As I’ve mentioned before, we were planning on building a raised cow milking stanchion for Gertie.
We Derek got to work on it right away and finished it up last weekend. I am so happy with how it turned out, it is perfect for me and Gertie.
I wanted to share how we built it with you. If you need or want to build an elevated milk stand, I hope ours will encourage you and give you great ideas for your own design!
(Note: This post may take a minute to load, it is very picture heavy)
How to Build a Cow Milking Stanchion
We have been doing all of our homestead projects for Gertie on a very tight budget and have been cutting our own lumber with our Alaskan Chainsaw Mill for as much as possible.
Derek was given some 5″x5″ treated lumber posts (huge blessing!) so we used them for the legs of the stanchion. The treated lumber is important for the parts that will be on the ground so they don’t rot.
He was able to saw out the rest of the lumber with the help of our friends David and his dad Russel. We haven’t had to invest any money in the stanchion other than the nails for it. This is great when working on such a tight budget.
Derek started out but building the frame for the stanchion using the 5″X5″ upright posts and 2″X6″ boards to frame it.
He then added the 2″x4″ platform plank floor boards. After the platform was completed he started building the “on ramp”. Then, he took 2″x”6 boards and sawed them at an angle on one end so they would lay nicely on the ground.
We placed a 5″x5″ as a brace for the center of the ramp. It has to support a lot of weight.
We made the stanchion about 18″ off of the ground, this is a perfect height for milking a cow. Then, we built a ramp on the back of the stanchion going straight up to the platform and then a ramp that comes down from the head gate.
We wanted to the ramps to have plenty of a slope so Gertie won’t slip on them. We will be adding some rubber mats for extra grip as well. The platform is 34″ wide and very well braced. It has 1 1/2″ thick boards for flooring.
We also put two rails on each side so there isn’t much “airspace” for risk of falling off. A cow falling off of a platform would be a REALLY bad thing for all involved.
We also placed a board on each side of the platform at the bottom so that if her foot were to get too close to the edge it can’t go over and cause injury.
The head gate is 7 1/2″ wide when it is in the locked position. We checked around for head gate dimensions and that seemed to be the magic number for Jerseys. It is a perfect fit for Gertie.
The design is so great for our situation. The “off ramp” leads straight into the stall side of the barn so when we finish up with milking she can go straight out.
Gertie walks right up on the stanchion like
a boss she has been doing it forever. She happily eats her feed while I milk to my little heart’s content. It is pure bovine happiness out there.
The stanchion looks so nice in my milking parlor. Yes, I have a milking parlor! I love the way that sounds! I’m just a wee bit giddy over here with all of this cow milking stuff happening.
Update summer 2018: We no longer have Gertie or live at this homestead (very sad, I know). We moved to Florida in 2016 and currently have milk goats. We will be getting another milk cow at some point in the near future and plan to build another stanchion with this design.
Update fall 2021: We currently have 3 milk cows and 2 dairy goats. We don’t live in Florida anymore, we are back in Virginia.
P.S. If you need plans for a great goat milk stand, I have those too.
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Jen | The Easy Homestead says
This is a great tutorial Jenna. We will be using this when we have to build this for our goats- just a little smaller. Great post!
So glad you like it! Let me know if you need any pointers when building it. 🙂
Your youtube intro looks great, and I can’t wait to see what you post on it and your blog.
Thank you! 🙂 I am excited to start this new venture.
looks nice! I am trying to build one now for my Dexter cows. How long are your ramps? And what did you use to hinge them with? Would you change anything now that you’ve used it for a while? Thanks for sharing!
Brad Huffman says
What are the dimensions. What is the total height clearance from the deck to the ceiling? What is the length from the head hate to the back? I have a 10×10 stall I want to build something similar in. At the lowest point my ceiling height is 7 feet it rises to about 9 feet.
Gabriel Godina says
Wondered if you kept any dimension info on your stanchion (platform width length etc). Thank you so much for posting very helpful
The platform was 34″ wide but 30″ would have worked fine for Gertie. I believe it was about 5’long from the head gate to the back of the platform. 🙂 We built it to fit our cow, we measured from her brisket to her tail and added a foot. We measured her width and added more than we needed to, I think about 6″.