What are the tools needed to milk a cow? I’m sure that everyone that owns a dairy cow might answer that a bit differently. We have a “tool box” of sorts that includes the items we find necessary to have with us when we are milking.
First we have our stainless steel milk pails. We have two, each of them has a lid (in the photo one doesn’t have its lid on, but it does have a lid we use). We milk into the smaller one and pour off into the bigger one several times throughout the milking to keep it cleaner and just in case we have a kicked bucket, that way we don’t lose the whole milking.
I wouldn’t consider the pails an absolute necessity. A stainless steel pot or bowl could be used. Though with our cow I would say the bowl would need to be deep or we would lose a lot to splashing. It is nice to have the convenience of a lid and a handle though. I found these pails on ebay for a lot less than I would have paid buying them directly from a dairy supplier.
Next we have a tote full of all the other things we like to have handy while milking. Our tote is one of these type:
It makes it much easier to carry all the things we need from the house to the barn, and it keeps everything right at arm’s length while we are milking.
Inside the tote we have:
We just use a leftover plastic cottage cheese container that fits nicely in the tote as our udder wash “bucket.” Each morning we put a little dish soap and some warm water in it and throw in a clean rag. It fits nicely and is held tightly by the tote so it wont spill.
We have used several different brands of udder balm and don’t really have a favorite. There is always a tube or tub of that in the tote as well.
We have one of this type of teat dippers and use a standard milk-supplier dip solution in it.
We have a curry comb and a bristle brush in the tote for cleaning off her belly and back legs before milking. That way stray pieces of hay and bedding aren’t falling into the pail.
We have a small pair of battery operated electric clippers. We keep it in the tote because we shave her udder, around the teat area only, when the hair starts getting long enough to get caught in our hands and pulled while milking.
Some other important items that we use right after milking are a milk strainer, with disposable milk filters.
And half-gallon Ball jars, which we store our milk in with the white plastic lids instead of the 2-piece lids that come with them.
So that is what we have in our milking “tool box” that we consider necessary and convenient to have with us when we are milking.
Do any of you have a dairy animal and what is in your tool box that is not in mine?