September 3, 2016

My New Milking Room

We're making progress on the Little Barn! After Dan built the wall to separate the goats from the milking area, the next step was to put down a floor.

First Dan framed out the area with 4x4s and leveled the ground.

The floor itself is made of pavers.

It measures 7 feet by 12 feet and only took a couple of hours to make.

Properly, the pavers should have been installed on sand, but we just used the existing dirt. There's still a little settling going on, but it's easy to sweep and looks nice, I think.

Finishing touches were the cabinet and milking stand.


That cabinet has a little history. It was here when we bought the place, but not in the kitchen. It was in this very shed which was used for storage by the previous owners. We hauled the cabinet into the kitchen because there was originally very little counter space (photo here). We set it up as a peninsula, and I liked the setup so well that when we remodeled the kitchen Dan build a wider peninsula in its place. The cabinet was then moved to the back porch which became my temporary remodeler's kitchen (photo here). Even back then I planned to use it in my future milking room, so it's lived on the back porch for almost five years.

Jessie helping show off my new milking room. Access to hay is
through the door at the back, where my old milking room used to be.

Dan wants to get the exterior walls up before winter, so he's been busy getting started on that. I have two tasks: one, to find all my goat stuff in the house and organize it in the milking room cabinet. The second is to get the feed room organized.

Little Barn floorplan (except
pretend the walls are squared up)

The feed cans will be set up behind the cabinet for easy filling of feeders. I'm also envisioning a work table and drying racks in that part of the barn.

I am so happy with this set-up. It's taken awhile to get to, and I've tried to be content and not complain during my years of making-do. Those of you choosing the homesteading lifestyle know how much there is to do and how long it takes to get everything in a workable configuration. The wait wasn't all bad, however, and the problems I had helped shape our design. I can honestly say my new milking room was worth waiting for.

My New Milking Room © September 2016

40 comments:

  1. Oh, I LOVE it! Especially the easy to clean floor. Very well done, and something I hope to have one day too. My make-do milking stand has been located everywhere except a proper barn...the garage, against the fence, under a big tree..LOL
    -Jaime

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    1. P.S. Really smart about the individual feeding stations too!

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    2. Jaime, I've seen a number of milking stands located outside. I can't imagine how it goes in pouring rain, but it seems to be pretty common. I reckon we do whatever it takes to enjoy that milk!

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  2. Nice! I am borrowing your pavers for the floor. When I had my first goat(s) the milk stand a single was in a small loafing area behind the goat shed of course fenced off from the rest of the goat area. Then I moved uptown to a large area with a attached double milk stand, milking machine, cold running water, electricity and a laundry room sink with cabinet. Then we moved and I had already on site a inside barn with central heat (which I never used) hot, cold running water, cement floors , refrigerator and of course my trusty milking machine. Now full circle. I still use my double stanchion sold my milking machine, have a covered milk area between the barn and the hay barn. It is dirt floor and we discussed putting down a wooden floor like the hay barn has. But I like the pavers and will run the idea past Geoffrey. We would most likely use sand as our dirt is just about hard enough to be cement. I am so excited for you and the goat girls!

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    1. Wow! You have had some deluxe accommodations! The only other thing I would have really liked (past tense because I've told Dan it wasn't absolutely necessary) is a sink with hot running water. In our original brainstorming I included one in my plan with a small point-of-use water heater. It would be a huge job to run a line all the way back here, however, especially since this isn't intended to be the permanent goat barn.

      The pavers have been great! Sand would have made them a bit more level, but since it isn't a patio it's okay. Originally I told Dan I didn't need a "real" floor, but found dirt too dusty for a milking room. We discussed wood, concrete, and this. We used cap block in the storage room of the chicken coop. The 12x12 pavers worked out to be a bit more economical and we had a choice of colors. :)

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    2. Thanks for the info. As for hot water where there is none. If one has access to electricity get one of the bucket heaters for about $30 from Nasco . There is a long narrow shaped one or they used to have one. I used them for years in a good grade bucket to cook up hot water for cleaning my milling machine. Worked beautifully !

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    3. Sorry not enough coffee. Should be food grade bucket.

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    4. Brilliant! A very doable idea, thanks!

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  3. Well, how wonderful that cabinet has made the rounds on the homestead. Things like that are just so darn useful. Interesting on the pavers. Looks like a good solution. I'm assuming rubber matting just wasn't right for that application and probably too costly. We rubber matted all the standing areas in the run in shed and I'm thinking it was moderately expensive.

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    1. Theresa, we did look at rubber matting, but it was pretty high at Tractor Supply. We crunched the numbers for all possibilities and the pavers won out. I think the matting would easier on the feet though.

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  4. One can tell a LOT of thought has gone into that milking parlor; very nicely done! You could always buy 1 rubber mat for you to stand upon.

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    1. I think that would be a good idea. One mat for where I stand for filling the feeders. Easier on the feet and good insulation when it gets cold out!

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  5. TSC opened a new store and the rubber mats were on a huge sale so we got 6. We are using 2. 1 in front of the utility building door and 1 in front of the workshop door. I think your paver idea is much better! I think the extra time it took for you to get to this point helps a person clarify and design a better facility! It really is lovely.

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    1. I'll have to check my TSC to see if they are having the same sale. I think at least one, as Sandra mentioned above. I do like the pavers, however!

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  6. I bet it functions as beautifully as it photographs! I've been toying with pavers in the big barn stalls since some expert or another suggested concrete was hands down the best flooring.

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    1. I'd have to say that the best flooring is the one that meets your needs! Concrete is very easy to wash down, as long as you can direct the water to a drainage area (ours is uneven so I have a heck of a time with that). On the other hand, there's nowhere for urine to go, unless you have deep bedding to help absorb it. The other option is to clean the animal area out every day. The original shed had a concrete floor, so half of the goat area will remain concrete. The other half will remain dirt.

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  7. Your new milk room almost looks like a kitchen! Like you, we've found that having to make-do, function in "temporary" quarters, etc. brings to light many ideas for when we get around to constructing the permanent structure whether it be facilities for animals . . . or in the house for us! Congratulations on how far you've come.

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    1. Thank you Mama Pea! The cabinet works very well as a work table and storage unit. Very sturdily built too. I'm glad we hung on to it.

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  8. Those goats are living a posh lifestyle with a nice paver floor and all!

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    1. As long as they're fed and can get out of the rain, they don't care!

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  9. Sweet!!

    How wide is that milking stand?
    Where do you sit when you milk, behind or on side?

    Floor looks cool!
    Any concern about 'spilt milk' getting between pavers and stinking?

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    1. Thanks! The milking stand is about 2 feet wide. I usually sit on the side, but I have sat behind as well, depending on the goat. Hopefully we won't have any spilt milk, because that would be a nuisance. Lost milk is usually because a goat foot ends up in the bucket or kicking the rim, but I've always caught it in the past. The chickens then get the milk, and they don't mind. :) The pavers could always be removed, though, if need be.

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    2. It's interesting that you have a wide stand. I built one custom for someone who wanted 36" wide to sit on side, more for trimming than milking, most folks thought it was crazy but they like it.

      Hoping spill stink won't become a field re-design issue for you ....but was one of the first things I thought when I saw it, sorry-sigh, it's my training in 'failure' assessment when designing pharm (haha-not farm) equipment.

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    3. Dan just built it according to the plans at Fias Co Farm website (I think those were the ones). I have sat on it to milk on occasion, because it is wide enough for both me and a goat! The biggest problem has been the head gate when I switched from Nubians to Kinders. Kinders are smaller, and a few of them were able to pull their heads right out. Dan adjusted it and I added a clip.

      Hopefully I'll never have a spilt milk issue! I've learned never to say "never," so who knows. I would remove them and scrub them down if it came to that.

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  10. It makes it so much easier to do something when you are all set up in one place! YEA!!! I am getting my weaving studio set up that way to do that very same thing. I am so limited with my physical stuff that all animal projects are on hold until that clears up. In the short term, I will be weaving and welding and dreaming of your creamy goat milk and your foxy cheeses!

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    1. Barb, you are so right about set up. (One of these days I'll have my weaving studio back to functional too!)

      I know your healing has taken a longer road than you first thought, so I'm glad you've got the help with your critters and glad you have something creative to do in the meanwhile.

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  11. Congrats!! it is SO satisfying to finally have something set up and working the way you want it to, especially when it's something you use every day. Great job :)

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    1. Thanks Quinn! It's like a dream come true!

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  12. Fantastic set up. Glad it all worked out in the end. :)

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    1. Chris, sometimes I'm still amazed it's finally happened. :)

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  13. Great set up! Yes, having to take your time finishing projects does give time to figure out what might work better than our original plans, lol. Love the feeder wall. My milk station is a simple pergola my late boyfriend built for a reading nook out of the sun. I placed a large picture window someone gave me as a wind break on the weather side, so we are mostly protected from the weather while I milk. My Clara just kidded on Saturday, so I am looking forward to getting back into milking soon. Missing my fresh milk!

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    1. What a great idea for an outdoor milking room. The window is genius! Congrats on Clara!

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  14. I like the pavers, they can drain after a good scrubbing!

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  15. I'm currently milking outside - no roof... But I have moved the stanchion into the bunny shelter when it rains. This morning, it was 35 degrees - I warmed the teat dip and wipes in the house! I'm hoping to have better digs soon, but it will still be make-do until I can get it set up the way I like it. It's hard when you're renting! I scored several 5-6' x 12' rubber mats a couple of years ago on Craigslist. I've used them for lots of things, and one is under my current stanchion area. I'm going to borrow your feeder wall idea, as I have 2 stanchions and, as of this Saturday, 3 goats in milk. I'll start using my milking machine, so having the 3 up on the stands at the same time gives them time to eat while I'm milking the others. I'm interested in your set up - gives me ideas for mine!

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    1. 35°, yikes! Already? I'm thankful that's it's finally getting down into the 60s at night. So glad my set up is inspirational. I get some really good ideas from the internet too. You're right about how difficult it is when you're renting. Would love to have two milking stands!

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  16. It looks great! With all my sewing work, I have considered moving downstairs to appease the whiny dog. But I'm too lazy to move everything. ;)

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