I wouldn’t say that we used all recycled materials on this one either because the base of our whole milking stanchion is made from a crate used only for a few days about twenty years ago. However, the crate has been waiting for new purpose and we were able to reuse the rest of the 2×4’s from the old rabbit shed.
I wanted to give you all a full tutorial on how to build a milking stanchion, but after a quick google search, I realized that there are so many DIY plans out there that anyone could figure out the basics. I did, however, glean a few great ideas from milk stands I have used and seen over the last year of learning to milk goats. I would give you measurements, but to be honest– I literally went out into the goat pen and measured our goat with a tape measure. If you’re looking for a detailed how-to by inches and feet, sorry. All I can offer today are some ideas for the DIY’ers.
The important pieces are fairly basic:
• a base which the goat stands on
• two outer stationary verticals attached to the base to provide support for the other pieces
• two outer horizontals which are attached on either side of the outer stationary verticals used to guide the next piece’s movement
• one inner stationary vertical to help limit the movement of the goat’s head and neck while milking
• one inner vertical that pivots at the base along the empty space created by the horizontal pieces. This completes the action of limiting the goat’s movement and is also adjustable for the goat’s head to go in and out before and after milking.
• a ramp or step for the goat to use to comfortably walk onto the stand
It may sound complicated, but all it really contains is a letter ‘H’ shape for stability and then a one-sided scissor movement in the center for the goat’s neck. Everything after that is just personal preference and “high tech” modification.
Included are some photos I took as we built our milking stanchion. We love how it turned out and even tested it out on Mama Goat. I didn’t milk her because we are still at the bribery stage of our relationship, but it worked perfectly.
The base of our stanchion is an old shipping crate that a family friend used to immigrate from Germany over twenty years ago. She has since passed, but she must have kept this old crate for a reason. I think the cast iron latches and rope handles are charming. It certainly has found new life here on the farm.
Here we drilled a hole in the 2×4 and the crate slightly larger than this bolt. Then we used the bolt to attach the two using a locking nut. This way, the 2×4 can pivot!
We used this idea from another woman’s stanchion. This piece is cut at a slight angle and matches the space left by the pivoting 2×4 arm exactly. When this piece is inserted into the gap left by the arm, it keeps the arm from pivoting open and keeps the goat’s head and neck in.