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CLICK HERE to download the chapter called "Legalizing Goats In Your City" from City Goats

Owning a dairy goat not only provides you with an adorably furry friend, but it also provides you with a considerable source of goats milk! Jennie Grant, the author of City Goats: The Goats Justice League to Backyard Goat Keeping, provides useful information on the milking process and explains how to pasteurize your own goats milk.

Before you head out to the pasture with a bucket or pail, you will need to gather and assemble the essentials required for milking and pasteurizing. After all, you will need much more than the dairy goat to produce deliciously safe goats milk. Here is a quick rundown of the supplies and tasks needed for the milking and pasteurizing process:

First, you'll need a milking stand

  • The stand will provide you with easy access to the udder and teats all while keeping your goat held in place.

The components in your milking kit

  1. The milking kit is made up of important supplies that will keep you and your goats milk safe and sanitary. You will need a milking pail with a steamer basket on top. The pail shouldn’t have any seams or plastic seals because these are difficult to fully sanitize. You will also need a milk bottle or jar to hold the goats milk, with a strainer to pour the goats milk through. Your kit should also include two soft, soapy towels for cleaning the udder and teats before and after the milking process. As well, keep some udder balm on hand in case the teats are dry and cracked from suckling kids. Lastly, you will need a strip cup for the first few squirts of goat milk, this milk should be checked for bad odor or blood before beginning your milking.

Shave the udder

  1. The hair around the udders can attract dirt and drop particles into the goats milk while you are milking. Shave around the udder at least a week or two before kidding so that the hair wont get tugged during the milking process.

Practice milking!

  • Practice the hand motion of milking on a water filled plastic glove with a pin hole in the finger tip. This practice will make milking go smoother for you and your goat.
  • To milk, simply pinch the teat at the base near the udder and then squeeze the rest of the exposed teat with your remaining fingers. The pinching motion prevents the milk from flowing back up into the udder while the rest of your fingers squeeze the milk out of the teat; it is as easy as pinch and squeeze!

Now that you understand the milking process of your dairy goat it is important to know the correct process of pasteurizing milk.

    1. Pasteurizing milk requires you to bring your goats milk to varying temperatures before the process is complete. Make sure you have a thermometer on hand before you begin pasteurizing the goats milk.
    2. First, heat the goats milk to 160 degrees F for thirty seconds before quickly cooling it to a temperature of 39 degrees F.
    3. Keep an eye on how quickly it takes for your milk to cool to 39 degrees F. One suggestion for rapid cooling is transferring the goats milk to a sealable metal container after the heating process and submersing it into ice water for rapid cooling.
If you are interested in learning more about pasteurized dairy goats milk vs raw dairy goats milk, as well as the safeties of each, Jennie Grant covers all this and more in her adorable and humorous goat guide, City Goats: The Goats Justice League to Backyard Goat Keeping. Check it out for everything from tips on what to feed your goats, examples of the perfect goat shed, making homemade cheese with all your delicious goats milk and more!

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