What is your milking set-up?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by greenacres, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. greenacres

    greenacres Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    678
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2003
    Location:
    North Central Texas
    I just wondered what everyone's milking set-up in their barn was. We are adding on to our barn to accomadate me and my new lamanchas. Do you have an enclosed space? How many do you milk? Hand or machine? Thanks for the info.
     
  2. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,061
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    we milk ours on our deck, so it is out away from the barn, and its smells, so it doesn't off flavor the milk.
    IF i am milking just one or two, I milk by hand, more than that, I use a milking machine.
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    I usually milk 3-5 girls by hand twice a day from May to Sept..by Sept I go down to just once a day and dry by Nov. for breeding.

    I probably should milk longer but I dont have power in the barn (and dont want it) and its cold here in Maine come November. Summer is all too short and its dark at 4pm by the time I stop milking.

    My barn is 16*16' with a 12*16' baker off for the goats.(That my hubbyand dad built because they love me ;) ) I have stalls for kidding time(4) and an extra 8*8' building I also use to separate moms at kidding time(April for me) or bottle babies...sometimes I even use a woodshed slot that is 3*8'....I keep my hay in the 16*16' upper barn as well as my milk stand. By the end of June we pack goats into the trailer and slide on barn 13*5.5' and head to my parents till the end of August. We slide the barn off and I milk in the woodshed off the garage...and I drag along my milkstand too.

    Its all great fun, really! (Just dont ask my husband) :eek: Before my proper barn was milked I milked in the woodshed...and in the kitchen :eek: of our cabin when I summered up there the first year!

    Adventures with Goats in the Summer...by mpillow
     
  4. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    northern Oklahoma
    I have an 8 by 45 foot barn that is a leanto on our car shed. The roof is only 5 feet high. It is the main goat shed. I have an 8 by 8 room just for older kids with a heat lamp. It's roof is 4 feet high. It is cozy, but has ventilation also. These are uninsulated tin sheds. I have an insulated building 12 by 12 with normal height roof, with stalls for kidding and newborns. I milk my does in the adjoining car shed/workshop area. It is closed in on 3 sides and out of wind and rain. I have a milking stand that a friend made for me, but I don't use it because he made it so high that I have to pick up the goats to get them on there. I have a slight physical disability and cannot lift mature animals, so I don't do it. They won't hop up there, and he didn't make any type of restraining system on it. I use hobbles and a soft cotton rope to tie up stubborn does. I pour grain into the clean hay on the floor and she eats while I milk. I hand milk into sterilized stainless buckets, filter and chill that milk immediately.
     
  5. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    northern Oklahoma
    Ummmm...FYI, the goats like the low roof, and it makes the barn more snug when it's 6 degrees outdoors, but it's a killer to muck out and refill with fresh bedding. I wouldn't build it that way again.
     
  6. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    northern Oklahoma
    I'd like to add a feature that I do like is that every 5th panel on the roof of all the buildings we used clear, corrugated fiberglass instead of corrugated tin so that all the buildings have natural light all day. So far they've stood up to hailstones and high winds here in tornado alley.
     
  7. billooo2

    billooo2 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,862
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    I made a "milk stand" that I can put 4 goats on at a time. Last summer I milked 7 goats by hand. Having 4 at a time saved time by not having to make 4 trips back and forth to the stalls. I just open the stall door, and they make a mad dash for the miliking stand (since they know the grain is there waiting for them.)

    I will be freshening 12-14 goats this spring. I have bought an old Surge set-up, so I hope to have it going to help with the milking.

    I feed the milk to to calves, so I just pour it through filter paper, and feed it directly to the calves. Last year I only milked once/day. Since the calves got their milk twice/day, I refrigerated what I needed for the second feeding. I will start out twice/day this year.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I've had three milking stands. We built one when we first got goats, about 21 years ago, here in Oregon. Then we moved to Alaska, got some more goats, and built another milking stand. Then we moved to NH, got goats again, and built a double milking stand so my daughters could help milk at the same time I was milking. Now, I milk in the goat pen. Never thought I would do that! But they have clean bedding at all times, and one end of the shelter is open so there aren't any fumes, and I have had no trouble with off-flavors in the milk. In fact, this milk from my little Kinder doe is the best goat milk I've ever had. I started milking in the pen, because when I brought these guys home from the breeder, I hadn't gotten to the milking stand yet. So, I tied Mazola to one of the cattle panels, and milked her right there. When the doe kids were old enough to be in the pen with Mazola, I tied them on the other side of the pen, gave them their grain there, and milked her while they all ate. It is still working just fine -- I don't know if I'll bother building a milking stand, at least not as long as I can still get down on my knees to milk!

    My doe shelter is a 10' x 20' portable carport shelter from Costco. I lined two thirds of it with cattle panels, built a gate and a manger and an outside pen, and it has worked great for almost a year so far. The only thing I don't like is condensation dripping off the roof as the sun warms things up in the morning. The buck and wether are housed in half of a cattle-panel hoop house (covered with a good-quality tarp), with attached pen. I'm going to lengthen it with one more cattle panel this spring, as their manger gets wet too easily when it rains or snows, but otherwise it is working well for them. I'd love to have a real barn, but it just isn't possible right now, so we make do.

    Editted to add: I'm working on getting my three does bred consecutively so we can have milk year round. I've been milking all winter, even when it was below zero, with no problems. I just wear gloves, and take them off only to milk. I bought an LED headlamp, which is great, because it leaves both hands free, but even when I was still using a flashlight, I got along fine (got good at holding the light between my legs!). I really like the cold weather better than the boot-sucking mud we have right now!

    Kathleen
     
  9. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,700
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    We have a barn that once was a three sided equipment shed. It is 22x38 feet. Hubby and I closed in the forth side on three of the four compartments and added doors and windows. Built a loft over the three compartments and rooms and stalls. The right two compartments contain 4 goat stalls and a large donkey stall the third compartment is open with a 16 ft gate. We can drive a truck full of hay in there and toss it up into the loft. The fourth compartment is closed in the front with a loft over, that is used for storage. It has the feed room , a chicken coop and more hay storage below. A buck house is built onto the back with a door into the barn for easy access for us to feed and muck. Best of all is the new milk room my Hubby added to the west end of the barn off of the feed room. Has a pvc milking stand with vynal flooring on it too match the floor. A desk, file cabinets, over head cabinets and cubby hole shelves along one wall.
    Lots of hooks under the cabinets and over the desk and a sink and hanging scale and bathroom scale. Fully stocked with vet supplies and kidding and milking supplies. My vet says it is better than his office and he is not kidding either. :haha: I only milked one goat for our own use last year. Probably will do the same this year.
    The only problem with it is that you can get into the barn without going into the barn yard by going in the milkroom door so everyone uses that interence and tracks the floor up all the time. :no: I am as guilty as everyone else. I can go in that way into the feed room and fill all the feed dishes that are in a nice row above the feed barrels and not have to trip over any hungry critters at all. :)
     
  10. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,817
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    North of Houston TX
    My barn is 40x30. It's a pole barn construction, and everything about it is open and airy. I have asthma, there is no way I could go into an enclosed milking room, even with AC to milk my goats. Going grade A isn't happening. Most folks think my barn is much larger than it is due to it's 14 foot high ceilings and although we have walls 5 feet up from the ground, all the area up above that is open.

    I have a cemented milkroom feed room area that is 10 by 20 with a 10 by 10 L off of it. I milk two at a time up on a milkstand, machine. I milk between 10 and 20 does. All the barn stalls open up with slatted walls into my area so the girls eat with their heads in feeders that are easy to clean and fill from my side of the barn. Although I do have one inside hay feeder for grass hay, all other hay in the other stalls is fed outside. We feed little hay over the course of the year with our alfalfa pellets being the staple of their diet.

    I am lucky with good lighting, water, a deep stainless double resturant sink with drain board, cement etc, all things the goats paid for themselves including the barn. My favorite newest edition is my mechanics roll around stool/chair. When I can get it away from grandson :) Vicki