Monday, October 21

Milking Stand / Stanchion

Building a Stanchion or Milking Stand.
Our goddaughter Shelby and her husband Dave gave us three baby goats last November.

Miss Claudia Milk Mouth, Gretel Buckleberry and Fetus
They are now grown and my youngest goat, the beautiful Miss Claudia Milk Mouth is going to have a baby!

We’re in the middle of a kitchen remodel along with all the other zillion chores around the farm so I just haven’t gotten around to building a milking stand. 
A milking stand is used to immobile a goat for milking and for hoof trimming and vet visits.  The same type of stand can also be used for sheep and sheep sheering.

Most of the stands I have seen are all pretty much the same rectangle shape, with 4 legs, and an area to secure the animal’s head.  A milking stand can cost quite a bit of money, like this one from Hoegger's
Even though it says it is the ultimate in milking and grooming convenience, having a price tag of $320.00, may be all you need to try building one yourself.

You can purchase new lumber, but I save leftover lumber from previous projects and I salvage any lumber I come across, so my goat milking stand is made of leftover scraps of wood.  Total cost is drywall screws and my time.
Most of my projects I am by myself but this time I had help from my daughter Alexis and her boyfriend Thomas.  Having extra hands holding or cutting the wood is a big time savor!

What you'll need:
Constructing the stand is pretty basic and supplies are simple:  
  • 2 x 4’s
  • 1 x 4’s 
  • 4 x 4’s (if desired) 
  • ¾ inch plywood 
  • drywall screws
  • saw
  • jig saw 
  • battery operated or electric screwdriver
Make the Frame:
Screw the frame together
I started by making the frame.

If you are uncertain about the length and width to make the stand, just do as I did.  Measure the length of a goat! 

My frame is basically 2 feet by 3 feet.  A little larger than a goat to make sure the goat has enough room to move around without falling off the sides.

After cutting 2 - 2x4’s to 24 inches long and 2 - 2x4’s to 36 inches long,  I drywall screwed the frame together, the 24 inch pieces are the ends and 36 inch pieces as the sides.  After screwing it together the frame measures 24 inches by 39 inches.  

Make the Legs:

The height of my stand is based on me sitting in a chair and making sure the goat udder is at about eye level. I cut a piece of 4 x 4 post into 4 -24 inches long pieces, creating the legs.  Next I used drywall screws to fasten the legs into each corner of the frame. 

Attach the legs into each corner of the frame
You can use 2 x 4’s for the legs if you do not have 4 x 4’s.  I used 4 x 4’s for added strength.  My buck (male goat) is big and heavy so this stand will need to support his weight.  Also, the 4 x 4 post is pressure treated which will help protect the legs from rotting.

Frame with legs attached.  Next attach the 3/4 inch plywood to form a platform.
Plywood Platform:
After the legs were attached to the frame I measured the ¾ plywood to make the platform or floor of the stand.  The three quarter inch plywood should be cut to cover the top of the frame. Attach it to the frame using drywall screws.
Frame, legs and platform completed

Guess what?  The stand is nearly finished!

Neck / Head Restraint:
The next part of the stand is the frame or neck/head board to keep the goat on the stand. 

1 x 4's cut 24 inches long to begin
From a 1 x 4 x 8 foot board, cut two pieces of wood 24 inches long and screw them upright from the frame. 

Next add support boards across the two upright 1 x 4 boards. I used 2 x 4's cutting three boards, 24 inches long. 

The neck/head boards will have one stationary 1 x 4 by 48 inch board and a second 1 x 4 x 48 inch board that pivots.  This will allow the goats head in, then close around her neck, not allowing her head to come back through.

Before attaching these two boards, I took a jig saw and cut out part of each board on one side, allowing for the width of a goat’s neck, but too narrow for a head to fit through. 

The area that was cut out was about 12 inches in length and about 3 to 4 inched deep, which will allow me to use this same stand on slightly taller or shorter goats. 

Attach 2 x 4 braces across for added strength
To allow one of the 1 x 4 x 48 inch boards to pivot,  use a bolt, washers and a locking nut.
One stationary and one pivoting board

To finish I still need to attach a clasp or clip to keep the two neck / head pieces together but that will require a trip to the hardware store, so for now I am using a piece of baling twine. 
Miss Claudia and the homemade milking stand
To keep the goat occupied, it is a good idea to attach a container or bucket to the milking stand and feed the goat while she is being milked.
A small feed container attached to the milking stand to keep the goat occupied.
To have a more polished look paint or stain the milk stand.  You may also want to add a ramp. 
I have found that goats are climbers and jumpers so all that is really needed to get her up on the stand is to fill the feed container!

Since building this stand, we have been blessed with our first kid (baby goat) born on the farm, and I am feeling so blessed to have witnessed the birth of a healthy beautiful little doeling. 
Little Sofia Milkwhite

What recent DIY projects have you done?


Susan said...

Hi Elizabeth, I enjoyed my visit here to night. Congratulations on your first "kid" I am still in the city but finally retired helping with the raising of my grand kids while my daughter goes to school. I just recently switched to free range eggs. I like your back ground. Is it your kitchen?

Marge said...

Hi Elizabeth, I'm checking out blogs today and I clicked over to your site when I saw the word OHIO. I'm a Clevelander transplanted to Florida. My son has a farm called South Fork Ranch here in Clermont FL. He raises Brangus cattle.
Love your little goaties. I used to have them when I lived at the farm. No more though. Had chickens too! Silkies for show and White Leghorns for eggs. Happy farming and so nice to meet you!

Elizabeth said...

Susan: Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Hope you stop back. Kids and Grandkids are a handful and take up all a mom or grandmom's time, but there is nothing better in my book! Glad to hear you have chickens, who knew they could be so much fun. This is not my kitchen but I love the colors. We just finished a kitchen remodel (well it's 95% done and hope to post a few photos this Spring.

Elizabeth said...

Marge: Thanks for stopping by and for commenting, I love comments! Oh and I love the name Marge, it's just seems to roll off my tongue, I'm weird, I know. My sister and her family and kids all live in Florida, near Ft. Lauderdale. Aren't goats wonderful? They are such affectionate animals. And chickens are just great, very good at adding to the peacefulness and enjoyment of our little farm. Hope you stop by again!

Carole @ GardenUp Green said...

This is great- I sheer sheep and I found this through Pinterest. Normally we hold them on the ground and it's back breaking to say the least. So this week I shall build this and see how it goes. Thanks! -Carole

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Carol: Glad you'll be able to use this idea. I just needed something or someway to make the goat milking and hoof trimming a little easier. (Ouch, my aching back). Send me a pic of the completed stanchion if you can, would love to see it. Mine's not perfect, I'm not a carpenter, but it is fully functional.
Have a great week,

Anonymous said...

Wow Elizabeth, this is such a great idea. I have lived next to an old lady with goats for the past 6 years now. Her name is Jeanette and she loves her goats. At first I didn't like them, but I've had to take care of them a few times and I have fallen in love with them. This stanchion that you built would be perfect for Jeanette when she trims their hooves. I'm going to try to make her one using your design to surprise her. Thanks Elizabeth! Mid Valley Manufacturing

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

A stanchion would be a wonderful surprise gift!! What a great neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any video of building that? I'd like to find one, it's easier for me to see a video. Thanks

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Sorry, no video. I'm not very comfortable on video, not enough to post anyway. My daughter takes lots of video and has quite a few of our farm on her YouTube

Tangie said...

Hello Elizabeth nice to have came across you site I'm a newbie !I live in the hill country in burnet tx on wide open space love love it! But anyway my husband bought me a few goats 5 months ago before I just knew I didn't like goat I thought they would eat everything lol ! I fell in love the very first day I have boar goats and I also have added a Spanish cross boar with her 2 kids the kids are 6 months so they are pay whenning age so I peed them separately and I am slowly reducing her milk so she won't get an infection but she allows me to with a little fuss but I'm 45 and my back is getting to so you milking stand will save my back ! Goats are like patatoe chips you can't just have one or two I'm addicted to goats and chickens and gennies and can't wait to get honey bees but in time hopefully! Love your site keep them coming!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks Tangie! Yep we love the goats and the chickens and well all the animals! I can't go into a Tractor Supply in the spring anymore because I can't resist getting like 6 or 8 or 25 baby chicks haha. Let me know how the milking stand works out, and goat milk is delicious!

Rel Mad said...

Almost done making a stand, just have to put the neck boards in. I followed your plan, only made it a bit bigger because I have some giants over here. Just wanted to say thanks!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Great Rel Mad, glad it works for you! Let me know how your giants like it, :

Anonymous said...

As a Newbie, I am constantly searching online for articles that can help me.
Thank you