I went this weekend and stocked up on supplies for the milk room! No, I didn't go to Tractor Supply, or my local feed store. I went to the Dollar General down the street.
I'm trying to make a conscious effort to have a more organized milk room this season, so that started with a trip to the DG for items to make my milking time more comfortable. Most of these are things I've realized that I needed slowly over time, rather than the standard milk room supplies like the bucket, strip cup, lactating animal, and things like that.
So, from left to right, here we go ...
Paper Towels: I'm all for non-disposable things, but I go through a lot of paper towels in my milk room. These really are handy, and I have a stand to hold them. Actually, a wall mounted one might be even better so I can't misplace it, but hey, use what you have!
Good Spray Bottles: There is nothing more frustrating than loving mixing up a batch of organic-hippy-voodoo teat spray, and then not being able to use it (or worse, wasting it!) because your spray bottle is crappy. Find one that sprays really well. Bonus points if you can find one that sprays in any direction!
Air Freshener: This is optional. I tend to really avoid chemical air fresheners, but my milk room had been mostly closed up for the last few months, and it just smelled musty and gross. I went with a lavender blend to try to make the room smell nicer and for any calming effect it might give. I'm currently looking into some sort of essential oil diffuser where I could add calming oils to keep both the animals and myself chill during milking.
Bleach: Face it, $hit happens. Let's have cleaning supplies close by, shall we? This is a pre-diluted Clorox bleach in a squirt bottle, which I find handy.
Measuring Cups & Spoons: I like to have a whole set of cups and spoons in the milk room for measuring out supplements, medications, or anything else that needs to be more exact than my usual "scoop" or "double-handful" measurements.
More Air-Fresheners? OK, these are actually for the chicken coop, but they worked their way into the picture, so I might as well explain. I've read that vanilla scented car air freshener "trees" work well for keeping the flies away. They're cheap, so it's worth a try, right?
Tissues: I'm allergic to everything that grows. I often have hay in the milk room. Let's just say that a box of Kleenex is often a very welcome sight! There is little worse than having to blow your nose in a baby wipe. Eeeewwwww!
Disinfectant Cleaner: Something for quick spot clean up is a great thing to have around.
Trash Bags: You need somewhere to throw all your used paper towels and wipes. Trust me, a feed sack just doesn't cut it. (Been there, done that, chased the trash around the room when it got knocked over.) Spend a couple bucks on a proper trash can. You'll thank me later.
Small Jars: This one is also optional, but a small jar is a great place to mix up some hippy-voodoo coconut oil teat salve (or hand cream) that is great on a cold dry day!
Sharpies: We think we will remember that we gave wormer on a certain day, or trimmed goat toenails, or what have you, but we won't. Get a calendar. Hang it on the wall. Get a pack of sharpies and WRITE IT DOWN, HEATHER!! Um, I mean you, write it down. It'll help later.
Dustpan: Do I have to explain this one? We've got to keep our milk room clean. Spilled food gets swept out the door to the chickens, but a dustpan is useful too. This one clips onto the broom, which is nice for people (like me) who tend to misplace things!
So, there you have it. A list of things to make your milk room more comfortable. I'll be posting more about the milk room and milking in general in the near future.
Can you think of anything I've forgotten? I'm always looking for ways to make milking easier on everyone!
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