Today we have a guest post by Marg D., long time friend and admin at the OFF forums, Marg and her husband designed, created and tested the Easy Hand Milker in response to their own needs and are now making this innovative and much needed tool available to other home hobby farmers that face the same issues they do.
In the spring of 2011 I finally realized a dream, we got a milk cow! With the help of my son and husband, we were milking her by hand. Since this was our first milk cow, we were learning how to do it and building the muscles in our hands. It didn’t take my husband very long to decide we needed a more efficient way to milk. Being the inventor he is, he went straight to the drawing board. He had an idea for a hand powered, non-electric milking machine.
Planning and Building
He began by putting together a prototype to test his idea and theory. Satisfied that his idea worked, he moved forward fine tuning, and making changes. Once we had a model that worked well for us, we realized this milking machine, the “Easy Hand Milker”, may be of use to other families with one or two cows, several goats or milking sheep.
Researching on the internet, we found there was nothing else like it available out there. My husband, right away, filed for a patent. The mechanics in conjunction with the stand design work together for the successful operation of the Easy Hand Milker. It’s nicely compact and easy to carry. When it’s not in use, I have it sitting in my kitchen with a dust cover, and it takes up very little space.
At this point we realized we needed more testing of the unit. We contacted friends to see if they were interested in testing it on their animal as well. Having a second family use the milker was very beneficial. We were able to further fine tune it and work out the kinks. Another family with goats allowed us to test the milker on their animals, with very good results. We continued testing for a year, and making small changes as issues arose.
The first thing we noticed was the Easy Hand Milker significantly shortened the time it takes to milk out our cow. My son was doing the morning milking, before school, last lactation and he had her washed and milked within 10 minutes. That’s a quarter the time it took us to milk by hand. The other benefit we noticed using the Easy Hand Milker was more cream. Because we were able to completely milk her out, we were getting more of the cream that comes at the end of milking. The milk is also a lot cleaner because it goes from the udder straight into a closed jar. There isn’t the debris you get milking into an open pail. We don’t worry about milking in a barn that has electricity because the milker is non-electric. There’s also no concern about milking if the power goes out.
Where to find it
If you have one or more animals you are successfully milking by hand, the Easy Hand Milker would be a great benefit to you. It saves time, and gives you more, cleaner milk/cream. No worries if your barn doesn’t have electricity because the Easy Hand Milker is hand operated, non-electric. With proper care and cleaning, it will last for many years. But if you happen to break something, some of the basic parts can be found at a hardware store. We will always be there for support, and to answer your questions. You can find the Easy Hand Milker at http://easyhandmilker.com
Marg lives with her husband, Don and their 3 boys on the family’s farm in Manitoba, Canada. Together they are working towards a self-sufficient lifestyle by growing a garden and keeping chickens, ducks, goats, and cows. Her interests include gardening, animals, museums and sewing. Marg’s personal blog is http://prairiesun.wordpress.com