The great folks on my facebook farm page have convinced me to share photos of our milking parlor. I laugh when I call it a milking parlor because it's nothing fancy. In fact, the reason I am writing this post is because I referred to it as "redneck" and several folks wanted to know more about it. I tease, but the truth is, it is was a wonderful idea implemented by my dear husband and I am very thankful for my little parlor. When we started out milking, we were milking in a run-in. So, this has been definite progress for us. It's also proof that you can get by on a budget! ;-)
It all started when we got a phone call from a young man who at the time worked at a garage. He called to tell Mike that they had towed in a truck with a box trailer with a blown engine and the owners would let it go for $500 for parts. Mike and his dad went down to see it and came up with the idea of taking the box off the trailer and setting it up as a milking parlor, which they did. Then, Mike turned around and sold the truck for parts (without the trailer) for $500. So, this is my "free" milking parlor! These photos were taken when we first set it up. It has been well used now and instead of the roll up door, I have glass doors! Talk about fancy! It took a little adjustment for the cows to learn to walk through the glass doors and back out, but it also means I can shut the door when the weather is bad, keeping the wind, rain and snow from blowing in. The glass doors were also recycled.
The boards on the floor in this photo are for the Minis to stand on so we can get the milker under them. The strap is part of the trailer but we use it when we have a cow that wants to wiggle. We put it around their legs up by their hips and tie it to the stanchion bar. This keeps them from backing up while we are trying to milk them. Usually after a few days, we don't have to use the strap anymore.
The wood floor is slick when wet. We keep a bucket of sawdust handy to throw on the floor when it becomes wet. What would be ideal is to have rubber mats for them to walk in on so that it isn't so slick when wet. If we don't do something different about a milking parlor, I would like to paint the inside, seal the floor, but rubber mats down and put shelves up. We keep our feed inside this trailer and inside metal garbage cans. The cows would have to get through the gate, through the door and lift the lids off the trash cans to get to the feed. This helps eliminate possible problems of a cow getting into the grain on accident and bloating.
And there it is! I told you it wasn't pretty! ;-)