After you have finished milking your goat, cow, yak, camel, cat (hey no judgment) you will need to apply either a teat dip or udder balm. During the milking process you have opened the orifices (teat openings where the milk comes out) and they will remain open for roughly 15-30 minutes. While the orifices are open there is a chance of bacteria, dirt, dust, etc… getting up there and causing issues (think mastitis). Also, after a good 30 minutes or so of pulling on those teats twice a day for a number of months they are going to get sore, dry, and possibly cracked. If this were in nature the kids wouldn’t be washing the udder before each feeding nor would they be wrenching on mom for 30 minutes at a time so the goats natural oils would keep her udder clean and healthy, but since this isn’t nature we have to take extra measures to keep our milkers healthy. Best way to avoid any issues it to do a teat dip after each milking. Of course you can get teat dips and the special Teat Dip Cup from just about any feed or dairy supply store (they can get pretty pricy after awhile and are full of chemicals) or you can make your own with simple household ingredients. This is the most natural and cheapest option. Below is the recipe I have developed through lots of research and trial and error. It is very affordable and works great! Our mamas are always healthy and happy with soft and moisturized teats.
- 1 cup Coconut Oil
- 10-15 drops Tea Tree Oil
- 10-15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- ¼ tsp Clorox (optional)
- 1 TBSP distilled water (optional)
- Storage Container (this is what I use because they are the perfect size for dipping, they seal tight so no leaks, and I had them on hand, but you can use whatever works. Just needs to be tall enough to dip the teat into.
How to make
- melt coconut oil in storage container (couple seconds in the microwave will do it)
- next put in your tea tree and lavender essential oils. As far as brand on these. I have heard all the different arguments for one brand vs another and honestly I have used pretty much every brand and I have to be honest I do not notice that big of a difference. I stick with brands that have good reviews and are reasonably priced. The ones above are ones I have used and been very happy with.
- at this point you can add your clorox if you are choosing to use it. Now, I know I said we avoid chemicals, but there is such a minute amount that it doesn’t bother me having it in there. Clorox as you know is an excellent cleaning agent and can really help ensure your teats stay clean, meaning your milk is clean and your goat is healthy. This is optional though. The dip works great without it.
- you can then add your distilled water if using. The distilled water simply thins out the dip a little and prevents the coconut oil from re-hardening. You can adjust the amount to your liking though I wouldn’t dilute the oil too much. You want it to still be thick so it will stick to the teats and not just run off. If you do not use distilled water then your dip may harden and at this point you would just need to apply with your fingers as opposed to dipping. Stick to distilled water as it is completely bacteria, mineral, etc.. free. Your filtered water at home will still have some trace stuff in it.
- put the lid on your container and give it a good shake to mix it up. Again I use the small baby food storage bowls (a baby food jar would also work excellent) because we only have a couple small goats that have small teats and these are pretty much the perfect size for dipping and will last a couple weeks. Adjust your storage container for your needs.
- I always give it a good shake before using so it is nice and mixed up
How to Use
- Give container a good shake then dip 1 teat completely in the bowl.
- repeat with other teat.
- The teats will drip a bit. This is normal no need to let it dry or wait. Once both teats are dipped you can replace lid on container and take mom back to her pen.
- This is totally safe for nursing kids. Even with the clorox (remember it is a tiny amount). It won’t deter them from nursing nor will anything in it harm them.
- The coconut oil and lavender will help keep mom’s teats moisturized and healthy
- These measurements are approximate adjust as needed. You can reduce the coconut oil, increase the water or essential oils the only thing I wouldn’t do is increase the clorox. If using that would be the max amount I used unless you at least doubled the recipe. The clorox will not hurt anything if you add more I just use the bare minimum to get the job done. No sense adding any more chemicals than I have to.
- I have left the clorox out of this multiple times as I never have that on hand since I don’t buy it and still had amazing results.