There’s certain milking equipment and supplies that you need when you own a homestead dairy animal. Be it a cow, or a goat, you need these essential items to get the job done and keep your milk clean and tasting fresh.
But, I digress this is about milking equipment, not me geeking out over dairy animals.
Over the years of milking, I’ve settled on the milking supplies that I like to use. Having the proper equipment on hand, is essential to being clean and efficient when milking at home.
Top 6 Milking Equipment and Supplies
There are 6 essential items you need to milk. A dairy animal is also a must but I’m assuming you already know that. 😉
1- Glass Jars-
I like to use half gallon glass mason jars for storing our milk. You can use plastic but I’ve found that in glass, milk just stays fresh longer, tastes better, and there’s no risk of leaching chemicals in our milk.
Glass is also very easy to clean and sanitize. I even freeze milk in glass jars. I’m always sure to use wide mouth jars and leave over an inch of head space to prevent jar breakage.
I love the strainer that I use for my milk. It’s a large stainless steel funnel with a removable little mesh strainer. I like the stainless steel for the same reasons that I like glass for storing milk.
It’s easy to clean and sanitize and it doesn’t leave any off flavors in the milk. I can also use this funnel when I’m canning so it’s a bonus! I like having multi use tools in my life.
In addition to the little mesh strainer, I like to use cheese cloth or a reusable coffee filter to strain my milk into my jars. Having a couple of layers ensures that no debris gets into the final product in the fridge.
When I’m out milking, I like to keep a mesh paint strainer in my large pail for an initial strain before I even bring the milk in the house. All of these strainers may not be 100% necessary but I just like have the assurance that my milk is going to be very clean.
4- Small Pail-
Whether I’m milking a cow or a goat, I like to use my small milk pail for milking straight into. It’s easy to hold on to and it’s also less milk at risk for spilling if your animal dances around, kicks, or steps in the bucket.
It also works great for goats because they’re much closer to the ground than a cow. The size of my smaller pail is 2 quarts. This works really well for our Nubian goats because they give around 2 quarts each per milking.
5- Large Pail-
A large pail is another essential piece of milking equipment. My large pail holds about 3 gallons of milk. I like to milk my goats and pour the milk from each goat into the larger pail lined with a mesh strainer.
If I’m milking a cow, I’ll have lots of milk to pour over into the large pail. I could also just use the large pail to milk in to for a cow. Plus, nothing makes you feel more like a legit milk maid than hauling a large pail full of milk around.
6- Udder Balm-
This is a must to keep your dairy animals happy. No one wants chapped, dry, or cracking teats. I make my own udder balm for our animals. It’s also awesome for your hands.
I make mine with specific essential oils to promote a healthy udder, ward off bacteria, and promote healing in the case of a cut or even mastitis. It also smells wonderful so that’s just a bonus!
Once you have all of these supplies on hand, you’ll be ready to start your home milking journey. As long as you have a dairy animal, that is. I know I’ve said it a million times but milking is my happy place. Having the right milking equipment just makes the job even better.
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