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How to Make and Use a Milking Syringe
by Patricia Hampton - North Wind Arabians

If you need to milk your mare, there is more than one way to do it. Until this spring, I did it the old fashioned way - as if I were milking a cow. With a mare, that is very inefficient and very, very messy! I always finished with sticky colostrum on my arms, in my hair, all over my clothes. A close friend of mine was visiting when I had to milk and made a simple "udder pump" for me from a 60 ml syringe. I can now get five times the milk with a tenth of the effort and no mess! Here is how to do it:

Equipment List

60 ml Syringe
Sharp Knife or Fine Tooth Handsaw
Cooking Spray
Plastic Baby Bottle

 

Place the syringe on a hard surface and cut the end with the tip off as close to the tip as you can while completely opening the tube. Any fine tooth saw or sharp knife that can cut the plastic syringe will do. Since the cut edge will not touch the mare, absolute smoothness is not necessary. Scrape and wipe away any residual crumbles of plastic.

 

 

 

 

Wash throughly, spray the rubber plunger cap with cooking spray so it slides easily, then put the plunger into the syringe body backwards. Slide it in and out a couple of times to lubricate, grab your clean baby bottle and its off to see the mare!

 

 

 

 

 

You will probably have to tie the mare or have someone hold her the first few times you milk her. Have a clean baby bottle in hand to pour the milk into.

Place the syringe over a teat, press gently but firmly against the udder to create a seal, then pull the plunger back slowly. The milk will flow easily into the syringe. If the mare's milk is not down yet, you may only get a few milliliters at time, but every drop counts! As the milk comes down, you will be able to fill the syringe, often several times. Be sure to milk each teat equally as neglecting one side could provoke mastitis.

 

Thank you! Thank you! Jennie Alexander of Hoodoo Spanish Arabians for making my life so much easier!

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