for people who love the littlest dairy goats
I did not dip while they had kids on them, but I also used soapy water both to clean the udder, my hands, and to dip using different containers for each function. Indiana still got mastitis. My current method is a baby wipe for her udder and underside, and one for my hands and then following the milking a spray of Fight Bac on the teats. In my particular case, as much as I would prefer no chemicals, I would rather have a healthy goat. I would say do what works until it doesn't work and make changes then.
Deborah, that is interesting about the iodine. Had I known about that earlier I might have tried it before getting the Fight Bac.
Hi Deborah, isn't iodine purple & would stain? my kids are going to their new homes soon. So I will be milking 2X a day. I was thinking of using a teat dip. Would I use it before AND afterwards? What strength of iodine would you use?
Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:
I wipe off the udder with a wet washcloth (water only) before milking, and I don't do anything afterwards. If kids are nursing it seems pointless to put anything on it afterwards, because the kids will just suck it off. If you are milking every 12 hours (no kids on doe), a teat dip might be more important. I personally don't want anything in my food that I can't pronounce, so if I were to ever start using a teat dip, it would be iodine, which is what is approved for use in organic dairies.
Iodine is sort of an orangy-red, and yes it does stain fabric and painted surfaces. If you are milking by hand, you would only need to dip after milking, but if you are milking with a machine, you might also do it before. Dipping after milking protect the doe from the environment as the orifice closes up after milking. Dipping before milking when using a machine kills the germs on the end of the teat and basically protects the other does that will be milked later from the germs of the doe about to be milked with the machine. Sometimes, if a doe has a really strong milk ejection, the milk cannot get through the tubes faster than it is coming out of her teats, and it pools in the inflation, essentially bathing the teat in the milk and germs of every doe that has been milked before her.
I wash her udder with a microfiber cloth soaked in a warm water/iodine solution before milking (I hand milk) and then milk out five or six squirts into a strip cup, to make sure the milk looks OK and also to get out any milk that might be low in the teat and possibly contaminated with bacteria from her lying around in the bedding. After milking, I spray with Fight Bac, probably for no good reason other than I started doing it when I first began milking and now I'm superstitious about giving it up. I attended a workshop on organic milk production, and the instructor, a microbiologist, didn't feel there was a need to dip after hand-milking because the orifices don't remain open, while they do tend to remain open for a short while after machine milking. Maybe when my last can of Fight Bac is gone, I'll either stop spraying or dip with an iodine mix. The iodine mix doesn't stain her teats or udder. But then, she's a tan goat, so maybe it just isn't obvious!
I hand milk. The only time I post dip, is when my doe no longer has kids nursing on her, to keep her orifices clean. Then I dip in the same soapy solution I use for my pre wash.
I am so glad I found this forum, there are so many knowledgeable people on here to help a newbie like me!
IIRC, the Fiasco Farm Website recommends using Clorox. I use an old pill bottle and mix a small amount of the bleach with mostly water (probably more diluted than a 10 to water to bleach ratio.) My first freshener no longer has any kids around to suck on her. I dip before milking and then rinse and dry the udder with warm water and cotton cloths. After milking, I dip the teat in the same solution again, and just let the teat drip dry. The extra wash water and bleach water is then used to clean the milking stand.
I'm not sure about others, but my aim with the teats is poor - I get milk all over the stand.
Don't' forget to thank the goat when you're done. :)
The issue I have with bleach is that it's very drying. That's also a very high bleach to water ratio. Even the food industry doesn't use a solution that high. http://modernsurvivalblog.com/health/disinfectant-bleach-water-ratio/ See the food contact ratio in this link. I used to wait tables, and that's the solution we used for cloths to wipe down tables. Just putting my hands in that a couple times used to dry out my skin horribly. I'm very surprised that you haven't had issues with cracked teats!
Thanks for the link, Rachel.
I was going by what I always thought you should use in a spray bottle for home counter tops: 1 to 10 ratio. The site you linked advises a 1 to 32 ratio, and that is for the stronger concentrate. I can't remember the conversion of tablespoons to cups, but the lower food contact surface solution of 2T per gallon is considerably weaker than the 1 to 32.
I think you are right. I probably just need a drop or two in that small bottle. Heading back to the Fiasco Farm site to re- check what was originally recommended there.
Well, I wish I had been more careful with that ratio. Fortunately, I haven't killed the goat yet.
Fiasco Farm recommends 1oz (2T) Clorox per 1qt of water, and one drop of Dawn (original blue formula). That is a 1 to 32 Clorox to water ratio. (I don't use the Dawn because the smell of the blue makes me feel ill, and the Dawn "Free and Clear" bottle states not to use with bleach.)
Going to just go with a drop or two.