Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some ideas make perfect sense

until you try them.  I try to be clever and save some money but it doesn't always work that way.  Here's my latest.  Ever since baby goat Clifford was born I've been concerned how I was going to milk his mama, Strawberry.  Her teats are itty bitty.  She makes Polly seem very buxom.   Okay, I guess you don't call a goat buxom, but you get the idea.  Polly would be a D cup compared to Strawberry's AAA.  So I went to my trusty goat forum because I remembered reading how people made their own milkers so they didn't have to do it by hand.  An electric milking machine is about $1,500.00.  The cheapest hand held, manual milker is $45.00.  The folks on the forum posted pictures of their homemade milkers and I thought I could make one too.  I went to our farm store and bought an Allflex Ultra Precision Syringe for $19.00.  I also bought a 20 cc plastic syringe and removed the plunger.  I attached the small end of the plastic syringe to the tube of the Allflex applicator syringe and went out to try it on Strawberry.  It was a bust, not enough suction.  I was disappointed and glad I saved the receipt for the $19.00 applicator syringe.  Hmmmm, I couldn't quit there.  I remembered we had a Wagner Power Painter that sucks the paint through a tube into the machine and sprays out the other end.  Sounded like a milking machine to me.  I spent many hours yesterday cleaning it out and studying how it worked.  I attached the plastic syringe to the sucking end after cutting the end of the syringe off to make it just a tube with a flange at one end.  That's a picture of it above without the plastic syringe attached.  The only problem I could see was that it had to stay primed with liquid to keep sucking.  When we tried it this morning I had a bucket of water in the stall with me along with the machine and extension cord (it was pretty cramped in there).  I primed the sprayer and then quickly held the syringe cup on Strawberry.  James held the sprayer hose over the bucket and let the water run through.  He was instructed by me to move it to the pan when he saw milk begin to come through.  It worked!  Well, it worked until I removed it from one teat and put it on the other.  It lost its suction real fast and we got no more milk.  Poor Strawberry, she's such a trooper to put up with my nonsense.  The machine was very loud and I could tell she didn't like it but she stood there and hardly moved.

Back to the drawing board.  I went on the internet and looked up the Maggidan's Milker available for $45.00, thinking maybe I should just break down and buy it.  Oh my gosh, the milker looked exactly like the first Allflex Ultra Precision Syringe only with a shorter tube.  Aha!  That's what I need to do, make the tubing shorter like James suggested the first day.  I didn't cut it because I was afraid it wouldn't work and then I couldn't return it and get my money back.  So I cut it.  When I went to attach the plastic syringe I remembered I had cut the end off it to fit the large tube on the paint sprayer so it was too big to fix to the rubber tubing so I took a baby bottle nipple, which I had in case I had to feed one of my babies, and put it on the end of the plastic syringe and cut a little bit larger hole in the sucking end for the tubing.  Can you picture it?  I'm sure you can't so here's another picture.  I attached the piece of cut off tubing to the spray end of the Allflex "gun" and ran that tube into a canning jar with a hole drilled in the lid.  Everything was attached with electrician's tape.  Very professional.  Ask me how it works.  I don't know because I haven't tried it yet.  I'm feeling confident though.  I'll post the results when I have them, along with some other ideas I have involving eggs, Halloween and soap making.  One of my friends told me I have too much time on my hands.  Impossible!

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