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Milk – a visual journey from udder to fridge

the freshest milk

the freshest milk

I am not a full-time milkmaid, but I have the responsibility for three milkings a week for a small herd of three dairy goats.  One evening I captured the experience to share with the curious.

Daisy

Daisy

Here is Daisy, goat extraordinaire.   She looks rather unremarkable, but she milks like a cow (well, not quite, but almost)!  Her teats are huge and so easy to milk and she is giving slightly over a gallon a day of delicious milk.  She has one mission in life – convert sunshine to milk.  She eats leaves all day, and comes to stand by the barn door ready to milk.  Then she goes back out to the field and commences eating more leaves.  Good girl!

Daisys wonderful udder

Daisy's wonderful udder

This is the business end.

And this is my and Daisy’s business concluded for the evening.  She is officially off duty, and I take it from here.

milk processing equipment

milk processing equipment

Back in the kitchen, the milk is strained into clean (sanitized in the dishwasher) glass quart jars.  The strainer is stainless steel, and the filters are disposable Schwartz brand milk filters.

pouring in the milk . . .

pouring in the milk . . .

The milk is carefully poured into the jars.

It can take a few seconds for the milk to go through the filter.  You can see here some filled jars and one with the plastic lids that we use.  A blue sticker on the lid has a cryptic code, D 2 P, which means Daisy, March 2, evening milking (p as in pm).  Then into the fridge with all the milk.

the used strainer

the used strainer

The used strainer is examined for anything suspicious – what you see is probably bits of hay and a few hairs that have been filtered out.  This is normal detritus.  What you don’t want to see is clots of milk/ blood/ mucus that might indicate mastitus, an infection in the udder, but if you see it here you can begin observation/treatment quickly.

Then the washing up – hot soapy water does the trick.  Everything is ready for morning, when we go again.

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2 Comments

  1. Renae says:

    Hi Georgiaberry!

    Do you sell the milk also? I’ve never had goats milk, but I’m interested! How long does it stay fresh?

    1. Georgiaberry Mobley says:

      Hi Renae – no, I don’t sell milk. I have found that the milk stays fresh quite a while, probably a week or more, as long as it is kept refrigerated. If you have your own goat or cow, you can always drink the freshest milk, because there is more each morning and evening!

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