GoatDairyLibrary.org          A database of materials for the commercial goat milk producer
Table of contents 

Bibliography

Building/Planning  A-L

Building/Planning M

Building/Planning N-Z

Conformation  

Conversions

Definitions

Diseases A-B

Diseases C-E

Diseases F-K

Diseases L-O

Diseases P-Q

Diseases R-Z

Diseases Misc.

Forms

Grazing

Medical A-D

Medical E-M

Medical N-R

Medical S-Z

Milk Production  

Nutrition Categories

Nutrition General

Nutrition Grouping

Nutrition Links

Nutrition Rations

Plans

Producers Tips  

Reference

Reproduction 

Seminar Notes

Settng Up

Value Added.
Table of contents 

Bibliography

Building/Planning  A-L

Building/Planning M

Building/Planning N-Z

Conformation  

Conversions

Definitions

Diseases A-B

Diseases C-E

Diseases F-K

Diseases L-O

Diseases P-Q

Diseases R-Z

Diseases Misc.

Forms

Grazing

Medical A-D

Medical E-M

Medical N-R

Medical S-Z

Milk Production  

Nutrition Categories

Nutrition General

Nutrition Grouping

Nutrition Links

Nutrition Rations

Plans

Producers Tips  

Reference

Reproduction 

Seminar Notes

Settng Up

Value Added.
Table of contents 

Bibliography

Building/Planning  A-L

Building/Planning M

Building/Planning N-Z

Conformation  

Conversions

Definitions

Diseases A-B

Diseases C-E

Diseases F-K

Diseases L-O

Diseases P-Q

Diseases R-Z

Diseases Misc.

Forms

Grazing

Medical A-D

Medical E-M

Medical N-R

Medical S-Z

Milk Production  

Nutrition Categories

Nutrition General

Nutrition Grouping

Nutrition Links

Nutrition Rations

Plans

Producers Tips  

Reference

Reproduction 

Seminar Notes

Settng Up

Value Added.

Building and Planning M   (Note: There are many pictures on this page.  Please be patient while they load.)

Manure 
Math Formulas
Measurements of Goats 
Milking Parlor Equipment for new producers (What it does.  What it looks like.)
Complete milking unit
Hoses
Milking Clusters
Cluster Components
Milking Claws
Liners (inflations) (and when to replace them)
Shells
Milk Meters 
Power Take-offs
Clean In Place (CIP)
Pulsators/ Pulsator Boards
Vacuum Gauge
Teat Dip Cups
Headstall units
Milking Stands
Milking Parlor Arrangement Options  
Stand arrangement: single and double
Stanchion arrangements on the stand: herringbone, parallel, or straight.
Pipeline arrangements:  Low-line , Mid-line , High-line (standard or swing)
Milk Room Equipment for new producers (What it does.  What it looks like.)
Bulk tanks
Bulk tank temperatures
Bulk tank capacity
Bulk tank washer
Cooling compressor
Hose chute
Milk Jar
Milk pipe filter (sock) box
Paper towel holder
Self-closing doors
Sinks
Equipment washing sinks
Handwashing sinks
Vacuum Pump
Milk Room Setup
Avg. peak pounds of milk per day per commercial dairy goat :
Milkout time:
Stray voltage between equipment and ground:
Minimum air flow requirements to milk on a pipeline system:
Minimum air flow to wash per loop of pipeline
Regulators and Safety Valves
Vacuum Level
Vacuum Lines
Traplines
Pulsation lines
Sanitary Trap
Milk Lines
Milk Room Instruction Sheet
Milk truck pad

Manure 

Amount: 6 tons excreted per year per 1,000 lbs. live weight of goats
Composition: Composition: 1.44 % nitrogen, 0.5 % phosphoric acid, 1.21 % potash

Math Formulas

 Click on this link to get a page of math formulas for area, perimeter and volume.

Measurements of Goats

Here are some Alpine goat measurements to give you some idea of sizes of dairy goats at different ages.  These figures come in handy when planning equiment, making pens, or making goat coats. 

Age Floor to mouth Floor to top of head Floor to top of shoulder Base of Neck to Tail head Heartgirth
Newborn 15" 17" 13" 12" 14 1/2"
1 month 21" 24" 17" 14" 15"
2 months 16" 20" 18" 15" 17"
3 months 12" 23" 18 1/2 " 17" --
4 months 17" 29" 23" 21" 27"
Yearling 26" 29" 26" 29" 33
Adult 26" 33" 28" 30" 41"

Milking Parlor Equipment for new producers

New producers sometimes find it hard to deal with dairy contractors because they are not familiar with the equipment used for milking.  This section tells you what the equipment does and what it looks like.  The  examples are not meant to favor one company over another, but merely to give you an idea of what the article looks like.  See the "Equipment Suppliers" list in the Reference section of this website for addresses, phone numbers and links to equipment suppliers.

Complete milking unit

A complete milking unit consists of:

the milk hose (clear),

the vacuum hose (black)

the milking cluster (claws, inflations, shells and small tubing.) 

milking unti

Hoses

hoses

Milk hose (clear) carries the milk from the milking cluster to the pipeline.  If they are getting rough inside and are collecting dirt, or are falling off the milking cluster or the pipes, then replace them.  The hose should fit tightly. It is sold by the foot in farm supply stores. 

Vacuum hose (black) controls the vacuum pressure from the vacuum line to the milking cluster.  Again, it should fit tightly.  If it starts falling off, replace it.

Milking Clusters

The milking cluster takes the milk from the teat end and transfers it to the milk hose and pipeline. It should have a shut-off valve which allows you to shut off one half if it gets done milking faster than the second half. You can buy a complete milking cluster (claws, shells, inflations), or buy the parts individually and put them together however you like. The milking cluster consists of 2 silicone inflations, 2 shells, 2 claws and all hoses.  See the equipment supplier list in the Reference section.         

Here are some examples of complete goat clusters:

cluster (parts department)Parts Dept) 62997 Silicone Goat Milking Cluster (2 sizes: Medium to Large does or Small to Medium Does--pygmy)

cluster (NuPulse)NuPulse Goat Cluster    (They have several models.)

cluster DeLaval SGTF100cluster (DeLaval SGTF80cluster (DeLaval Almatic G50)cluster (DeLaval S-10 G-10)
These are DeLaval clusters

  HandyflowHandyflow    SAC (Denmark)   http://www.sac.dk/getfile.php?objectid=713874

Cluster Components

The following items are cluster components which are sold individually and can be assembled as you like: 

1) Milking Claws

Milking claws come in many styles. Parts Department, NuPulse, DeLaval, Boumatic, Coburn, and many other companies carry them.

claw (DeLaval)DeLaval type goat claw (Parts Dept.

------------------------                                                                                                                                         

claw (Parts Dept)Goat point claw (Parts Dept.)

------------------------

claw, AutvalveAuto-valve claw (Parts Dept.)

------------------------

claw (Boumatic)Boumatic-style claw (Parts Depart.)

2) Liners (inflations)

inflation   Inflations expand and contract inside the shell

Hamby Dairy Supply

When to replace inflations

Figures that companies give on how long you can use an inflation before replacing them, are often based on milking cows, not goats.  Goats are milked at a higher pulsation rate, so the inflations wear out faster.  Be sure to ask the equipment supplier how often to change the inflations you are buying.  If they don't know, find out who the manufacturer is and call them.

Parts Department recommends replacement of their goat silicone inflations at 2000 to 2500 milkings.  We'll use that as an example.

How to figure out when to change inflations:

(1) How many goats are milked with one cluster, every time the stand fills with goats? 

(2) How many times do you fill your stands during a milking?

(3) How many times do you milk a day?

Take the answer to number (1), times number (2), times number (3).  Take that times 30 days in a month. 

Take 2500 milkings per inflation, and divide by the number you got above.  That will tell you how many months you can use a set of inflations before they have to be changed. 

Example: You milk two goats with each cluster every time the stand fills with goats.  You fill your stands with goats 4 times during a milking.  You milk twice a day. 

2 goats x 4 stand fills x 2 times/day milking x 30 days in a month= 480 times per month the inflations are used.

2500 milkings per inflation divided by 480 milkings per month= 5.2 months per inflation.

Make a note on your calendar when you buy inflations, and count ahead the right number of months and write yourself a note there too, to remind yourself  to buy inflations next time, so you don't forget to change them.    Bad inflations cause teat damage, which causes mastitis.  Mastitis costs you money in lost milk production and lower milk checks.  It makes good sense to buy new inflations on a regular basis.  Remember to figure that into your budget.

3)  Shells

The shell protects the liner. Replace shells when they are cracked or rough inside.

shell6583  Plastic Goat Shell (Parts Dept. ) 

Milk Meters 

Milk meters measure the amount of milk given by each goat so you can keep records.

milk meter63486  Waikato Milk Meters for Goats (Parts Dept. )

       Installation and maintenance manual for Waikato Milk Meter (540kb)  

Power Take-offs

Power take-offs automatically remove the milking clusters when the goat is done milking, in order to avoid teat damage. Most people don't use them, simply because they are an additional expense, but they are available if you want them.

power take-off63449 Power take-off (Parts Dept.) 

power take-off controller910055 Board for regulating power take-offs (Parts Dept.)

  You will find an instruction manual for Waikato power take-offs at Waikato Take Off 

Clean In Place (CIP)

CIP units wash the milk hose and clusters after milking, without having to drag them back to the milk room to hook them to the pipeline washer.  It is highly recommended that you have these.  It makes a huge difference when you are milking twice a day, 7 days a week, but  especially during kidding season when you are exhausted.  

 Here are some examples:

 cip controllerCIP controller  (DeLaval C125) 

 (Check with your equipment dealer to find a CIP unit compatible with goat equipment. 

 cip cup62630 Open cup design (Parts Dept)  Fits Parts Dept's Goat Cluster

(Note: If you are using converted cow equipment you will need a specific cup for your brand of milking unit.)

 
 cip hanger62622 Hang It all square front design (Parts Dept.)

Pulsators/ Pulsator Boards

Pulsators regulate the rate of milking pulsation.  You can buy individual pulsators, or you can buy a pulsator board, which helps to stabilize vacuum pressure.  See Milk Room setup below to get the rate to set it to.

interpuls pulsator Interpuls Pulsator  Hoegger Supply

superpuls pulsatorSuper-puls II pulsator 47125 Schlueter Company

pulsator boardPulsator board  (for 12 or 16 units) Schlueter Company

A note about using converted cow equipment:  

Many people are tempted to use converted cow equipment because it is inexpensive.  The downside is that the milkers are too large and they are very heavy, causing slipping and fluctuations in vacuum pressure.  This in turn causes teat irritation and mastitis.  One Boumatic dealer says that some of the vacuum fluctuation created by using cow equipment can be relieved by installing a pulsator board, but it is better if you use equipment made specifically for goats in order to avoid teat damage... (Interview Krueger's Boumatic Clintonville, WI, 2004)

 Vacuum Gauge

Tells you what the vacuum pressure is.  Check this every day while you're milking to be sure your pressure is adequate.

 vacuum gauge(Hoegger Supply) 

 Teat Dip Cups

dip cupFoaming teat dip cup (Caprine Supply) 

Foaming dippers save a huge amount of teat dip, which is quite expensive.

 Headstall units

This is a homemade headstall unit.  (See Plans section for pictures and measurements.)
headstall unit, homemade


Here's a goat Self-locking Feed-Through Panel (Made by a Wisconsin company)  http://www.gardnerbarn.com/Goat.htm
These come in 10 foot sections ready made, or they can do custom work. They offer several types of release levers, posts for mounting, and they have a Barn Plan Information section that allows you to ask for quotes on equipment.

See also DeLaval movable and fixed stalls for sheep and goats at http://www.delaval.com/Products/Sheep_goat/Milking_stalls/default.htm

Milking Stands

Homemade Metal Milking Stand with 8 headstall units.  (See diagrams with measurements at Stand, metal, herringbone or Stand, metal, parallel to get ideas for building your own stand.)(Red River Farm LLC)

For other plans, see Plans.

Cement Stands

Some producers make a cement block base for the stand, then fill the holes in the blocks with cement.  Then they cover that with plywood or metal and make a removable wooden box form on top that they fill with cement.  After the top hardens, the wooden box form is removed. 

Be aware that teat dip will stain the cement.  Sometimes the cement also turns green.  ( If anyone has more information on making cement goat milking stands, please send it to us.  We would appreciate having photos that show the steps in building a stand with cement.)

Forms for planning your milking parlor are available at  Milking Parlor Worksheet (PDF) and  Building Record Sheet (PDF)

Milking Parlor Arrangement Options  

Stand arrangement: single and double

The stand arrangement tells you how the stands are arranged in the milking parlor space.

A milking parlor with one stand is called a “single.” 

With two stands it’s called a “double.”

When a producer refers to his stand arrangement, he also adds a number to the name, to say how many goats fit on each stand.    For example:

A “double twelve” is two stands, with 12 goats each, for a total of 24 goats on the stands at one time. 

A “single 24” is one stand which holds 24 goats. Either way, you can milk 24 goats in these parlors.

stand arrangment  

Below you will see how one producer uses her double twelve stands.

 

Note the sliding doors at the beginning of each stand. 

   

She slides the door open, and lets the goats come in.  (When goats are new to the farm, they are let in one at a time and are lead to the farthest stanchion.  That way they are trained so everyone can get on the stand in an orderly manor at milking time. ) When the stand is full, she slides the door shut.  Then she does the same thing for the other stand.  She flips over the metal headstall lock on each goat so they stay in their place, then she milks.   

            

When all of the goats are done milking, she slides open the large sliding door at the other end of the milking parlor.  The goats jump down, using the jump down box, and then go out the door to the hay feeding area.

These stanchions in the hay feeding area are homemade using old pallet boards.  See Plans page for more information on the stands and the hay stanchions. (Red River Farm LLC)

Stanchion arrangements on the stand: herringbone, parallel, or straight.

The stanchion arrangement tells you how the stanchions are arranged on the stand. From the diagrams below you can see know how the goats enter the stand, go into the stanchion and leave the stand for each type of arrangement:
 
Herringbone stanchion herringbone

Straight in  stanchion straight in

Parallel    Stanchion Parallel

Pipeline arrangements:  Low-line , Mid-line , High-line (standard or swing)

(Note:  red dot = the milking pipeline)

Low line system       This is the best system for keeping a constant vacuum pressure.

 low line systemFloor level
                        pit

 lowline system  Low line system


Mid line system    This is commonly used in a flat barn (no milking stand, no pit).  Hard on the back!

 midline system

High Line System ( 2 options: standard or swingline) 

highline systemStandard

swing parlorSwingline  

TIn a highline system, the pipeline is raised overhead on a metal rack.  It cannot be suspended from the ceiling because if hay is stored in a loft above, the weight of the hay can change the slope of the pipeline.)

In the swingline system, milk lines drop from the center and swing between the two stands.  You drop a milk line every other goat.  Milk 2 goats on one side with that, then take it across to the other stand and milk 2 goats there.  There is a potential for fluctuations in vacuum pressure, but in our experience it works well.

Milk Room Equipment for new producers

milk room

You can buy used milk room equipment from Wisconsin farmers who are no longer milking, by running an ad in your local “Shopper,” or in The Wisconsin Farmer ( http://www.wisfarmer.com/ ) or Country Today newspapers at (http://www.thecountrytoday.com/).  For advice on the  most energy-efficient and and cost-effective equipment you can buy, see this site: http://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/farm/save_dairy.asp

Bulk tanks

A bulk tank is where the milk is stored. 

bulk tank

Example: Mueller bulk tank

Moving and installing bulk tanks http://goatconnection.com/articles/publish/article_76.shtml

Bulk tank temperatures

Bulk tank temperature should be 30 - 34 degrees if you have a four-day pickup.

If the temperature is higher than that, bacteria will build up in the top of the tank and drip into the milk. 

If you see references to a higher temperature for bulk tanks, they are assuming that you have an every other day milk pickup, like most farmers have for cow milk. (Schaub)

Bulk tank capacity

How to figure what size bulk tank to buy for your herd:
 
1) Take the maximum # of goats you could be milking* and multiply that by the average milk production per goat each day**).
 ___goats x ___lbs./ goat /day =_____ total pounds of milk produced/day.
 
2) Take that number and multiply by the number of days in your longest milk truck pickup period:
____lbs/day x ___days = ___pounds per pickup.
 
3) Divide that number by by 8 lbs./ gallon::
            ___lbs per pickup =  _____ gallons / pickup
               8 lbs per gallon  
 
That is the minimum size tank you should buy:   _____ gallon bulk tank
 
*(Make sure that you have carefully considered what your family can handle and how much building space you have available to house the milking does.  Young stock, babies and bucks also need housing space and you need an area set aside as a sick room, milking parlor and milk room.  See the “stocking rates” section below, and make sure you only measure OPEN space where a goat can stand.  Also see “herd size” in the Quick Reference Guide.)
 
** An average milk production per day per goat is 5 lbs per day, but you should be looking for at least 8 lbs. per day for a commercial herd. (Coffee, Dairy Goats)
  Example for new producers:
 
You want to buy the recommended minimum herd of 150 goats.  You have a large barn that can house 150 milking does (see stocking rates below), and you have other buildings that will hold the young stock, bucks and babies.  You know that you will not be able to milk any more goats than that because you can’t house any more.  You plan to work full time in this operation and your wife plans to work outside the farm full time to pay the bills.  She will only be able to give a few hours a week to the farm work.  You are young and healthy and feel you can handle milking 150 goats, plus chores, along with birthing and other duties as they come along.
 
If you haven’t bought your herd yet, or you know where you will be buying your herd, but the herd owner doesn’t have a clue how much they give, then, how do you know how much milk you will have to store, and consequently, what size bulk tank to buy?  In this case, you could start at the average amount of 5 lbs. of milk per day.
150 goats x 5 lbs. of milk/day/goat= 750 lbs. of milk per day.
 
Now consider that the route you want to get on only picks up the milk every fourth day, so you need to store four times the amount of milk they give per day.  
4 x 750 = 3,000 lbs. of milk per milk pick up
 
Now divide 3,000 lbs for the total pickup period, by 8 lbs. of milk/gallon to find out how many gallons that is, because bulk tanks are sold by the gallon, not the pound.
 
 3000 lb/pickup divided by  8 lb/gallon  =  375 gallons per pickup.
 
You need a 400 gallon bulk tank to store up the amount of milk you have in one pickup.
 
But what if the milk truck can’t get through in a snowstorm, or what about holidays when the route drivers are not working?  You may have to store the milk an extra day, so add a days worth of milk to your total pickup..
3000 lb. + 750 lb= 3750 lbs.
 
3750 lbs/pickup  divided by 8 lb/gallon= 468.75 lbs. per pickup
    
Now you will need at least a 500 gallon tank to allow extra space for holidays and snow storms.
 
We don’t have any more space for milking does and the bank won’t loan us any more money to build another building, so we pretty much know we are probably not going to get much bigger than the original 150 goats.  In this scenario, with average goats, we would simply buy a minimum 500 gallon tank, or maybe buy a 600 gallon bulk tank because we know that, with good management, we can get the milk production up a little.
 
What about the rich farmer who is buying a very high producing herd of 150 goats with DHI milk records showing an average of 10 lbs a day production per goat?  

150 goats x 10 lbs./ goat /day= 1500 total pounds of milk produced/day.
1500 lbs/day x 5 day pickup (4 day pickup plus one day extra) = a potential of 7500 pounds per pickup. 
7500 lb/pickup divided by 8 lb/gallon     =   937.5 gallons of milk per pickup.
 
He would need to buy at least a 1000 gallon bulk tank.
 
To be safe when figuring bulk tank size, use the highest number of goats you REASONABLY think you might we able to milk in your existing buildings.   It is important that you do not assume you will be building new buildings in a year or two unless your rich uncle is dying and you know ahead of time you are his sole heir.  It takes years to understand how to increase your income in this business and you may not be making a profit for many years, especially if you have to get a large bank loan to open your business.  Most goat milk producers have big plans at the beginning, but find they cannot afford to build new buildings, and end up with exactly as much space as they started with.  Be reasonable in your expectations, because you have to pay for the electricity to cool that big tank no matter how much milk is in it.  Ask other producers what size they use and how many goats they milk.  Ask them whether they would still buy the same size.  Learn from their mistakes.   After you’ve moved a bulk tank into your milk room, you’ll never want to have to do it again.    

Bulk tank washer

Automatically washes the bulk tank after pickups.  The field man for Kolb-Lena cheese says that every producer should have this in order to keep plate counts low. 

Here are some examples of bulk tank washers:


bulk tank washer, DelavalDelaval

Sinks

Equipment washing sinks

equipment sink

The gallon capacity of the tank is roughly equal to the length of the tank in inches.  For example: A 43" tank holds approximately 43 Gallons.  These attach to the wall or are put on legs.

Sizes available at Parts Dept."

18”

23”

29”

37”

43”

49”

55”

61”

73”

85”

97”


Leg brackets for equipment sinks
sibnk leg brackets
 Wall brackets for equipment sinks (Parts Dept)
sink wall brackets

Handwashing sinks

 sinkCoburn Company (metal)        sinkCoburn (plastic) 

Hose chute

This chute allows the trucker to put the milk truck hose through the wall of the milk room in order to hook it up to the bulk tank, and pump the milk into his truck.

hose chute67170 Telescopic Hose Chute (Parts Dept. $32.95)  

Width 6"
Length extends from 5" to 9"
Perfect for 8" concrete block.  

 Producer's  Tip:  For the sake of your milk truck driver, make sure he doesn't have to bend way down to get the milk hose into the chute.  Install it where he can reach it easily.  And, make sure he has room to back the milk truck up to the building and attach the hose, even during the winter.

Cooling compressor

compressor

The compressor cools the milk in the bulk tank.  It should have a timer on it so you can get the new milk cooled as fast as possible. 

The compressor creates a lot of heat, which can help heat the milk room in the winter, but which must be excluded in the summer.  You can control this two ways.  1) the compressor cover, and 2) the compressor box. 

The compressor is mounted through a hole in the wall, with a screen on the outside of the hole.    There is a panel that slides into channels on the outside of that screen to seal the opening in the wall in the winter.  Remove that panel in the summer to let the heat out. 

If you have an old compressor, it may not be enclosed.  If so, you may need to build an airtight  box around the compressor, inside the milk room.  The box should be removable, or have a section that is removable, to allow the warm air to heat the milk room in the winter, and then close it off in the summer, so the heat stays outside.  

Vacuum Pump

vacuum pumpParts Dept.-DeLaval pump

vacuum pump (Surge)Parts Dept-Surge pump

Milk Jar


This is where the milk comes after it leaves the pipes from the milking parlor

milk jar

Milk pipe filter (sock) box

Milk pipe filters are put over the pipe that goes into the bulk tank.  Their purpose is to filter out any debris in the milk before it is stored.  They have to be stored in a box in order to pass inspection.  Some people just keep them in the box they bought them in, but you can buy a metal box if you want to.  Note:  If you buy your milk socks from the guy who sets up your milk room, they sometimes will give you a milk sock box free of charge.  If you switch brands of socks, make sure the box matches the size of the milk socks, as they come in different sizes

milk sox boxMilk filter box (Parts Dept.)

Paper towel holder

Paper towels must also be stored in a box in order to pass inspection.

paper towel dispenserParts Dept. Paper Towel Holder

Self-closing doors

Doors must have a closing unit on them, so they automatically close when you enter or leave the room.  the door must fit tight all the way around. 

Milk Room Setup

Every state has it's own regulations regarding milk room set-up, and you can get that information from your nearest USDA office. 

In the meantime, take a look at the Dairy Practices Council's Guidelines For The Design, Installation, and Cleaning of Small Ruminant Milking Systems. This group of dairy experts sets up the "best practices" for the industry, providing information to the state governments so they create regulations that make sense.  Their information is the most current and most accurate material you will find on setting up the milking system on your farm.   Here's a quick summary of the most essential material from their 2006 manual.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avg. peak pounds of milk per day per commercial dairy goat :

10-15 lbs. (at 8 lbs. per gallon, that is 1.25 to 1.875 gallons per day)

Milkout time:

2-6 minutes

Stray voltage between equipment and ground:

(neutral to earth) less than 0.5 volt.

Minimum air flow requirements to milk on a pipeline system:

25 Cubic feet per minute (base amount), and then add 2 cfms for each additional milking unit. Since 1 HP gives 10 cfm, divide the total # of cfms needed, by 10 to determine horsepower needed to move the air. 

Minimum air flow to wash per loop of pipeline

  • 1.5" line requires 25 CFM
  • 2.0" line requires 40 CFM
  • 2.5" line requires 60 CFM
  • (For each additional loop add approximately 50% more airflow)

Regulators and Safety Valves

-Capacity of regulators (vacuum controllers) should equal the full capacity of the vacuum pumps at the operating vacuum.

-Normal loading of the system should not reduce the operating vacuum level more than 0.6 inches of mercury.

-Overshooting the vacuum set point after a major air influx should not exceed 0.25 inches.

-Install regulators on the mail supply line at or near the distribution tanks, or close to the sanitary trap, but not on the milk or pulsator lines.

Vacuum Level

 -Follow manufacturer's recommendations.  If none, use the following

 -high line system 13-14 inches of mercury

-mid line system12 to 13.5 inches of mercury

 -low line system 11 to 12.5 inches of mercury

 -Recommended claw vacuum at peak flow of 10 to 12 inches of mercury

Vacuum Lines

Materials:

         Schedule 40 PVC or heavier is commonly used. It should withstand vacuum levels of 25 inches of mercury as well as 
         cleaning fluids. Support well.
Size:

Main vacuum line between the vacuum pump and the distribution tank:

On systems up to 50 CFM, and a maximum of 100 ft. long, use 2" lines.

On systems at 50 CFM, and less than 60 feet long, use  2" lines.

On systems of 50 to 125 CFM, regardless of length, use 3" lines.

On systems of 50 to 125 CFM, regardless of length, use 3" lines.

Note: Vacuum pumps must be adjusted for elevations over 1000 ft (305 meters) above sea level. Check with the pump manufacturer for exact changes.  The adjustment factor is approximately 3% pe 1000 ft (305 meters). 

Traplines

-If the vacuum regulator is on the trapline, the size should be the same as that of the main vacuum line.

-If the pulsator is not on the trap line, then the trap line only needs to be large enough to carry the recommended effective reserve air flow:

-For effective reserve vacuum of up to 50 CFM, use 2" line.

-For effective reserve vacuum of at 50 CFM, and less than 60 feet long, use  2" lines.

-For effective reserve vacuum of 50 to 125 CFM, regardless of length, use 3" lines

Pulsation lines

-Should be 2" in diameter.  If using more than 36 units, then use 3".

-The looped configuration is preferred, but if a single feed line is used, the header should be one size larger than the

   pulsator line recommendation.

-Vacuum taps or stall cocks should be installed in the top half of the air or pulsation lines for complete drainage.

-Pulsation speed should be 60-90 PPM.  (85 is used most often)

-Pulsation ratio should be 50-70% milk  (60% is used most often)

-Pulsation line slope should be 1/2" per 10 ft. or more toward the distribution tank and in the direction of airflow from the milking units

Number of milking units and amount of slope per 10 foot section of specific sized pipes:
Diameter of Pipe Slope of Pipe every10 feet Number of goats you can milk per 10 ft. of pipeline
        1.5" 1" 3
        1.5” 1.25" 4
        1.5” 1.50" 4
        1.5” 1.75" 5
        2.0" 1" 6
        2.0" 1.25" 8
        2.0" 1.50" 10
        2.0" 1.75" 12
        2.5" 1" 12
        2.5" 1.25" 14
        2.5" 1.50" 16
        2.5" 1.75" 18



















Sanitary Trap

-Should be located 12" or less above the milk receiver, with sanitary piping sloping toward the trap

Milk Lines

-Pipe should be sloped a minimum of 1" per 10 lineal feet

-Pipe diameter and slope determine how many goats you can milk per 10 feet of linear space

 -For more units per slope use a 3" line.

-If you have several people milking, and they attach at a very rapid rate (greater than 1 every 15 seconds), less units per slope should be used.

-Estimated flow rate for goats: 4.5 lbs. per minute.

-Care must be taken to minimize air loss during attachment and removal

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* Summarized from The Dairy Practices Council’s Guidelines for The Design, Installation, and Cleaning of Small Ruminant Milking Systems.  You can order a copy of this manual for about $7.00 by calling (732) 203-1947, or order on their website http://www.dairypc.org or at Dairy Practices Council, 51 E. Front Street, Suite 2, Keyport, NJ 07735, phone/fax 732-203-1947, e-mail dairypc@dairypc.org .

If you are building your own system, this manual is full of digrams and very specific information that you will need. If you are having a dairy contractor build your system, you may want to give him a copy of the manual to make sure he sets up a system that will maximize your milk production and minimize teat injury.  Many dairy contractors buiild only cow systems, and they may not realize that goat systems have to be set up differently.

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Producer's Tip: Your dairy contractor should be present for the first milking to make sure the equipment is working properly.    You may want to put this in the contract you make with him before you hire him, otherwise he might just be "busy" and you will be stranded if something goes wrong.  Let him know the date and time of your first milking ahead of time so he has someone ready to help you. 

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Milk Room Instruction Sheet

When you get your milking parlor and equipment all set up, your dairy contractor should show you how to run and care for the system.  Write his instructions down, step by step, so you know exactly what to do and when to do it.  Put those directions in a plastic sleeve and hang them in the milk room.  At first you will use them every time you milk.  Later, you won't need to use them any more, but leave them in the milk room so that if you are hurt or have an emergency, someone else can fill in for you.  Make sure your family knows where the sheets are kept.  It's a good idea to hang them on the wall in plain sight. 
 
Sample milk room instruction sheet  (This one uses an acid sanitizer.)
Sample milk room instruction sheet.  (This one uses a regular sanitizer).
 
It might also be helpful to visit http://www.partsdeptonline.com/maximizing_the_milk_harvest.htm  A Guide for Milking Systems and Procedures, (cow system),  so you understand how the entire process works. This will teach you about other equipment not covered here, tells you how a milking system works and how to keep it clean. 

Milk truck pad

The milk truck has to back up to the hose chute area of the milk room in order to run the milk hose into the milk room.  

You must put in a thick cement slab, at least 4' x 4' in size, directly below the hose chute.  Keep this area free of snow and ice.

The driveway area and the area where the truck approaches and turns to backup near the barn must be tarred, cemented or packed gravel.

It is a good idea to have a looped driveway, so the truck can get in without having to backup somewhere, especially when the ground is saturated with rain.  If you do not have a looped driveway, make sure that you have provided a solid place for the truck to turn around, and space enough to do it easily.

Make sure there are no low-hanging electric wires in the area the truck has to pass through.

The driveway must be cleared of ice and snow by the time the truck arrives, or the truck will not come in. Remember how much milk your bulk tank can hold.  If it is not large enough to hold all of the additional milk until the next pickup, your tank will overflow all over the milk room, so make sure that driveway is clear.

Producer's tip:  We have a tarred circular driveway, with a packed gravel approach to the milk room area. You can see the cement slab below the hose chute (just to the left of the back of the truck in the picture.) Within a year, the weight of this truck totally demolished the edge of the tarred driveway.  It would have been nice to have a sloped section of tar from the driveway to this packed dirt area to avoid this damage.(Interview, M. Flores, 2007)

milk truck pad

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