ready to clean. I always keep my spray bottle inside the house so it is room temperature when I go out to milk. Spray the udder and teats and wipe down with a clean dry paper towel.

Clean Milk
After cleaning the udder and teats, finish the job with a Henry Milker for the cleanest milk ever!

You may be interested in reading more on this topic, take a look at these:
Milking Stand