We finally have the milk machine working now.
We got a service man out to overhaul the system. It needed a new regulator, gauge and the pulsator needed a service. We have enough pressure to milk 4-5 cows at a time now, not that we need it :-(
This is our bucket milker. My dad milked using this over thirty years ago so it was nice to get it back to work. It holds about 30 litres of milk, perfect for our small setup. I keep it in the house and carry it out to milk with.
Machine milking is so easy compared to hand milking and I have her milked out better than I ever could hand milking, in just minutes.
I bring amber in and tie her up while she eats her feed. I clean her udder and strip some milk from each teat.
I turn the motor on at the wall and connect the vacuum tube to the bucket milker. I can hear the pulsator clicking immediately as the vacuum builds up. Then the tricky part, putting on the four clusters without them falling off again. I need help from hubby to do this at the moment but I'm sure within a week I will have mastered this.
It only takes 4-5 mins to milk her out. I watch the milk line and wait till the milk slows or stops passing through. I then pull a valve on the claw that releases the vacuum and allows me to take off the clusters.
Amber is still eating her food and is not nearly ready yet. So I turn off the motor and bring the bucket milker into the house. I then feed the hens, pigs and pony. Usually by then amber is ready to go back out to her yard or field depending on the weather.
My twice daily jobs are cut from 40 mins down to 15 mins.
When I get back to the house, I now have the milk and cleaning to deal with. This suits me as I can do it while the children are around me.
I take of the lid and leave it in the sink to clean.
That leaves me a large bucket of fresh milk. Last night we milked 8-9 litres and this morning I milked 6-7 litres. That is a lot of milk and much more than I was able to hand milk.
It takes about 10 mins to strain and bottle the milk, and clean the milker. I leave it in the kitchen till the next milking to keep it clean. The hens would enjoy perching on it if I left it in the shed.
I am not saving much time by machine milking because of the extra cleaning but it allows me spend more time in the house with the children, preventing them causing mayhem.
Also it is just easier, hubby will happily milk now so it shares the work load, it milks out more milk than hand milking and the milk that is produced is very clean and hygienic.
The point of this post is that I LOVE my new milking machine!
I am making 2 litres of Greek yogurt, but that's not nearly enough of milk used. The pigs are enjoying all the milk.