If you want amazing milk, then this list of easy steps for delicious tasting Goat milk is for you.
When learning how to raise dairy goats your first goal is to have a fridge full of amazing goat milk that you can your family can enjoy year round.
When people find out I raise dairy goats; I usually hear the following questions….You drink goat milk?? Raw goat milk?? Yuck, how can you drink that stuff? Doesn’t goat milk taste, well, goaty?
Okay, so I am not even sure what that last comment means.
Sure, sometimes goat milk can taste different, especially if you just gave your goat a full head of garlic; however, if you know the secret to delicious tasting goat milk you would be pleasantly surprised at just how amazing it does taste.
Finally, I sat him down and poured him a glass, and told him to drink it. He took a huge gulp, looked me in the eye with shock on his face, and said..huh, goat milk taste just like cow’s milk. 🙂
He has been a drinker of goat milk ever since.
I also hear just as many people say, I have had goat’s milk, and it tastes, strange.
My answer to them is, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO!
There are some easy and simple steps to take every single time you milk to ensure your milk is the freshest it can be.
The most important tip I can give is to make sure you are milking in a calm and stress-free environment. Goats thrive on routine so having a system set up will go a long way to keeping your sanity and making milk time an enjoyable time for all.
8 Steps For delicious tasting Goat milk
This list is one we have been using for years. You do not have to do everything on this list, but the more you do, the better your milk will taste.
Step #1 Keep things very clean.
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but actually, quite a few people skip this step. Keeping a clean space for where you do your milking will go a long way to keeping the dust and dirt out of your milk.
If you use floor mats, make sure you clean them after every use. Hose them down and set them out to dry in the sun. The sun is a natural sterilizer and a great way to dry items you just washed.
Also, be sure to sweep everything down and remove any cobwebs or dust that may accumulate during the day in a barn. Finally, spray the milk stand down with a mixture of bleach and water to help keep any flies away.
Step #2 Make sure your Goat’s Udder is Completely Clean AND Dry.
When goats sleep just like us, they like to lie down and stretch out. Unfortunately, they don’t really look before they lay. Soiled bedding is just as comfy to a goat as clean and dry bedding, so there is no telling what is on those udders of theirs.
Before you milk, take the time to wash and dry your goat’s udder thoroughly. Warm soapy water is all you need to do the trick. Use a fresh rag for each goat to keep the risk of spreading any germs to a minimum.
You can also use baby wipes and I have found they do a great job as well.
Another perk of washing your goat’s udder prior to milking is you will be messaging her udder with your hands. This will help to promote milk flow making the milking process much easier. I also believe it calms the doe before milking as well.
If you have a goat that is pretty tentative on the stand, a nice warm massage and a few calming words will help make her and you more comfortable.
Step #3 Never Milk into a Plastic Container.
Plastic tends to absorb odors, even barn odors. More often than not, if someone tells me they have a problem with poor tasting milk, it is because they are milking into plastic containers. Instead, try using a stainless steel milk pail.
I used to use a glass pitcher, but I was uncomfortable using glass for obvious reasons. I finally invested in a steel pail, and it works so much better. It has a wide enough opening that I have no problem hitting it, which makes milking a breeze.
If you have more than one goat to milk, I suggest pouring your milk into individual mason jars. Mason jars are also helpful for keeping track of just how much milk you are getting from each of your does.
Label the lids for the goat whose milk is inside. This will help you to keep accurate records so you know if any problems arise.
Why is it important to keep a record of each goat’s milk production?
There are many reasons why a goat’s milk production falls, and if we are not paying close attention, we may miss that very important clue. Records help us to be on top of each of our does so if there is a drop it is early enough that we have time to fix things before they dry up.
Step #4 Keep your Containers Cold.
This is by far the most important step in milking.
If you have milk that tastes funky, it just might be because you are not cooling it fast enough. Goat milk is warm when it first comes out of the udder, so you need to get the milk cooled down to 38 degrees as quickly as possible.
The easiest way to do this is to pre-freeze your mason jars by keeping them in the freezer overnight. In the morning, put those mason jars into a small cooler with a few ice packs that you can easily carry out with you to the milk stall.
As soon as you are finished milking your first goat, pour the milk into one of your chilled mason jars and return to the cooler with the ice packs.
This will begin the cooling process immediately. Remember, the quicker you chill things, the better.
SLCG Pro Tip: Do all of your barn chores prior to milking; that way, when you are finished milking your goats, you can take the milk immediately into the house to filter and chill. Also, I like to use frozen peas or corn in my cooler. They are flexible and easy to mold around the jars.
At just a dollar a bag, they are pretty durable. Once the bags rip, you can give those veggies to your chickens as a treat.
Step #5 Filter your Milk.
The first thing I do, when I return to the house, is to filter my milk into fresh jars. I like to use filter disks as these tend to do the best job removing dust and hair from the milk.
I found these great 1/2 Gallon Glass jars online. No matter how clean you start out, hair and dust will get into your milk, so this step ensures you will have clean milk all the time.
Also, make sure to use a stainless steel funnel. Plastic absorbs odors, so I would not use it at all if you can help it.
Step #6 Get your Clean Milk into an Ice Bath Immediately.
Remember, the key to great-tasting milk is ice-cold quickly. By keeping an ice bath in your fridge, you put your fresh milk inside to finish the cooling. This tip really gets that milk to the key temp quickly.
Are you seeing a trend here? Cold milk is delicious milk!
Step #7 Keep your Bucks at a Distance.
If you have bucks on your property, you know all about rut and the pungent odor that comes with it. If your bucks are in rut, make sure they are downwind so that odor does not seep into the milk.
Remember, goat milk will absorb the smells around it, so it is important to eliminate as many of those smells as possible.
Step #8 Be Careful what you Feed your Dairy Goats.
I remember a few years back, after learning that garlic was a great natural wormer for goats. I took a bunch of cloves and fed them a handful and they loved them. Want to guess what happened? Yes, I ended up with garlic-flavored goat milk.
I learned pretty quickly, what goes into a goat will defiantly come out in your milk.
SLCG Pro Tip: If you feed kelp to your goats and find that your milk tastes off, you may want to remove the kelp to see if it is the culprit. Sometimes the kelp can affect the taste of the milk but not always.
I had an Alpine goat whose milk tasted just awful. After trying several different things, a friend suggested removing the kelp. After a few days, the taste improved dramatically.
Learning to handle your goat milk the correct way is the key to fresh and wonderful tasting milk. Follow these 8 steps for delicious tasting Goat milk, and you will always have a fridge full of milk that everyone loves.
More Goat Care Resources:
- How to DIY a Goat Playground
- Portable Goat Fencing Options
- How to Convert an Old Shed into a New Goat Bard