How We Built Our Milk Stand

Hello, Frank here.

Well, we had a problem. We had goats that needed to be milked, and since a goat’s udder and teats are a lot closer to the ground than a cow’s, we needed a milk stand. We looked in all of the traditional goat catalogs, and found the vast majority of goat milking stands were of a portable type nature. Then there were those that were made for grooming show goats, which were also portable. Both of these types being portable, just did not meet our need. Even though they worked for their intended purpose, we needed something that says, “Take a licking and keep on ticking.” In other words, it needed to be hard rock durable. 

So, we started looking around at what people used for milk stands. There were a handful of articles about how to build them, but in most of the information we found, the milk stand was a secondary part of the picture. The milk goat itself was the primary part of the picture. So, Fern sat down in a chair, which was going to be her milking chair and pretended like she was milking a goat. We measured how far her hands were from the floor, then we roughly guess-timated how far a goat’s teat is from the surface it’s standing on. Now we had our elevation.

Other things to  consider. How long is a goat? That was pretty easy. How wide does the goat stand need to be? Don’t forget that when you milk a goat, you open their back legs just a little bit extra. You certainly don’t want the goat stand too narrow, but then you don’t want it too wide, because the goat will naturally move away from you. 

I guess last is how high do you put their feed bucket? And do you use a feed bucket? With that thought in mind, do you make the feed stand adjustable? Does it need to move up and down? Well, you can see in the picture that we went with a stationary feeder and decided not to use a bucket at all.

In the world we live in now days everything is specified by it’s minimum requirements. I don’t support this concept. I think there should be a maximum requirement. You always milk from the same side of the goat all of the time, which is normally the right side. So we started building our milk stand. All of the lumber is treated, there are no nails, all screws were used. There is no building or safety reason for this, it’s just that my elbows will not drive nails anymore, so I chose to use screws. So, this is how we did it. Enjoy the pictures.

If you have any questions or comments, or you need clarification, please either put it in the comments, or send us an email. If your goats are bigger, modify the plans. If you’re milking Pygmies, I feel sorry for you. I especially feel sorry for your fingers, but each to their own. I assure you, I can stand on this milk stand and jump up and down and it is not going to budge. As I mentioned earlier about the milk stand, avoid minimum requirements in life.

We’ll talk more later. Frank

14 thoughts on “How We Built Our Milk Stand

  1. Thanks, Kathi! I'm not too good at figuring out buttons, so I just keep the HomeAcre Hop button permanently by the blogroll. There's a lot of good information shared there each week.Fern

  2. Great information and pictures! Those help alot for anyone looking to build one for themselves. Thank you for sharing with us over at the Homeacre Hop! Please join us again this week! Mary :)

  3. We have not ever milked Pygmies or Nigerian Dwarfs, Felecia. Since they are smaller than our Nubians, I would think you would need to adjust the milk stand accordingly. I would also expect their udders and teats to be smaller as well, which will affect the way you milk. There are manual milking machines that may help in your case. I've seen them, but never used one. Best of luck.Fern

  4. HI Frank! Thank you so much for sharing about the milk stand! I'm bookmarking and showing to the hubs, asap. Have you had experience milking pygmies? Mine are Nigerian Dwarfs, probably the same thing. I hope it's not going to be difficult to milk them. These two little does have really cleaned off the hillside, so I don't know if the area would be enough for larger goats. Thanks for sharing this post! Have a great week! Blessings from Bama!

  5. I had never thought about something like linoleum on a milk stand. It's good to know it will work and not be slippery for the goat. I have had my share of spilled milk, especially when training new goats. Thanks for sharing!Fern

  6. I put a piece of linoleum on my milk stand. Then I can scrub it and wipe it off. they don't seem to slip on it and hop right on up.

  7. The one side comes in real handy for milking and other chores that need to be done to the animal, like trimming hooves. Some of the animals feel comfortable leaning up against the one side. But it does have it's drawbacks. If you have to treat an abscess or a wound, then it blocks access to that side. So, for the most part the stand works well.Frank

  8. Fiona, I can't speak for the goat, but I feel more comfortable on a solid footing, so I assume the goats will, too. I'm glad you like the stand. By the way, some people use a plywood top and it seems to work just fine. Thanks for the comment.Frank

  9. As far as time goes, it depends on the goat. Some will stand patiently, and some won't. For these we use a leash type clip that is connected at the edge of the stand. Here is a link to some pictures showing this process. Great question. Hope this helps.Frank

  10. Nice milk stand. Our milk stand is handcrafted as well. I like that yours has one side, hmm, now I am wondering if I could add one of those to ours, might be handy with a new milker.

  11. Thank you Frank! This is an outstanding post! We have done so much looking at milking stands both commercial and farm made but none of them looked \”right\” if that makes any sense. I do not like the expanded metal floors on some and the tie stanchions on others, there was always something that I found wrong or out of place or wobbly. Yours is just what we want and the way you worked it out makes sense. It is solid and I think that makes the goats feel secure and on a safe footing when they jump up on it. Using screws is better too, no splitting of the wood and way stronger. We are \”stealing\” your design. Thank you again!

  12. Hi Frank and Fern, Thanks so much for the great post and photos. I do have a (probably silly) question. I don't see a way to 'capture' the goats head. Do you find that your milking time is less than the time that your goats take to eat or do they just stand patiently for milking after the feed is gone? Or do you have another way to restrain them on the stand? Thanks again for helping us newbies out here. :)- Katie and Mark

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