I’ve noticed that a good number of people come here looking for pictures and ideas for building a goat head catch or milking stand at home. I’ve included some pictures in my previous Goat 101 posts, but I wanted to devote an entire post to this subject, since it is a simple project you can do at home, often with scrap lumber.
First off, is a milking stand really even necessary? For us personally, yes it is. Although I can milk our goats while they are tied up or someone is holding them, I find that it is infinitely easier and more sanitary for us to use a stand. Since milking is something I do every single day, I like to streamline it as much as possible. However, if you have the perfect goat who quietly grazes and stands while you milk her out in the pasture, more power to you!
There are several places online where you can find detailed plans to build a milking stand of your own (Fias Co Farms is an excellent resource).
However, my hubby is quite the carpenter already, so when we were preparing to build our stand, he just needed pictures and ideas, not precise measurements. This is definitely not an exact science, do what works best for you and your goats! He checked out a few different photos, and then whipped out this stand in a couple hours.
Here is a side view. We have rather large Nubians and built it to accomodate their size. The legs are 12″ high.
The base/floor is 19″ wide and 36″ long. It’s made from heavy OSB board.
The back view of the open head catch. The goat jumps up and places her head through the hole so she can eat her grain.
I then close the catch and secure it with a small piece of rebar that slides in a hole. I thought this was a pretty brilliant design that hubby came up with- it saved us from having to run to town and purchase any latches or hooks.
A close up of the hole, minus the rebar rod.
Front view of the open head catch with grain bucket, it’s approximately 36″ tall. You can just barely see it, but the handle at the top is a large branch that we wedged into a hole into the top of the 2×4.
A close up of the moving portion of the head catch. The 2×4 on the right is stationary, it doesn’t move. The 2×4 on the left pivots on a large bolt.
I’ve found that I don’t need a stool to milk. I just sit on the edge of the stand. A stand is also very handy to have if you are trimming feet, giving shots, or clipping.
But I hope this will give you some ideas as you build a milking stand or goat head catch for your homestead!
For those who already have stands, any cool design tips or tricks you could share?
Can’t get enough goat? Then check out some of the other popular posts in the Goat 101 series: