Been discussing upgrading the milker with SG. I want the clear shells and clear silicone inflations, not because it's cool to watch the milk flow (although I bet it is :grin:) but because of the weight of the metal ones I have now. I noticed that it sorta pulled the teats as it worked...and I'm worried about long-term damage. The clear shells are super-lightweight, and seem to be a favorite among the "real" dairy people. (I'll keep the current ones as backup, just in case.)
The big deal, however...is that Parts department has a set-up. Shells, inflations, *hoses, and auto valve claws*. Right now, I just have the shells and inflations - the hoses need to be replaced annually, but that's not the issue. The auto valve claws are what I'm looking at....I don't have claws, I have individual shut-offs. Which work, but.....if the doe kicks off an inflation (Zorra, I'm looking at YOU), then ALL the other inflations drop off...and you start sucking up dust into the lines. :ick: With the claw (or so I'm told), if the doe kicks one off, it shuts off the vaccuum to *it*, but the other 3 lines keep going.
Price-wise, it's a big difference. The new shells and inflations will run about $120 (for 4 - we milk 2 at a time). The set-up....will run $180 for 2 sets. :ulp: Claws....I didn't price the claws individually, because I have NO Clue how to attach them..but they ain't cheap. Parts Dept has the best prices around on most things - their shells are the cheapest among the usual suspects (Hoeggers, Hamby's, Caprine Supply), so I'm sure their claws are competitive, too.
We're talking about using the tax refund to get this.....because SG agreed with me when he learned what the claws do. (He already agreed with going with lighter-weight shells, because Inara has itty-bitty teats and we don't want to damage her. She comes from major milk lines, and should (hopefully) be a star milker for us. :fingers crossed:)
So I am blocked by the lack of Turbo Tax up here....I was gonna file the kids returns tonight to get them in the queue! :grumble: Ah, well....I'll print them on coworker's PC and get them mailed in (can't e-file these, because of the "no income" gig. SS Survivor's bennies isn't considered "income".)
We also have to draw blood on all the other dairy goats tonight so I can mail it in to Bio-Tracking tomorrow. Wanna get preg checks on Mocha (due 5/1), Zorra (4/21-ish), and Rosa (4/17-ish) and CAE tests on them and Zoe and Dulcinea. The CAE tests are just to have on hand - I know our goats are clean, but it's nice to have the paperwork. With the refund, I'll get all the Cashmeres tested - again, just have the paperwork. In case we ever decide to :gasp: see a goat, the buyer can see that ALL the goats are clean (CAE is passed via milk and maybe blood. If your goats are CAE-, then there's no problems - there's NO WAY they can convert.). Makes it easier to sell to knowledgable buyers - around here, anyway.