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Frequently Asked Questions

New to milking? Thinking of starting a small dairy or creamery? Checkout our FAQ's below to find the answers to your questions. Need more assistance? Give us a call: 1-844-770-2777.
Q: I just got a cow and she just had a calf and I don’t want to keep milking her by hand. How much will a bucket milking system cost me?

We offer bucket milking equipment packages that include all the necessary parts for a fast, efficient, and affordable milking system. Products are selectively paired to meet the milk capacity of your herd. We sell a COMPLETE Cow Milking System with everything you need, starting at $1680.00.

Q: Do I have to have a vacuum pump to use a bucket milker?

Yes, a bucket milker requires a stable supply of vacuum in order for it to work effectively and safely.

Vacuum Pump Requirements:

  • 3-6 CFM Capacity per 4 inflations
  • 13” Hg Cow 12”HG Goat
  • 1/4 HP of Motor Power Per 4 inflations. 
Q: Do you have any used vacuum pumps?

Unfortunately, we rarely have any used vacuum pumps, but it is always good to check our website's Bargain Barn and the Farmer Consignment page.

Q: Hi, can I speak to Bob?

Bob-White Systems gets its namesake from the Eastern Quail also known as the "Bob-White" because of its distinctive call. Years ago the bird and its call were common in New England but in recent years, it has become fairly scarce. However, it has recently begun to make a comeback. We admire the resilience of this bird, much like dairy farmers, and are encouraged by the resurgence of small dairy operations we are seeing nationwide.

Q: What’s the difference between the claws?

Cows: With most cow claws the only difference is in the shape and size of the bowl. They all work on the same principle with a vacuum line and a pulsation line/s. NuPulse claws are a bit different in that the pulsator is located on the claw rather than on the bucket. Read the Cow Claw Comparison Guide here.

Goats/Sheep: We have clusters available for Goat/Sheep milking. These clusters have a claw under each teat. In addition to clusters, there is a DeLaval-style claw available that is similar to traditional cow claws and a NuPulse Goat Claw. Read the Goat & Sheep Claw Comparison Guide here.

Q: I want to start a dairy even though I’ve never been in the same room as a cow. Can you give me a price for everything I’ll need to run a small dairy? I hear raw milk is really popular.

We recommend that people visit as many dairy farms as possible before they decide to buy a cow of their own. This applies to goats, sheep, water buffalo, and camels as well. If you do decide to buy a dairy critter you can start hand-milking with a stainless steel pail and a milking stool in your garage or woodshed. You can then upgrade to a bucket milking system for approximately $2,000 and process in your kitchen. To establish a full-fledged dairy with a commercial processing facility, you'll require a milking barn, a pipeline, and a bulk tank, assorted processing equipment and spend upwards of $30,000. Be sure to check with your local inspector to see what equipment they will require.

It really depends on what you want and how you want to do it. We have extensive blogs and videos to help you learn more about the various aspects of dairy farming and processing. See our Tips & Advice Blog here. Watch our videos here. Use our recipes to make your own dairy products at home!

Q: Can I milk my cow and my goats on the same bucket?

You can use the same bucket but you will need different claws and inflations. Those are the parts of a milking machine that attach to the dairy animals’ udders. You may need a different lid for your bucket if you would like to milk more than one goat into your bucket at the same time. Cows are milked with the pulsator set at 60 pulses per minute and goats are milked at 90 pulses per minute. We recommend 60/40 pulsators for cows and 50/50 pulsators for goats/sheep, though you can use a 50/50 for both.

Q: I have an unusual breed of cow. What should I use to milk it?

Check with the breeder or previous owner of the cow. We have found that Mini Jerseys use standard claws without any adjustments or accommodations.

Q: I would like to transition from selling on the commodity market to direct sales. What do you have to help me add a creamery to my farm?

We offer equipment from bulk tanks, to butter churns, and everything in between. Our unique LiLi pasteurizer, an HTST in-line pasteurizer that is Grade A approved and process 2-4 gallons per minute. We encourage you to begin a conversation with your local milk inspector before purchasing any equipment. 

Q: My cow has a low udder and the teat cups drag on the ground when allowed to “self-kink” as they drop toward the ground. How can I milk my cow with two hands when I need eight hands?

We have many options for you to try! Build a platform for the cow to stand her back feet on, dig a large depression in the ground under her udder. There are multiple inflation plugs to choose from. They allow you to plug a teat or two until you are ready for that teat. Hold two of the inflations in the hand that holds the claw. Slide the claw under the udder at an angle as you attach the furthest teat. The “shut off” button will be pulled out while you get a hold. Once under the cow, slide a spare finger over to the button and depress it as you put the first teat cup on the furthest teat from you. This is a juggling act but can be done! Not to be overlooked, acquiring a new cow with a higher udder will surely solve the issue.

 

 

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