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Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Rose, Aug 5, 2008.
Please tell me about milking machine maintenance and break down issues.
We have discussed this at length. Do a search.
This should get you started:
Thanks. Discussion must have been before I got goats or found this website or started thinking about a milking machine. I'll look further.
Edited to add:
I did a search on milking machine maintenance and came up with one hit. This thread. :rofl I'll work on different word combinations. In the meantime....
I realize I didn't phrase my question specifically enough. :/
In your experience, how much daily/weekly/etc maintenance is required?
In your experience, how often do the machines break down?
How challenging is this for a rookie?
(I'm in the process of reading the *very long* document from the link above. Lots of good info there. My milking partner has macular degeneration, and he won't be able to read that fine print at all. :help)
I found the maintenance schedule section on partsdeptonline.
This is all *so much new information* to a rookie and very overwhelming. I'm still learning the names to the parts, and not having an actual machine to look at doesn't make it easy. No one nearby has one. Plus, I don't do well with machines. :nooo I'm one of those folks that can pick up a running chain saw or touch a running lawn mower and it dies.
Please understand that I have two goats in my "milking line." :sigh We're only considering getting a milking machine due to arthritis.
Heading back to partsdeptonline for more study. :biggrin
I know when I first got mine it scared the peediddle out of me and it seemed to take a long time cleaning it and other stuff. After about 2 or 3 weeks it just became routine and didnt take as long as it did before. What part of Missouri are you in. I am down at the bottom of Kansas in a way. Close to Ft. Scott. Maybe we are close to each other.PM me
I can relate! It was overwhelming to me when I 1st decided to get one too- so many choices & parts with strange names . Once you see some in use, it makes more sense . Clean up is not as bad as I expected, but I now have a bucket cleaner, which cleans my lines for me while I'm out feeding. I started out with a surge bucket as it was less expensive & have now gone to a de laval as it's easier to pour out of. There are some that come all put together or you can put your own together with a vaccuum pump,, a bucket, a lid, a pulsator, lines & inflations.
On mine, every time I milk, I run bleach water thru it using a bucket & setting the inflations in it to suck up the water. Then I wash the bucket, put in cleaning solution, connect the lines to the bucket washer & let that run while I feed. Then I rinse it all, then put it in bleach water & hang it all to dry. Sounds like a lot, but it really goes fast
It is totaly going to depend on your water, we don't have whatever it is in our well that makes milkstone, but we do have mold issues.
I take 2, 2 gallon buckets and fill one with bleach water the other with dishwashing machine soap and water, this soap is low suds so you don't end up with bubbles. 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water cuts mold and bacteria on clean surfaces. Just a glug, maybe 3 tablespoons of the dish soap.
After milking I dump my can and rinse it at the sink...I clean my lid and seal with the soapy water, put it back on the can clean, I run the soapy water through the lines, which cleans off the milk and sheets it into the can, this then leaves me with a clean surface in the inflations and lines.... I then throw my inflations into the bleach bucket to suck it through which disenfects the clean lines and keeps mold to a minimum. We get pink mold here if we don't use the bleach. I then disconnect my lines, take them to the sink, wash off the outside and the inflations (bleach is hard on the rubber parts) with clean water and hang them to dry until the next milking. I am careful with the water in the can because of the bleach/soap fumes and my asthma, dump it and then using a green scrubby pad for stainless I quickly wash out the inside of my can, turn it upside down to drain it.
I do this twice a day, takes maybe 3 mintues each time. Then on Saturday I spend about 15 mintues after morning milking, taking everything apart, scrubbing it with brushes, and putting it all back together. I use an inflation brush, take off 5 hoses, clean them and soak my air hose that goes from the lid to the machine. Not alot to clean.
It's not that a machine milking is faster than milking by hand, it's the whole endurance part. Sure I could milk all 8 by hand, but in the time it takes me to milk all 8 with the machine, I have also lambared the kids and cleaned the lambar, added hay to anyone who needed it, fed the kids, alfalfa pelleted everyone, checked the minerals, cleaned anything in the milkroom that is getting icky and even trimed a set of hooves. All while the girls are up on the stand and I am not sweating over them milking.
Now if you have milkstone, or are milking for Grade A, obviously you have other steps in your routine you will have to go through, acid or detergent rinses etc... Vicki
Wonderful answers! Thank you everybody!
It's sounding like the pump itself and the pulsator must not be much of a maintenance problem, as no one has mentioned those.
I do not have an oilless vacume pump, so each year I have to drain mine and put in new oil (about $20). I also am on my second motor, the first one was free and used, the second $100. But no, for myself it is never about something breaking down, it is always about me doing something stupid like sucking milk into the machine, or breaking the belt when I unplugged the stero The rest is upgrades...wanting new this or that. My milking machine is really straight forward, a vacume pump, motor, belt between the two and a balist tank to hold extra vacume. So for me, no there isn't anything going wrong. Vicki
:rofl Worse case scenerio? THE ELECTRICITY GOES OUT! That's about the only reason I USED to panic. Now, there's a cute little generator sitting in the hay barn...just for that. :biggrin
They are total life-savers with anything over 3 goats milking here! I milk two at a time into one bucket- though I do have another bucket set up and can milk 4 at a time. That's too much work and I can do like Vicki and put out hay, feed babies, fill water troughs and other things while the two girls are being milked.
The only thing I ever do maintenance-wise to my Hoegger maching is wipe off the outside and add oil once a month or so.