Updated: Apr 7
A Year In Retrospect - DHIR 2020
2020 was not only the year of the pandemic, it was our first year participating in the DHIR program. For us, there were numerous challenges, difficulties and personal losses suffered in 2020 as well as a few lessons learned.
In retrospect, we learned a lot in 2020. One of the things that I learned which required changes was the disfunction we had going on in our "milk room". The room was not set up very well for milk testing, the room was difficult to clean, lacked storage and was too dark.
Once we began milking and doing milk testing, it did not take long to figure out that the milk room was not efficient and was not well thought out for milk testing. Can you guess what those mistakes were from the photos?
Below are the before photographs of our Goat Milking Room.
The biggest mistake I made setting up the milk room was keeping the feed in the same room. The room was constantly dusty from mixing and weighing the feed. The materials used in finishing the room did not make it easy to clean and made the room dark. Another issue I found was there were too many things kept in the "milk room" that had nothing to do with milking the goats. It was cluttered with feed mixing stuff, feed, feed additives, buckets, first aid stuff, etc. - Just a hot mess!
I had to quit milk testing early than I had originally planned. Once I quit milk testing, I began to write down all of the things that were not working and needed to be fixed.
I made a list of the all the things that needed to be changed to fix the issues and to make the "milk room" work on a budget of $300.00 or less.
I made a laundry list of wants and needs - I needed the room to function better to milk the goats, easier to keep clean, easier to process and weigh the milk, a place to keep track of the paperwork, milking supplies and milking was taking too much time. Milking needed to be streamlined. Simply put, I needed the milk room to be dedicated to milking the goats, made more efficient, easier to keep organized and easier to keep clean. The milk room needed a complete do-over!
I needed to figure out how I was going to milk the goats going forward to be more efficient, provide a clean, brighter atmosphere that was easier to clean. Once I figured those issues out and ways to address them, I began by having my husband build 2 smaller goat stands out of wood for me to use in addition to the metal stand I had previously purchased. Now I'd have the ability to milk 3 goats at a time instead of just one - a huge time saver. In order to accomplish this, I had to reconfigure one of the milk machines to milk 2 goats at one time. More on this in another post.
We began by addressing the flooring - we decided on vinyl flooring to install over the wood floor so the floor would be easier to keep clean. The wall liner we chose to surround the milk stand area is recommended for commercial kitchens. It is a non-porous wall surface that resists moisture, rot, mildew, stains, scratches and dents - It's easy to clean, easy to sanitize, is bright white. We thought this would be perfect for the milk room.
Next we wanted to address storage areas for the milk machines, hoses, milking buckets and milk containers. I needed a place for weighing the milk, storage for things like teat wipes, dips, towels, gloves, hand washing, filters, machine parts and a place to keep the trash. Once we placed the new stands, we saw there wasn't a lot of floor space left for storage in the 10 x 11 foot milk room. We needed to look at adding easy to clean, open shelves.
I had a couple of stainless steel shelves I had previously purchased and bought a couple more to keep the stainless steel milk buckets on, towels, gloves and such. I thought the stainless steel shelves would be easier to sanitize and clean and they were surprisingly not very expensive. Definitely better than wood shelving I previously had used. We added another 4' LED shop light to help brighten the room.
Next we added an 8 foot countertop and a couple of base cabinets (used) to store the miscellaneous items for milking. We added a couple of S hooks to hold the dippers for milk sampling, funnels, the mastitis paddle, the milk scale and a few pens and markers. We hung our paper towel dispenser and hand sanitizer on the wall and began putting the room back together again.
In the end, we were under the $300.00 budget we had set for the remodel. We repurposed a lot of materials we used (2 stainless steel shelves, installed previously used cabinetry) and a lot of materials we had previously purchased at resale shops, garage sales or were on sale or clearance and re-used in the remodel.
So far I love the new and improved milk room. It is a lot easier to clean, it's a lot brighter, has been easy to use for hoof trimmings, administering injections, checking FAMACHA's, and using the counter for writing out records, and not as dusty now that the feed is not being stored here. Once milking begins, I will update on the functionality as a milk room. I can't wait!