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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - May 16 2014 :  1:49:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you're considering purchasing a miniature cow (https://www.heritagejersey.org/measuring.aspx), please consider the size of their teats. As long as you're okay with small teats (smaller than a goat's teats in some cases, although teat orifices on a cow are larger than on a goat), it can be done! These are the teats on a miniature Jersey I purchased from a Colorado farm that specializes in miniature Jerseys (born 2/17/2012 - purchased 6/7/2013 - delivered to me 7/3/2013). I also purchased some semen from them, resulting in a calf (her first), born some three weeks ago. Her calf is nursing at will plus I'm milking her once/day, getting no less than a gallon of milk every day (happy about that!). You can see that her teats are different sizes. Her right rear is the smallest. (Keep in mind that my hands are small.)

Front driver's side:)



Rear driver's side (this teat is the smallest of the four).



Rear passenger side.



Front passenger side.



I am able to milk her by hand if I milk her two rear teats from behind using an index finger and a thumb (problematic for someone with big hands/I wear a size small glove). In my book, I provide how-to photos for milking a miniature cow using a machine. I had to do some head-scratching to get a machine to work on my other lactating miniature Jersey that was born here (and also featured in my book being milked by machine). When their teats are so small, the machine doesn't stay on their teats reliably because the diameter of the teats can be smaller than the hole in the inflations (rubber suction tubes). I have a NuPulse that works like a charm on my larger cows with bigger teats (all my cows have standard/adequate orifices on their teats which is a good thing). I've talked to all the different milking machine manufacturers and brainstormed and tried a myriad of solutions, including every kind/size of inflation currently being manufactured.

I just ordered another machine, an Ultimate EZ Milker, and I'll let you know how it performs on both my big and my small cows. It's much cheaper to purchase than a NuPulse or a DeLaval so that part is a good thing!








MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~

CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - May 18 2014 :  10:43:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am interested in how you like the Ultimate EZ Milker after you experiment with it. I am interested as I could use it for Clover, as well as, my goats. I like the price as well! Please let me know your thoughts on the machine, ease of using it, ease of cleaning it, etc. So glad you can give us all your expert advice and we don't have to reinvent the wheel on some things.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - May 19 2014 :  07:31:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The six bottles for the EZ Milker arrived but not the milker yet. I will let you know ASAP!!!!!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - May 22 2014 :  06:44:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My Ultimate EZ Milker is here! Now to find time to fire it up. Stay tuned.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - May 22 2014 :  06:58:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This one has quite a few reviews (that I haven't read through yet) but I wonder if this thing would work on a miniature cow: http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Powered-Machine-Gallons-Pending/dp/B00ERWEPVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400766789&sr=8-1&keywords=milking+machine

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - May 22 2014 :  1:21:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, you really can order almost anything from Amazon! This looks like it would work for my goats...just curious if it would have enough charge to milk out a miniature cow? The price is almost unbelievable...maybe I'll have to try it on my goats!

How's the Ultimate EZ Milker?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - May 25 2014 :  1:00:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I haven't had time to get up to speed on the EZ Milker yet but I hear it calling my name.

Might not hurt to call the guy who makes the battery milker, http://www.danshafarms.com/ and visit with him about it.

Here's a video of someone using it on a goat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYZwV_lIwmU

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - Jun 01 2014 :  12:24:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I fired up my Ultimate EZ Milker today. More later, but I liked it.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Jun 01 2014 :  10:23:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh...just to make us wait longer... I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions about it. How was it to clean?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - Jun 05 2014 :  5:17:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Ultimate EZ Milker is a nice little machine. I like that you can actually see the teats through the clear plastic that fits onto the teat. It doesn't pulsate like a calf would suck or like my big NuPulse machine does but applies constant, gentle pressure and out comes the milk!

In the how-to video they have an open bucket sitting next to them that they dump the full bottles of milk into, unscrewing them each time they're full and then putting them back on the teat. I bought extra bottles thinking that for sanitary reasons I'd want to fill and cap bottles as I go. That works fine, however, the plastic bottles have a small mouth and once cleaned they take a day or so to dry upside down in a dish drainer. Remember, standing water is your enemy as far as bacteria is concerned so I think I'll just use two bottles like they recommend and concentrate on sanitizing and drying only two bottles as well as the tubing, etc.

Definitely buy their bottle brush and tubing brush and invest in some liquid dairy soap that cuts the fats. With my cream-producing Jerseys, I rinsed the bottles first in milk temp (100 degrees) water and you could still see lots of fat coating the insides of the plastic bottles so cleaning them thoroughly and getting them dry is going to be a must.

In my book, I recommend a good liquid dairy soap that does the trick. The beauty of a soap made specifically for dairy is that is also disappears quickly when rinsed--no lingering suds or fragrances, etc.

Also, I was able to effectively wear gloves to set the pressure ensuring that all the parts of the machine stayed sanitary. It comes with a handy well-made tote bag. They've done a fantastic job providing us with a milking machine that costs a lot less than a NuPulse or a DeLaval.

If you watch their online videos, you'll have a pretty idea what you're getting into. They show it milking a cow and also a goat.

I used it to milk both a miniature Jersey as well as a full-size Jersey. It didn't seem to bother my cows at all to milk only two teats at a time, which is what you have to do when you hand milk anyway. My girls are used to letting down and all four teats get milked in a jiff at the same time so I wondered how that would work.

If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them!




MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Jun 08 2014 :  10:17:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This sounds very promising! So, you felt like you could get the plastic clean enough with the proper cleaning instruments and soap solutions? Could you run any tests on the milk that was milked through the Ultimate EZ Milker? Are the counts and results similar to the milk milked through your regular milker? Do you think that the plastic would allow more of a milk build up over glass or metal? So good to know about the gloves and adjusting the suction...I really wondered about that when watching the video. Did it milk out your cow completely? Or did you end up needing to hand milk at the end to get all the milk? Do you see any issues in regards to the machine not pulsating? Does that cause any issues over time for your cow? I love that it is affordable for backyard cow owners!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - Jun 09 2014 :  08:07:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I took the Ultimate EZ Milker with me to milk Miss Daisy (along with calf Beaumont) while she's away from home at the WSU Vet Teaching Hospital. I was glad to have it and it worked very well in that situation. It's much lighter to carry around than my NuPulse. Not only that but it comes with a cool little carrying tote.

The silicone tubing would be difficult to clean but only air goes through them UNLESS you let a bottle overflow as mentioned in the video. If that should happen, then you'd have milk in those tubes that you'd have to clean somehow and dry. The smaller brush I purchased from them can't get all the way into the center of them. My solution? Pay attention to what I'm doing and never let it overflow! The rest of the parts that come into contact with milk are easily cleaned with dairy soap and the large bottle brush I purchased from them. In order to dry all of the bottles and attachments quickly after I washed them thoroughly, I put them lined up on my counter with a small room fan to circulate the air. They dried quickly.

I haven't had the milk I harvested with the EZ tested. I could try to engineer that at some point. I get my milk inspection today but he'll be testing Maizy's milk milked with my NuPulse because Miss Daisy isn't here.

I wouldn't want to try to use the EZ for commercial production, but it's a nice little machine for household use. And the lack of pulsation doesn't seem to bother my cows. It's very gentle. I did put it on a couple of teats that Beaumont had just nursed on (those quarters of her udder were clearly deflated) because I wanted to make sure he'd gotten everything. Nothing came so I took them off. I do think it would completely empty a quarter. I've never had to milk my girls out by hand after milking with the NuPulse although if I work some shea butter into their teats (occasionally their teats seem dry), I get some milk out after milking. Like I said, I've never had a case of mastitis yet so I must be doing something right!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Jun 09 2014 :  10:29:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for all of your great information and review. I am interested as my hands get tired after just milking my goats, so I am looking into some sort of automatic milker when Clover is at that stage. I cannot imagine milking 4-5 goats and a cow by hand...I have had issues with carpal tunnel syndrome, even had surgeries on both hands, so I don't want to risk more issues down the road. And, it appears that the Ultimate EZ Milker would be faster than I can be!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6694 Posts


Posted - Aug 23 2014 :  06:25:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been using my EZ Milker on Etta Jane, my miniature Jersey that calved recently. Until I start milking my bigger cows again, I'm finding that it's a lot EZer to use the EZ Milker. Just a word of caution though; I accidentally put one of the plastic bottles the milk squirts into in my dishwasher and it came out distorted. Hand wash only!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

10881 Posts


Posted - Aug 23 2014 :  10:55:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, and also don't poor boiling water on them to sanitize. I checked the insert that came with my Ultimate EZ milker and it states: DO NOT BOIL OR PUT THESE BOTTLES IN A DISH WASHER. IT WILL RENDER THEM USELESS. So thankfully I caught that before I did that. I usually wash my bottles with warm soapy water and then soak them for a few minutes with water/bleach, then rinse well and air dry.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 23 2014 :  4:06:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good to know! Although I'd much rather pop them into my dishwasher on the sanitize cycle; but, I guess the water/bleach solution after washing in soapy (soap for dairy) water is enough. Thanks for the tip as I will be ordering the EZ milker in the next few months. Then, I'll have lots of time to try it out on my goats before switching over to Clover next year. I still wish the bottles were not plastic.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  10:14:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Percy is due in 6 months! I'm leaning towards the Ultimate EZ for my milker. Thank you all again for the reviews on this! I just re-read Cindy's post as well. I have a specific question regarding the choice of bottles. How have the plastic bottles held up for those of you that have been using them for some time now? Cindy I saw you mentioned you have the glass ones as well, and that they add some extra weight. Percy is a miniature (on the larger side, almost a mid size), but I'm unsure of how her teat size will be once she's in milk. What I'm wondering is, would the glass ones be inappropriate for a cow her size, adding too much unnecessary weight? I'd prefer glass for the cleanliness they provide vs. the plastic, but am not opposed to plastic either. Thoughts?

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  10:21:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My plastic ones are holding up well. They are NOT dishwasher safe! One time we were running behind and someone in the family popped them into the dishwasher ... now a couple are slightly warped. :) Still useable, but warped. I wash the plastic bottles with a bottle brush, dairy cleaner and then once a week I rinse them with a dairy acid rinse which keeps them cleaner without any milk deposit build-ups. I wasn't hugely excited about doing plastic at first; however, the bottles are a high-grade plastic ... not flimsy and no chance of breakage out in the milking shed. Our milking shed has a concrete flour and I can imagine a glass bottle possible breaking in various situations. And, I do believe the glass bottles would be way too heavy for a smaller cow ... they would be for my goats. And, then add the weight of the milk as the bottle fills. It gets heavy and hard to maintain suction. Not to mention the stress on the cow's teats ... ouch!

Just my two cents ...

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  11:42:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Charlene. That was my hunch as well, regarding the weight of the bottles on a smaller sized animal. It didn't even occur to me about breaking on cement. Yikes! Good point. The cleaning routine seems easy, just will need to remember not to load them in the dishwasher! Glad to hear the plastic is a thicker durable grade. I haven't seen or handled the Ultimate EZ before so wasn't sure on the quality of the plastic. Thanks! :)

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  5:39:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We love our EZ milking machine and use it on the cows and goats! Love the versatility!!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  5:48:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
andrea,

i'll echo charlene on the quality of the plastic bottles for the EZ - they are top notch. i follow mary jane's routine, rinse quickly to get milk drops out, put a drop of liquipfan soap in and run in warm water, clean with bottle brush, rinse a couple of times to get all suds out, then spray with diluted bleach spray. i let mine sit overnight like that, and the next morning before milking i rinse them out quickly.

every once in awhile i run mine through the dishwasher - normal cycle, but NO dry. no problems. just for grins and giggles, it can't hurt. its the heat dry and sanitize that kills the bottles.

i actually don't have the EZ glass milking bottles, but have thought about it. the glass bottles i refer to are the milk storage bottles that i transfer the strained milk into after milking. to keep in refrig and look oh so cute.

i use six EZ bottles every day when milking. i decided early on to change out the bottles with the milker instead of dumping them into a milk pail. as i only get 1-2 gallons a day it only takes 6-8 bottles, and i liked taking them off the teat attachments and capping them asap. they then sit in that large stainless bowl you were asking about earlier. like this except this is a post kitchen mock up photo, in the parlor i always line the bowl with towels



this is what it looks like in the morning when i rinsed all the bottles from the previous days washing/bleaching and then hooked up the hoses to take to the parlor.


and i cover it to make sure nothing can get to it:

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Feb 05 2016 5:52:44 PM
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  8:41:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Charlene and Cindy for the feedback! So good to talk to someone who's been using them for a while and can attest to their durability. Sorry I mis-read that part of your EZ review Cindy about the glass bottles...you were thinking about trying them but hadn't actually tried them out. I've been reading too many posts on here today, getting things all jumbled up ;) I appreciated seeing the pictures you posted! It really helps me to visualize how a good set up works for this on a daily basis. It's these sort of details that are hard to make sense of until you're doing the daily process yourself. Thanks so much!

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Feb 06 2016 :  07:22:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i think what makes the difference of a successful setup is that you are analyzing it now andrea. i tend to plan, plan, plan. so everyone here on HJO had shared so much of what they did, and then my trip to milkmaid university with mary jane gave me that first hand look, so that combined with planning how it might work in my life really helped me make it efficient from day one. i have probably only tweaked 10% of what i started with, as all that planning let me get 90% of it right for me from day one. i think the "right for me" is the direction in which to think, as everyone will have different ideas on what works for their life and cows and farm.

and it makes me happy to plan, especially seeing everyone else's descriptions and photos.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 06 2016 :  09:22:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And, Cindy, we all appreciate all of your extensive planning as we benefit as well! Don't stop!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 08 2016 :  08:33:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree, good planning is key to a successful outcome. I'm so thankful to have the MCK book and everyone on here to assist in the process! You are all such a blessing.

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 08 2016 :  10:13:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We most definitely learn from each other!

And I keep going back to MaryJane's book as something that I didn't pickup on the first or second time, perhaps it will jump out at me the third time! Or I am just at a different stage of cow rearing or experiences so different parts speak more loudly than others.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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