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A Low-Cost Way To Milk One Cow
When Sandra Kay Miller needed a way to milk her daughter’s 4-H cow, she turned to equipment that was well over 50 years old.
“An older neighbor I bought hay from was selling his dairy goats,” recalls Miller. “He gave me a Babson milker, but said I’d need a new compressor for it.”
Miller asked him if all it needed was a new compressor, and he said yes. So she bought one at Harbor Freight. When the milker didn’t work, she tore it apart and rebuilt the pulsator. It still didn’t work, so she asked another neighbor for help.
“He asked me if I was trying to blow the milk back into the cow’s udder,” laughs Miller. “He then explained I needed a vacuum compressor, not an air compressor.”
Miller went to work on the old compressor, tearing it apart and replacing valves and a pressure gauge. Once she learned about Hamby Dairy Supply, Mayville, Mo., it was fairly easy. They carry parts and products for dairy producers, whether cow, sheep or goat. The company also has a long list of manuals for everything from pulsators and vacuum pumps to calf pulling instructions. Each can be downloaded as a PDF from the site at no cost.
“The great thing about Babson Brothers vacuum compressors, which were first produced in 1939, is that they have such an elegant and simple design,” says Miller. “Thomas Edison helped them with the design. Once I rebuilt it, it worked like a charm.”
She says old equipment like her milker can be a low-cost way to get started in dairy. “When I mentor young farmers, I tell them to go on eBay and to farm auctions of older farmers and look for similar equipment,” says Miller. “A new belt may be all that is needed.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Painted Hand Farm, P.O. Box 256, Mt. Holly Springs, Penn. 17065 (ph 717 860-9385; sandra@paintedhandfarm.com; www.paintedhandfarm.com).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #5