Expanding Our Home Dairy: Unboxing the SIMPLE PULSE Milking Machine
June 6, 2018
When I began researching what milking machine to buy, I quickly felt overwhelmed. It seems most dairy supply companies take for granted that customers understand how milking machines work and know exactly what they need to order.
Here’s the thing: I don’t know a vacuum pump from a vacuum cleaner, really.
Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I’m guessing I’m not the only person out there getting started in home dairying that doesn’t have a thorough understanding of the parts and mechanics of a milking machine. I wanted to document what I’ve learned since ordering our milking machine, to hopefully help other beginners that are feeling lost!
(Want to skip ahead and watch the unboxing video? Click here)
When researching milking machines, I was looking for a machine that fit the following criteria:
Ideally I was looking for an “all-in-one” type of system or kit, so that I wouldn’t have to order piece-by-piece.
Milking machines are a big investment, but there is a pretty wide price range. I wanted to stay under $1,250 for everything I needed to get up and running.
We have a small herd exclusively for our family and have no plans to expand into being a commercial dairy, so a big system would be overkill.
Easy to Clean
One reason I wanted a milking machine was to speed up morning milking before I have to leave for work. Hand milking is a slow process that can be sped up with a milking machine, but ONLY if that machine is easy to clean. Otherwise, the time saved in milking is instead spent scrubbing hoses and disinfecting afterward.
There are a lot of very inexpensive milkers on the market (e.g. Danscha Farms, Maggidans , etc.) that do not pulse. These build a small amount of constant pressure to draw milk from the teat. There are plenty of people that use these with great success, but others that have reported that over long term use, they can be damaging to goats’ udders.
I personally own the Maggidans one and have used it occasionally with care. In a pinch it works quite well, but I don’t feel like it is meant for heavy-duty use. We do show our goats so it’s important to me to keep their udders in “show-worthy” condition, so longer-term, I wanted to invest in something that would be gentle enough to use twice a day without concern.
Works on Large and Small Breed Goats
We have a mixed herd of Nigerian Dwarf and LaMancha dairy goats, so I needed something that I could use on both.
In asking around in Facebook groups and online forums, the milking machine recommended time and time again was the Simple Pulse. It’s priced under $1,000 for even their higher-end system and is built to order so it’s easy to customize for your herd.
I placed my order on April 21. The order confirmation mentioned to expect a wait time of at least 7-10 days while the system was being built. I got a shipping notification on May 2, and the package arrived via FedEx on May 8th. Everything arrived packaged well and in perfect condition after travelling from Eugene, Oregon all the way to northwestern Pennsylvania.
The next step will be reading through the instruction manuals and attempting the setup process. I’ll be sure to record it so experienced dairy farmers can laugh at a newbie fumbling through the setup, but those of you who are learning like me can get an idea what to expect if you decide to order a similar system!