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October 15, 2014

How a Milkstand is Made

Last weekend my last buck kid Denver went to his new home. His new owner is one of my former 4-H girls. As I talked with her and her father, she said to him [again] that she needs a milkstand. He complained about the cost, and I mentioned that hubby made mine.

My first one, that is. It was in the barn when we had the fire. It looked like this:

This is the only picture I can find of it,
with a little doe kid sneaking a bite of grain.

The one I use now is made of metal, and is in really rough shape. I traded a gallon of goat milk for it five years ago, even though I didn't need it at the time. It then sat inside a shed until this year, and I am very thankful to have it. The deck is rusted out, so I put a piece of 1" plywood on top of it. It's not pretty, but it works.

Anyway, her father said he has a welder and can build one out of metal for her, so I showed him how it's put together and how it works. I thought you might like to see too. Whether you build one of wood or of metal, the basics are the same.

(Yes, I do milk outside. "Someday" I will have a new goat shed with a milking area, but for now, this is it. It works, although it's not fun when it rains.)

The "deck" is where the goat stands, of course. She puts her head through the headlock, which you close to keep the goat on the stand. Usually there's a tray in front that holds the feeder, but this stand doesn't have one. The concrete block at the end of the milkstand is a step for the goat to get on the stand. That pink strap on the top right is just a goat collar, that's where I keep it so the dogs can't get hold of it and chew it up. It's not really holding the headlock open or anything!

The headlock on my wooden stand worked the same way this one does: one of the two bars in the middle is stationary, while the other has a bolt on the bottom that is loose to allow the bar to move.

On top of the headlock, there's a channel for the bar to move within. On my wooden stand, the channel was made from two 2x4's in the same manner this one is.

To lock the bar in place, this one uses a length of chain that fits into a slot on the top of the pivoting bar. On my wooden stand, hubby drilled a hole through the pivoting bar as well as the 2x4's that formed the channel, and I stuck a dowel through all three holes to hold it in place.

The top photo was taken from the front of the stand; the one below was taken from the goat's side.

Since this stand doesn't have a feeder holder, I use a very sophisticated setup that consists of an old cooler, a wooden box on top of that, and the feeder in the wooden box. (Please excuse the poor quality of this cell phone picture. Ziva would never have stood long enough for me to go inside and get the good camera!)

I do plan to give my poor old milkstand a makeover, so you can consider this the "before" photo.

Besides milking, a stand is handy for trimming hooves, and for giving shots and medications. I've seen stands that have a bar on one side to keep the goat in place, but I prefer not to have one so that I can work on both sides of the goat. For my new milkers, I put the stand next to a fence which accomplishes the same purpose as a bar.

Do you have a milkstand? Wood or metal? Which side do you milk on?

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your goat milking stand!! I'm picking up my two goats soon. Can't wait to get them!

  2. Karla, you are welcome. I'm excited that you are getting goats soon. Give them graham crackers as treats, they'll love you forever!

  3. Frank built our milk stand out of wood. It doesn't have the slider bar to hold them in, I just use a leash tied to the pen next to them. It's kind of hard to explain, but there are pictures of it on our blog.

    I milk from the right side of the goat.

    Thanks for sharing your technique, Kathi. I always learn from other folks routines.


  4. Fern, I feel the same way - I enjoy seeing how other people do things. I often find a tip that works for me.

  5. Cool! I've never seen one up close. It's a pretty simple machine that makes things so much easier. Love the simplicity. Thank you for sharing on this week's Maple Hill Hop!

  6. Daisy, I hadn't ever thought of it as a "machine" but you're right, it is. It certainly makes milking easier!

  7. I like the adjustability of the chain for holding the headlock closed. My wooden one, closed with pegs through holes, and made to contain Saanans, doesn't latch tight enough to contain my Toggenburg. She's fine until the food runs out, and then lifts her head right out!

  8. Bug Lady, move that bar to where you want it to be, and drill a new hole through the top bar. Now you can use the new position for your Togg. I hope that helps.

    When hubby made my wooden stand, he made two positions for the head lock. I only needed to use one, but the second was there in case I needed it.


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