I'm not saying there is a wrong way but just wanted to share how we do it. It's not a "easy" process but we take extra steps that make it harder on us though it ensures clean milk.
First lets start with the goat
Luckily goats stay pretty clean anyway and this may be over kill. I like the feel of a freshly shaved goat. I use the Whal hair trimmers you can find at Walmart. I like the adjustable kind where i can use no guard but extend the lever about half way and trim about halfway of the under belly to the "bum" of the goat. All of this is a big help in both keeping hair out of the buckets and easier to clean that udder.
I have a cure for those hairy stray teats that like to divert the milk stream to your pants.
They are simple nose trimmers. I use the green one above and you can get one for $4 after shipping on ebay. They are gentle and don't leave cuts or nicks on the teats.
Now to the goat kit. It's a simple tool box that I can bring inside during the winter so it don't freeze. I start with a clean rag and a spray bottle of soapy water and give her a good scrub. Then I pull a couple of unscented wet wipes and put a good amount of Purell on it and give a second scrubbing concentrating on the teats. This is also good to help sterilize your hands. Next is a "strip" bucket I leave out to get a good 4 to 5 first squeezes to get that first "dirty" stream out.
Now I'm ready to milk. A few modifications I made to our milk bucket though.
We put 2 frozen Avian water bottles in the bucket. The goats milk comes out sterile and its how you handle it keeps it sterile. The colder you can get it the fastest is the best and you can put those water bottles in the dish washer after you strain the milk.
I also went to Home Depot and bought that steal looking non rusting screen that I cut and form fitted to the top of the bucket to catch any hairs or bugs that may try to get in there. (dishwasher safe also) I top the bucket off with a heavy dinner plate when I set the milk bucket aside. When I'm done milking, the bucket goes straight in the freezer while the goats finish their meal at the stanchions. I take the milk out and put it in the fridge just before it starts to freeze.
After milking you want to sterilize the teats as the last step. Some people use Fight Bac in a can but I been using Purell for years.
Above can be your worst enemy. Just like us, goats don't like flies landing on their legs. Most goats don't stomp high enough but if you get a sensitive goat, a little fly spray on the back of their legs helps. Just keep that milk bucket covered and a good distance. Now for butthole goats that give you a hard time like the one pictured at the top it took me years to figure her out. Nothing makes you more mad then when a goat "kicks the bucket." She would put her hove in the bucket and even lay down in it making all that work useless. After years I finally figured her out. All it took was my head pressed in her side. When I would feel her twitch I would give her a nudge knocking her off balance and when she would lean into my head the other direction I would let up and this method worked great. And if all else fails, thump them like a read headed step child :p no offence to gingers :p
Now the last steps. Filter the milk and we put it in glass Ball jars (4 equals a gallon) Then we to back out and kick the goats :p It depends on what type of goats you have how long it will last before it gets a goaty taste. A good supplement that grows fast is Zucchini and Squash. They love it. Just don't feed moldy hay. While it wont hurt them it will give them the Hershey squirts :p
When kidding season comes, be sure to shave that belly, udder, bum, and tail or you will have a long time sticky mess.
This time we decided to just wing it and ended up at Mirror Lake. We like to go at the beginning of the season both beginning and end since the cold makes for less people at the sites. The problem with that is it's crazy cold at 11,000 feet high. Almost to tree line. We woke to frost covering everything each morning yet our faces got sunburned. (something I never had an issue with in 22 years of camping) and we toughed it out in a tent.
Now here is where I got a little stupid. Most maps will tell you if its a 4wd road or a high clearance 4wd road. This one did not. We were the only ones on that road that wasn't on an ATV. It was roughly 10 miles and I couldn't go faster than 5 mph. I had to evaluate each boulder to decide which one was better to roll my tires over yet I bottomed out 7 times making me get out and check that no fluids were punctured an leaking. I have never seen a road like that before and most of it was single lane. Second mistake... after making it half way through the highway of hell It dawned on us that we left with a full tank of gas and never stopped to get more. We were down to 1/4 tank of gas not knowing how far the next gas station was but we did know it was too late to turn around. We had to use low 4wd which i knew was using more gas than usual. I really thought a hitch hike was in our future. Big Red didn't let us down. (Yeah I named it. I think it's required that guys name their toys :p ) It's the best running truck I've owned with 2,000,000 miles on it other than having no heat.
This was the nice part of the road. The rest was too bumpy and scary for pictures
I don't know what this little creature was but he was cool and not scared.
(The top of the continental divide above)
The Moose swimming below was the first thing we seen as we pulled into mirror lake. I didn't know they could swim and I couldn't help myself laughing at Diana's reaction as it got real close knowing I had a 7,000 pound vehicle and a 30-30 rifle if he did decide to come after us. I have run into Moose before and as long as you leave them alone they left me alone. I should have messed with her and fake freaked out like it was going to come after us. Plus I knew they could run 30 mph but I didn't tell Diana that. It was too fun too see her freak out
Another major problem that plagued us was our campfire. No matter how hard we tried the bastard would not stay lit. We brought wood from home and found some off the side of the roads. The only thing that would burn was small twig branches off the trees that we chopped down with a small hand axe. This led to up having to constantly feed the fire non stop. We had multiple fire starting options in my hiking pack including duraflame logs that just gave me the middle finger. It was so cold I had to keep my lighter against my skin or it wouldn't even light. Even paper towels wouldn't stay lit! Now it was very moist up there but after the first burn to dry out the pit it still didn't make a difference. I have never had so much trouble with fire while shaking like a paint shaker in my life. This happened every day.
We tried our luck at fishing but the bottom of the lake was so rocky we just lost every pole set up. Diana had a smart and crafty idea of cutting chunks of our Styrofoam cooler to make a home made bobber. Still no luck. In all my years of fishing in Colorado I have found trout and big horn sheep to be just a myth. People tell me they exists but I never find them.
Having the luck of being a guy as you know we can pee anywhere. Anywhere but here in the dark. I walked some down the hill so Diana couldn't hear me. Being so rocky and steep, I ended up falling and rolling to the bottom of the hill Chris Farley style with my pants half way down. Luckily I didn't hit any trees but I hit every big rock on the way down. That was a good night :p
A waterfall coming down off the mountain. We have no idea where that water is coming from with no snow up there. Diana wouldn't go find out for me :p
To make matters worse for some reason my eyes puffed up the entire time like Will Smith in the movie Hitch. My only guess is I have developed a sensitivity to altitude. That's the second time in a row I went to the mountains and got sick. It really sucks because the mountains have always been my favorite place be ever since I got my drivers licence.
We moved down in elevation to the Collegiate Peaks and miraculously all the wood we brought burned just fine. What a relief that was. The rest of the pictures are from our second campsite and randomness along the way.