DIY Milking Stand for Goats.
A DIY milking stand is quite easy and very necessary if you plan to raise goats. The milking stand cannot only be used for the purpose of milking, but it can easily be used as a grooming stand as well. Without a designated stand you’ll have a hard time convincing a goat that it needs to stand still long enough to trim its hooves!
The purpose for a DIY Milking Stand
You’ve finally made the decision to bring goats onto the homestead, whether it’s for milking or to work the land, you will quickly realize that the easiest way to handle them will be on the milking stand. The stand is definitely worth the time invested in constructing it, and you’ll find yourself using it often.
- MILKING: With the decision to raise dairy goats, you will quickly realize that it’s easiest to milk when they are higher off the ground, allowing you to sit as you milk.
- GROOMING: Hoof trimming can often be difficult and the most disliked task for both keeper and goat. A milking stand raises them to a higher level, making it easier to work on their hooves. The head clamp prevents them from being able to escape while also preventing them from hurting themselves.
- MEDICAL: Another great use for the milking stand is easy application for drenching, injections, banding or wellness checks.
DIY Milking Stand – Constructing
Building the stand is quite simple, and it can be constructed in true homesteading fashion. This stand was constructed using 80% reclaimed or recycled material from various places or other builds. With lumber cost being quite high, the best location to find material would be on Craigslist, at construction sites, or even through buy nothing groups on Facebook. Let friends and family know that you are looking for material and they will often keep an eye out, helping you to keep construction costs down.
Legs and Platform
The stand we built is simple, sturdy and wide enough that it will not tip over. 4×4’s were used for the legs which were cut to be 16 inches high. Though it’s not necessary, we add triangle cuts attached to the corner of the leg to the frame for added sturdiness.
The platform was built using 2×4’s, building the frame to fit 2 1/2 ft long boards. The actual frame is 2 1/2 ft wide and 3 ft long.
The head locking devise was made with 2×4’s, one side is solid and does not move. The other is held in place with a carriage bolt, allowing it to move side to side, locking the head in place.
When constructing the head clamp you’ll want to take measurements from a few members of your herd, splitting the difference between the smallest herd member to the largest. A carriage bolt acts as a hinge for the moving side of the head clamp. To prevent the clamp from opening, a simple hook latch was added.
Securing the Feed Bucket
Even though the goat is secured to the platform it’s important to keep them occupied while they are there. With this in mind, the use of a feed bucket filled with treats will do just that. The bucket is held into place using 2×4’s with a half inch gap between them, created by stacking washers around the screws fastening the 2×4’s together.
Currently, the milking stand is placed against the wall of the barn. Once railings are added to both sides it will be moved to a more permanent location. Are railing necessary? In the event that a goat attempts to step off the platform the rails will preventing any possible injury.
Furthermore, this project has saved us a LOT of backaches. Not to mention, it is less stressful for the goats during handling. We strongly suggest you have a milking stand constructed prior to bringing goats onto the homestead, helping them to be comfortable with it as young kids.
Blog Contributor: Ann Accetta Scott, A Farm Girl In The Making
Ann is an author, blogger, YouTuber, speaker, teacher, and encourager. With her family she runs a sustainable homestead on 2 acres in the Pacific Northwest in the Puget Sound area.
Her most recent book, The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest is available May 2019. Ann is not only a blog contributor for Homesteaders of America she also a founding partner for the organization.
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