One of the reasons people raise goats is to get easy access to goat milk and milking machines for goats to make this easier and faster. While milking machines are commonly used for bigger ruminants, such as cows, there are milking machine designs that are used for small ruminants like goats, too.
The top milking machines for goats ensure that you can use them when there is no power and they are simple to handle. Also, they help you to get clean milk from your goats and ensure that there is minimal to no risk of udder infection after milking them. They should be comfortable for the goats and not cause reduced milk production.
In this article, you will have our recommendation for the three best milking machines for goats, considering their ease of use, availability for use, and overall quality.
Top 3 Goat Milking Machines that we use
Do You Need a Milking Machine?
It might be confusing if you should get a milking machine or not. While milking machines for goats may help to make milking easier, it may not be the right purchase for you to make. The reasons for this vary from farm to farm and homestead to homestead. However, it is generally best to make the right purchase decision for your small-scale goat venture to increase production without neglecting other aspects of production.
Some of the reasons that may help you determine the suitability of a milking machine for goats include:
Your goats’ productivity does not depend on them alone, it also depends on their handler. You need to know if a milking machine will help your goats increase their milk production while they remain convenient with the process. It is not uncommon to see goats kick milking buckets when they are uncomfortable with the activity.
Is your goat handler skilled enough to handle a milking machine? If not, you may have to hold off on purchasing one, at least till they get the required skill of using such a machine.
Number of Goats in your Herd
While milking machine makes milking goats easier and faster, it may be unwise to purchase one if the number of goats you have can easily be hand-milked. Generally, the larger your herd size, the longer it takes to hand-milk, and this can have a significant effect on the quality of your milk.
Purchase a milking machine for goats if you have about 3 goats and above. The type you purchase also depends on the number of goats you have to milk.
Return on Investment
The economic aspect of purchasing a milking machine becomes clear in how much your income increases after some period of using the machine in your production process. You can calculate how much your production can increase if you use a milking machine.
If the increase is not as high as you like, it is better not to get one. However, in a large herd, there is a high chance that your milk production process will become faster and consequently, help you have more milk to sell, as long as the quality is maintained.
Types of Goat Milking Machine
The types of goat milking machines differ in how they get power. All milking machines for goats work under the same principle of using a vacuum to suck milk from the goats’ udders. However, how they generate the pressure in the vacuum differs, through their power source.
The common types of goat milking machines are:
AC-powered Goat Milking Machine
This type of milking machine for goats generates pressure that sucks milk out of the udder of goats into a bucket or tank by getting power from an alternating current electricity outlet. Its engine is built so that it is only compatible with tapping electric energy from AC sources.
It is powerful and suitable for use in large dairy goat farms. They do not need an oil change, all you have to do is plug them in a compatible outlet, switch them on, and you can milk as many goats as you have. However, they are not portable and can only be used on the farm.
Rechargeable Battery Powered Goat Milking Machine
This is a portable electricity-powered milking machine option for goats. Its major advantage is its portability as it uses electricity stored in a battery that can be easily carried from place to place. They make milking easier and do not need far-fetched maintenance.
However, they are best used in a herd with, at most, three does to be milked. The energy contained in the battery pack is usually insufficient to milk a large number of dairy goats. Also, it cannot be powered by another electrical source because its engine is usually of low capacity.
Gas-powered Goat Milking Machine
This type of milking machine is comparable in strength to the AC-powered goat milking machine. Its engine is built to be compatible with gas. It needs a regular oil change to maintain it and it can be used to milk a large number of dairy goats. It is suitable for sizeable dairy farms.
It is not portable and requires constant maintenance practice. It is also more costly to operate this type of goat milking machine.
What to Look Out for
When you want to purchase a goat milking machine, certain things tell of their quality and adaptability to your need. They include:
Inconsistencies when milking
Usually, inconsistencies when milking refer to the presence of milk clots, blood, or viscosity of the milk produced by the goats. When hand-milking, it is advisable to watch out for possible inconsistencies by squirting the milk from the udder twice into a sieve.
If you consistently have inconsistencies in their milk, you need a milking machine that has a sieve before allowing milk into its holding tank.
Milking runtime compared to manual milking
Also, you need to compare the duration of milking by hand and machine. Usually, a milking machine will give an estimated runtime for its operation and how many goats it can milk in a stipulated time. A comparison between how long it can run and how many goats it will milk and how long it takes you to milk the same number of goats by hand should influence your decision to purchase a goat milking machine.
The suction on a milking machine is arguably the most important part of the machine. It helps to create suction that pulls milk from the udder and helps it flow to the holding tank. A milking machine with insufficient suction defeats the purpose of using a milking machine. Also, a milking machine with too much suction may damage the teat of the goat.
Suction rings help to block any external influence on the suction of a milking machine. Therefore, it helps to maintain constant pressure.
How well automated is the milking machine you wish to choose? You should note that the bigger the machine, the more automated it is and the costlier it will be. Some milking machines may need you to get the inconsistencies in the milk by hand, while others may be able to separate the inconsistencies from the healthy milk.
To maintain a good milk production level, your goat has to be comfortable with the milking machine you choose. A disregard to the comfort and health of your goat for the speed of harvesting milk from them will affect future production, either by causing the teat to become sore, or causing mastitis to develop on the udder.
Our Top 3 Goat Milking Machines
For backyard goat farmers and homestead goat keepers, here are our top 3 goat milking machines. These machines are produced by the same manufacturer but they have different capacities, majorly in the amount of goat milk they can hold. They have better quality in application than most goat milking machines in the market presently.
Hantop 6L Rechargeable Goat Milking Machine
The Hantop 6L Rechargeable Goat Milking Machine has a milk-holding capacity of 6 liters and its holding tank is made of stainless steel, which makes it easy to clean. It operates by causing consistent pulsation around the teats and allowing consistent blood flow. Its power source is a large lithium battery covered with aluminum alloy, to prevent heat escape.
It lasts in operation for up to 4 hours and is portable. It is easy to clean and uses food-grade material such as silicone for its hose, teat cup liner, and milk container.
- It is portable
- It employs food-grade materials
- It does not cause discomfort for your goats
- It is not suitable for a large herd
Hantop 3L Portable Pulsation Vacuum Pump Goat Milking Machine
The Hantop 3L Portable Pulsation Vacuum Pump Goat Milking Machine employs the pulsation technique of massaging the teat to get milk instead of the continuous supply of vacuum pressure directly to the teat. This makes it easier on the goats, improving their comfort.
It pulses about 40 times per minute, saving you labor and time cost. The points in contact with the teat and the milk are made of food-grade silicone. They can be found in the teat cup, the hose, and the milk container.
- It is portable
- It increases the comfort of your goats when milking
- It helps to save time and labor costs
- It uses food-grade silicone material
- It has a small milk holding tank
- It uses a vacuum pump
Hantop 5L Rechargeable Pro Plus Model Goat Milking Machine
This model of the Hantop goat milking machine has different milk holding capacity tanks, ranging from 3 to 12 liters. It, like the other Hantop goat milking machines, employ the pulsating method of massaging the teats to create blood flow and suck milk from the udder. However, it can switch between pulse and regular mode at the push of a button.
It prevents the backflow of milk to the udder, through the hose, due to the presence of a check valve in the holding tank. With its high-power battery, you can milk your goats for, at least, 5 hours. The food-grade silicone material used in the teat cup liner and hose makes it suitable for use in collecting milk.
It is also easy to install and clean while its suction pressure is adjustable.
- It has different milk holding container sizes
- Its battery capacity is large
- It automatically stops milk back-flow
- It uses food-grade materials
- Easy to install and clean
- It has limited hours of use.
Frequently Asked Questions about Milking Machines
How often should I Milk my Goat?
Goats can be milked numerous times in a day, depending on how well they produce milk. Heavy milk producers can be milked twice daily; at about 12 hours intervals between milking. However lesser milk producers can be milked once daily.
A suitable time is either in the morning or evening.
When should I start to milk my goat?
Goats do not produce milk until they have reached maturity and have kids. Usually, goats produce milk for their kids and they are weaned at about 6 weeks old. You can begin to milk your goat for commercial or consumption purposes when the kids are weaned. Alternatively, you can begin to milk your goats after the third week of kidding, as long as there is adequate milk for the goats.
How much Milk does a Goat Provide in a day?
The volume of milk produced by a goat depends on its diet, genetics, and other environmental factors. However, on average, you can expect a big milk producer to give you about 3.4 liters.
What is the price of a Goat Milking Machine?
The price of a goat milking machine depends on the type. An electric milking machine costs more than a gas-powered milking machine and a battery-powered milking machine. For the latter, an average price is $250 while you can expect to pay close to a thousand dollars for the types of milking machines.
Goat milking machines employ vacuum pressure to milk goats. They are of different types and may be extravagant for a backyard goat farmer when they compare the amount of time spent in milking with the machine and hand.
To get the best goat milking machine, ensure that they can maintain your goats’ comfort and not negatively impart their milk production.