Here’s some pictures of our milking stall. It’s fairly straightforward, I think. We have made a few improvements as we’ve used it, and we will probably continue to do so.

On the right Daddy built a shelf into the side of the stall so we would have a place to set our buckets and anything else that we may need it for. Right now it’s holding a great deal of junk. We’ll have to change that before too long. We have a roll of paper towels, a bag of plastic cups, and more junk in the plastic box. The trash can holds oats that we let Clarabelle snack on while we’re milking.

A close-up of the “stanchion” here. We had the sides of the stall in place before the stanchion was built, so all we had to do was take a few of the lower boards out to allow two milkers at once. We built in the opposite side. There is a piece of plywood with a hole in it for a (well, I think it was a chicken waterer at one time) feeder. It works quite well.

Claire got this picture with Kyle in the milking position. We could improve the milking stools. Let’s see, where to start on this picture? Ummm… well, there is a hole with a heavy metal pipe to keep her from backing up. We’ve already changed that a little since we’ve started milking her again. All we did was move it closer to the 4×4 to push her closer. I’m not sure what to call the heavy kickboard/table we set the milk bucket on. It rests on the 1×6 (rough-sawn), and we put another pipe so Clarabelle won’t kick or push it forward. The kick board thing (the plywood in back) works very well. She used to manage to stick her hooves into the milk bucket, and now whe can’t really get her feet over. We’ve had to scoop out the middle of the plywood, now that she’s calved, because her udder wouldn’t go over the top of it if we hadn’t.

I don’t think I explained it very well, but I did the best I can for now. Little Chuck (Claire and Kyle kind of decided on that name for Clarabelle’s calf) is doing very well, although he could be a bit better trained at the halter and bottle feeding. Not much going on around here. Everybody’s a bit exhausted for one reason or another, mine is from having to get back on a schedule. I’m not forcing myself to get up at 5:00 am yet; 6:00 am is a bit of a stretch right now! We’re getting very creamy milk right now, but it tastes very strong after many months off it. It will definitely take some getting used to again.