Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cow Stanchion

Someone asked for pictures of our cow stanchion. We moved it so that we could both sit on each side of her and milk. This first picture show the side we put her head through. The board you see at a slant moves. It moves over and makes the opening too small for her to get her head back through. There is a latch on the top that keeps it closed. The little red seat is really my garden cart. It is perfect for milking though. Michael sits on a bucket. You can also see just a portion of the big rubber mat we use. The back part of her stands on the mat and that is what the buckets sit on. It is easily hosed down. Before Clover calves in September, we will add 2 back posts and side rails. Clover has never been milked before and we want a way to help her settle in to milking without letting her dance around too much.

This is the same view from a different angle. The 2 spray bottles hanging on the pole are homemade fly spray and a wound spray. We think that blackberry vines or something cut up her teats and bag a bit. The jar on the ground in the right of the picture is the homemade fly spray. The twine hanging off the top is used to tie her tail to her leg. This keeps her from switching you with it (usually right in or near your face) and also keeps her tail down so she does not go to the bathroom while you are milking.
This part is where her head would come through. We have a feed bucket on that side. We are feeding her alfalfa cubes to try and help keep her calcium up. She is 14 years old. We also will throw in a handful of peanuts in the shell. Sometimes I give her a couple of handfuls of raw pumpkin seeds. I pick plaintain and clover flowers and throw in there as well. If we have apples that are starting to get wrinkly, I quarter a couple and put those in there as well. Some nights it is just alfalfa cubes.
Here she is in the stanchion. You can see the milk pails near the back of her. We are milking her once a day. She is giving between 4 and 5 gallons. It is usually right around 4 1/2 gallons.

Here are Bert and Ernie lounging out in the sun.


Nancy said...

Well, you knew it was coming but, how do you make your fly spray? We have made several but are still looking for that right combination. It would be a HUGE help. We are still milking outside because we have had so much rain our barn is flooded. Great pictures!

Boysaplenty!! said...

I was about to ask the same question as Nancy. Please share the recipe for your fly spray! Thanks for showing pictures of your milking stanchion. That really helps me to actually see how it works. We don't have a cow yet but hope to have one in the near future. Wow! 4 to 5 gallons a day, is that normal for a cow or is she just a good milker?

Unknown said...

Lovely pictures. Nothing beats an Ohio farm. I grew up in Cincinnati and my mom still lives in Ohio.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the nice tips. I'd like your recipe for fly spray. I'm just starting to milk my first cow for the first time so it's great getting all the help I can from those who leave their wisdom.thanks. JC

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing for tips. I'm just getting ready to milk my first cow and I need all the help I can get for my new adventure! Marigold(my cow) asppreciates it too. How do you keep the bar over when you put her head in?