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Milk pail cleansers & livestock sources.

COUNTRYSIDE: I use Dairy-Du made by AN-FO Manufacturing. (For dealers in your area, write or call: PO Box 7311, Oakland, CA 94601; 1-800-223-6933; It is great for cutting the milk fat out of the pail. I have also used it on my household dishes, baby bottles, carpet stains, laundry, lambbars, calf bottles, and other things. It is a powdered cleanser, sort of like laundry soap. There is a very light fragrance to it, but not a perfume. I think it just smells "clean."

I keep some in a container by the sink and use a household teaspoon to measure it. A heaping spoon will do an entire sink full of dishes. If I have something that is baked on, I fill the pan with hot water and a half of a spoonful of Dairy-Du. By morning the pan is easy to clean. I wouldn't soak non-stick pans though. A light sprinkle and a non-scratch scrub sponge seem to be enough to clean my stainless steel milk pails and milk filter. I bought it in a 15# pail at the DairyGold store, but I think they are now "Do It Best" hardware. The pail will last me about a year. I do think they have smaller quantities available.

As for milk stone on your milk pails, you will need an acid to remove that. Milk stone is calcium build-up that leaves a slightly cloudy film on your equipment. I use a product called New Blue for milk stone removal. A little of this goes a long way. I still have the gallon I bought 10 years ago. I "strip" my pails of milk stone two or three times a year. See if you can find a dairy supply store to help you with these chemicals and cleansers. They don't often carry the smaller quantities, but they can usually order them. Or perhaps they can direct you to one of their customers who might be willing to sell you a small quantity out of their commercial vat.

Some friends put their stainless pails in the dishwasher, and say that they don't have too much trouble with milk stone. I know that some of the dishwashing detergents have chlorine in them though, and you want to avoid that.

Regarding the fellow who was looking for small livestock to butcher, we raise dairy goats and I always have wethered kids we would like to get rid of a few months after the does kid. We even have some that are crosses with a Boer meat buck. (I used him on all of my young stock so I wouldn't be tempted to keep kids from unproven does.) I dam raise them for a while, and then off they go. I can't believe that I am the only one who does this. You might check with your local goat breeders association to see if they know of anybody who has kids for meat. The American Dairy Goat Association has a directory, and I imagine so does the American Goat Society.

As for other types of small stock, ask around at your county, regional, or state fair. There are larger gatherings of stock breeders there. We all have to find uses for the animals that are not what we want to reproduce genetically. Be truthful in what you want them for though. I have a few myself that are "retirees" and I would be irritated if you told me you were going to give them a good retirement home, and then you turned them into pepperoni. Bring some business cards with you, and don't be disappointed if no one has anything right then to sell you. Kids and lambs can be pretty seasonal. Get the name and number of the interested breeder(s). Please ask if you can give them a follow-up call in the spring, fall, etc. (We lose things between show season and kidding season!) Also, be prepared to take the animals home to butcher them. Some people don't want you butchering on their property. Others may want to watch you, to make sure you dispatch them as humanely as possible.

You might also post a notice of what you are looking for at the livestock feed stores in your area. We always check out the bulletin board while we are waiting for them to load up our feed.--Cathy, Lakebay, Washington
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Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2008
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