for people who love the littlest dairy goats
I would love to get some expert opinions on whether or not this little goat house can be retrofitted to also serve as a milking parlor.
We run a school farm and this is our first adventure in kidding & milking. I have been drawing up plans to build a separate milking parlor, but as we are very tight on space and money (we are a school after all!), I'm wondering if this space can serve multiple purposes. The added bonus of this idea is that it removes another step for our milking volunteers, since they won't need to move the goat to another space.
My idea is to alter the lower bunk as a milking stand. It's a little high at 30", so we would need to use a stool instead of a chair, or build a wood floor to raise it.
My main concern is the length. It's 55" which should be plenty for our Nigerian - although I don't have her here to measure (she's off at an AMAZING farm being bred), but with an added headstock and feed bin I'm not sure. It's possible that I could extend the wall to accommodate the feeding bucket.
The other goats can easily be kept out of the house during milking.
Curious what you guys think? Thanks in advance.
I'm similarly constrained, and am also using a former loafing ledge to milk our doe. I actually keep it high, as I prefer to stand while milking. (I built a step to help her up when she's really pregnant.) I really like it this way--I find it to be a nice cozy setup, and while a tight, sterile building would be nice, there is the benefit you mentioned of not moving does around for milking time.
I only wonder if, for your purposes, you'll want more space for observation?
Thanks for the reply. I like the option of standing, and/or sitting if we provide a taller stool. Good question about observation, since we have groups of students around. It isn't visible in my photo, but the goat house has 4-paneled doors which would give us the option of enclosing the goat while also allowing folks to see over the low doors. I knew we built those for a reason!
Can anyone out there kindly give me the approximate length from nose to tail of your largest ND? I don't have one handy for measuring and the web only gives average height.
I finally remembered to take the measuring tape out with me this evening.
I only have one doe, and I have no idea how her length stacks up against the average. She looks to be about 38" from nose to tail.
The measurement from her stanchion to where she places her back feet is 32" and the grain bucket I use (link here) sticks out 8" beyond the front of the stanchion, for a total of 40" length. (Sorry the link is for a whole selection of feeders--I use the 6 quart blue hanging one. It's always too dark out there at milking time for taking my own photos these days.) You'd certainly want a little more space behind her rear feet, in case yours are longer, or you have a prancer, etc.
Hope that helps!