I got a new milkstand and… a scorpion!
Two years ago my parents worker, Danilo, made this milkstand.
The old milkstand
Their worker had used it every morning, to milk the two goats, kneeling down in the dirt and/or mud with his back all hunched over. (Trust me, it is not a comfortable position, particularly for those of us with longer legs.)
After a couple of days of me taking on milking duties, I had enough of the milkstand. It had to GO! My knees would be covered in mud and it was hard to keep my hands from being becoming dirty as well. Everywhere you set something down at, it become muddy. (Including the bottom of the milking bowl-ugh!!!) Granted this is the rainy season and the most rainy month, but this was totally unacceptable. (One afternoon, I had to milk out in the rain! A little shelter would have been nice!) I am not a clean freak, but milking a goat, has to be a clean procedure, to protect the goat from disease and the milk, hence whoever drinks the milk.
I put in a complaint in to my Father and Smith the very same morning and within the afternoon they had put together a proper milking stand for me to use. (Smith promises to add a feeder to it and make me a ramp for it in the near future).
They used the free milkstand plan from Fias Co Farm to get them started.(http://fiascofarm.com/goats/milkstand.html)
(Thank you both! I love it, love it!)
The new milkstand (in use the next morning)
Here is a short video of Smith and Danilo, our worker, milking Viola (Blackie aka Exotica is supervising and nibbling on Smith).
Right now the new milkstand is under the new goat shelter, so millking can be done under shelter. However I still have dreams about the perfect milking barn.
I dream of a milking barn used just for milking, whether it houses one milking stand to ten of of them. This way there would be no loose goats in the barn while the milking girls are getting milked. (Right now, some of the other goats are trying to jump up on the stand while the other goat is being milked or if we are holding food for the goat being milked, other goats trying to get into the food or like you saw in the video, we have friendly goats nibbling and/or biting while you are trying to milk, etc…)
Also a dedicated milking barn would be more sanitary. The problem of milking under the goat shelter is goat poo and pee all over the place under the shelter. We built the shelter on a very rocky hill, but still there are areas that were grassy and now are goat poo/pee covered. I want a milking barn with a concrete floor that can be cleaned after each milking.
I think a little shelf between two milking stands would be ideal. You could keep your towels, teat dip, milking bowls, medications, etc… up off the ground.
I also believe the milking barn should have running hot and cold water (right now I just have cold water under the shelter).
I would like a pantry to keep the goat feed in and another to keep the goat medications in.
If any experienced goat keepers read this, please tell me what else would be essential in a milking barn! (We are hoping to have a proper milking barn built in the next couple of months.)
There were shrieks of terror in the house this afternoon from my Mother. She had found a scorpion while cleaning out the linen closet. Our worker Danilo ran into the house and killed it for her. This is the first scorpion I have ever seen up close and personal. I hate to say it but he was not very handsome and I am glad he is dead.
The scorpion on the end of a machete
Blessings to you all.