Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Stand For Milking


My dad built my first milking stand when I was around 12. It was a handy stand because the stanchion was built on a box. I could take my stand to the fair with all my supplies tucked inside. My friend (the other goatgirl) and I painted it a bright blue and added our club name "Milk Maids" to the top. I drug that milking stand everywhere I lived for about 30 years. Finally it fell apart only to be thrown on the burn pile one day. Since then I have been trimming hooves and doing basic doctoring while bending over and chasing around a goat that is tied to a post. It worked for a while but I use to be younger and my bones didn't ache so much. It was apparent that I really needed one the other day when the goatfarmer and goatjudge came to draw blood. We did OK hanging on to the goats but I was missing my handy stand.
I have been on the lookout for a used milking stand. They come in many different varieties. I was looking for one of those snazzy metal ones that can fold up. And sure enough, one came up for sale and I set off on Saturday to pick it up. After driving for about 45 minutes I came to the driveway of the people that were selling it. I started climbing, and climbing. and climbing. The paved drive was covered in slippery maple leaves and was as steep as they come. I got about half way up and my truck couldn't climb the slippery slope anymore. Panic set in. What was I to do stuck halfway up these people's drive, unable to go forward, unable to go back. Then I remembered the truck has 4 wheel drive. So I turned the knob and gave it some gas. It gave a lurch and slowly started to climb the slippery slope. I finally made it to the top but the adventure wasn't over. After I roused the house from their sleep (they were expecting me!) the woman jumped in my truck and pointed the way to the milking stand. Down another steep hill and through the woods that I tried my best to avoid scratching Hubby's new truck on blackberry brambles, we pulled up next to a darling, neglected goat barn. This goat barn was at one time a busy place. The family had raised 8 children here and the evidence of happy farming times was everywhere. We moved the wheelbarrow and rototiller and uncovered a metal milking stand, just like I wanted, but not in such good shape. It had more rust than I expected and was a bit green with moss but after driving all that way and climbing up that driveway and driving through the woods and down the slippery slope I bought it anyway. I mean really, the lady had 8 kids. I felt bad. Hubby says he can sandblast it and re-paint it. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

There is something very comforting about having a milking stand again.

I am ready for anything.

5 comments:

Marigold said...

As for the milk stand, I watch Boo. Boo isn't hateful about it, but Boo thinks, "I don't think I want to do this." And so Boo doesn't. Boo has the poundage to back it up. It is a good philosophy. However, because I choose to follow Booian Philosophy, I am saddled with having to endure THE SLING. Oy.

Clare said...

Wendy, that stand looks quite efficient! What an adventure you had getting it, too! I'm sure it will be worth it.

FoxMeadowsFarmgirl said...

Its beautiful! Congratulations! =)Let the adventures begin!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your story in getting to the location where the goat stanchion was sounds so similar to my own.

I had posted a wanted on our local Freecycle group and someone replied and offered to give me her old stanchion. She was located at the end of a long, bumpy gravel road and then up and then down and around her very steep, twisting driveway into the deep woods.

She had, at one time, kept several milk goats and a flock of chickens. But one day a bear attacked and killed or injured all of her animals.
She didn't have 8 kids, though. She was a kind older woman and I enjoyed meeting her.

My goat staunchion is wooden and was quite rickety and covered in mouse poo. But it cleaned up well and with a few new screws it is serving me well in goat vax, hoof trims, sheep and mohair shearings, and hopefully in future milkings, too. :)

Congrats on your new stanchion, Wendy!

~Lisa

Country Girl said...

Cool stand and cute story. I am going to need a stand come summer.