Saturday, April 18, 2015

Goat update and stanchion build

One of our latest projects. 

The baby goat was rejected by it's mother and died the next day after it was born. We just hated it. I suppose that's life on a homestead, but it's still so sad.

However, the mother goat is in milk now, so after I milked the colostrum from her for a couple of days and put it in the freezer for emergencies, we set about to build a milking stanchion. We followed the directions we found at the Fiasco Farm website. While the directions were very clearly written for the most part, we learned after we were done that it called for more screws and nails than we actually needed. Still, we got it built plus bought parts to turn our rechargeable food saver appliance into a goat milking machine.

Below are pictures of the finished stanchion and one with the milking machine being used. 

Our goats are not pets and so it took some work and training to get the mama goat used to jumping up on the stanchion and being handled for milking. It's been about a week now and she's really doing great. I have a brush that I also brush her with while she's on the stanchion. Brushing goats helps to tame them down somewhat and it's good for their skin and hair. When we milk, we also let the other doe join the milking doe on the stanchion for a few minutes so she can get used to eating there, being brushed, and being handled. I massage her udder while she's up there since she'll be kidding very soon as well.

We do have a baby goat nipple to put on a soda bottle if we encounter problems with the second doe so we're in better shape now to fully adopt a baby goat. We mainly need to build a holding pen for the baby so that we can pull him/her off the doe overnight and milk her in the mornings for ourselves. Of course, we won't do that until the baby is well established and doing ok.

Finished milk stanchion before we added the feed tray to the front.

Finished stanchion from another angle with the two does in the background.

Milking the doe with the milking machine we made. She is eating from the feed tray we added to the front.

Stripping out the udder by hand. 

Here is the price list and what we spent on building the stanchion and the parts for the milking machine. We purchased it from a local hardware/lumber store and you may find these things for less money at a big box hardware/lumber store.

  • 1x8x12 yellow pine -- 9.30
  • 2x2x8 furring strip --2.39
  • 2x4x8 spruce --2.69
  • 1x4x8 yellow pine (4) -- (2.39) 9.56
  • 1 box 2" exterior screws -- 6.19 (shouldn't have bought these at all)
  • 1 box 2" exterior screws (these turned out to be all I really needed for the whole project) --3.99
  • 1 box 3D finish nails --1.29
  • 1 2-pak screen door hooks/eyes --2.98
  • 2 angle brackets -- (1.49) 3.98
Various bolts, washers, screws, and other fasteners (some of which we wound up not needing after all)
  • --.40
  • --.64
  • --.27
  • --.30
  • --1.36
Milk machine parts:
  • 1/4" coupling barbs (3) --(.49) 1.47
  • vinyl tubing -- 11 feet --.66

Total before tax = 45.98
Tax = 4.14
Total = 50.12
We did wind up going back to get rubber washers and nuts to go onto the coupling barbs to help seal the tubes to the jar lid. You can find instructions for building this at My Little Homestead. We didn't put the "T" in the lines, so that's basically the only difference between what we did and what's on the website indicated above.

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