Interested in getting a goat milking stand for your homestead? If you’re not sure whether to buy or build one, let these facts help you decide. This is part of our Raising Goats – The Homesteading Handbook.
Goat Milking Stands For Homesteading: To Buy Or To Build?
Even for minimalist farmers, a goat milking stand is practically a necessity. If you choose not to use a stand, you’ll likely wind up with a back strain that will be difficult to overcome, especially when combined with all of your other daily duties. While you might be able to get away with milking from a stool for just one goat, you’ll almost certainly need a stand if you have a few animals.
Usually, goats need to be milked twice daily. Having a goat stand can help prevent back pain, because it allows you to focus on the work at hand, instead of bending over and straining. If you need to groom your goats, your milking stand will serve a double purpose, as it is very helpful for keeping goats in place during grooming.
To Buy or To Build A Goat Milking Stand?
This is the question that most goat owners ask themselves when considering a goat milking stand. Let’s review the pros and cons of each.
Advantages of Building A Goat Milking Stand:
- Plans are readily available online
- There are many options from which you can choose
- You can customize your stand based on your needs using existing plans
- Different stands can be made to accommodate goats of different sizes
- Homemade stands are low in cost (plan for approximately $40-$50 in lumber)
- Custom stands are more likely to meet your unique needs
With these advantages in mind, it’s also important to think about additional needs, which homemade stands may not address. For instance, if you want to travel often and need a stand that’s collapsible, a handmade stand may not suffice.
If you have any kind of construction experience, building a goat stand should be rather simple. First, you’ll need to make plans. Many stands feature a feeding reservoir which can help keep goats busy as you milk or groom them. Keep in mind that each herd may have a different stance, so you’ll need to plan appropriately.
You can incorporate add-on features, such as a farm logo or rubber flooring for safety. Some goat owners also choose to put wheels on their home-built goat stands.
Now, let’s discuss purchasing goat milking stands.
Advantages of Buying A Goat Milking Stand:
- Convenience for busy farmers
- Stands may take up less space
- Stands may fold up and be easier to transport
As you can see, the decision about whether to buy or build a goat milking stand will depend largely on you needs. If you attend shows and fairs frequently and would prefer a lighter model that’s easier to transport, then it’s possible that buying a goat stand will be the better option for you.
With that being said, many goat owners like having their own homemade goat stands, because they can be customized to meet their specific needs. Farmers, homesteaders, and individuals who are inclined to the self-sustaining lifestyle are often quite busy with activities involving land and animal maintenance, so convenience is certainly a factor to consider. Then again, they may also be more likely to rely on the “Do-It-Yourself” approach, so there’s really no “wrong” method for choosing a goat milking stand.
If you’d like to learn more about goat milking stands and other goat raising tips and practices, please visit GoatSmarts.com.
Ever decide to build your own? Here’s how you can build one for just $4 from Big Family Homestead:
Here’s what to do with all that goat milk: Make this!
So are you going to build one or buy one? Let us know below in the comments!
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*Image Credit: HoeggerFarmyard
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