In 5 months ... when the does started delivering their kids, I would need the milking parlor ready to milk in. We had a lot of work to do to get the barn and parlor ready!
The Barn had been built in 1940 and we started with the immediate needs of getting it repaired and dried in to be a safe place for the goat's shelter. Then it was time to turn our attention to the Milking Parlor that was built over 20 years ago and hadn't been miked in for many many years.
The Milking Parlor and Tank Room are attached to the big barn with a large covered shed connecting them.
Here is the back of the barn showing the covered shed connecting the Milk Parlor to the Barn.
Since the old Milking Parlor had been originally constructed to milk 4 cows on each side, we had to cut out a lot of the old metal piping in order to remodel it for the goats.
We bought auto-lock calf stanchions to hold the goats while they were being milked. We had to modify them slightly by welding an additional pipe on each stanchion because the goat's heads are smaller than a calf head. There is room for 16 does to come into the milk parlor at once. They put their head through the opening to eat grain out of the feeders and the stanchion locks them in.
Ray had a great idea for keeping the goats from jumping down into the pit with me while I milked ... he welded new hog panels onto the front of some of the old original upright pipes.
Here I am cleaning up when he was finished with the cutting and welding.
With the freezing cold days ... it took several weeks ... but we finally got it all put together!
We acquired an old Surge vacuum pump for the milking parlor. Ray build a vacuum line from pvc pipe that the hoses from the bucket milker connect to for making the pulsators and milkers work.
Ray welded a pipe behind the stanchions for the feeders to hook over. This is where I put the grain that the goats eat while they're being milked.
There is a lever at the end of the stanchions that sets the auto-lock feature. As soon as the goats put their heads through the openings ... the top of the opening will lock into a grove in the top pipe. This holds them until the lever is raised up to release them. Here the lever is set and ready for the goats to come in.
I have the 7 gallon stainless milk bucket all set up and ready for the goats to come running into the barn for grain and milking! My Dad build a wonderful cart for me that holds the milk bucket. This allows me to easily roll the bucket along as I move down the line of goats during milking time. You can also see in this photo that we have the old original upright pipes painted to match the new stanchions.
Everything is ready for the goats to come in for milking. The barn cats, Simba and Sheba, are giving it an inspection before letting the goats in.