Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Goat Stanchion - An Essential Piece of Equipment

Whether you have two goats or 20, a stanchion is one of the best pieces of equipment you can buy. A stanchion is a device that locks the head of a goat in place so that you can milk it or perform routine care such as hoof trimming, injections or clipping. Ideally it is attached to a stand so that the goat is elevated, making such work easier, and have an attached container for feeding grain or other food to distract the goat.

Often called a milk stand, this stand with stanchion can be made from wood, PVC or metal. Milk stands can be purchased from a goat supply company or used (on rare occasion), or they can be homemade. Free-standing stanchions can also be purchased and used to make a milk stand. If you are handy, making one is the best way to go and directions are available on the Internet.

Goat keepers have made milk stands in a variety of ways. They can be made to break down and be light enough to make travel to a goat show or fair easy. They can incorporate storage, they can be different heights or even adjustable for the various sizes of goats.

Goats soon learn to eagerly jump onto the stand—not because they like being there, but because they want the food that is being offered. Even recalcitrant goats can be trained to get on the stand if taken to it and allowed to eat quietly a few times.

To see an example of a nice stanchion, made with pallets and scrap wood, click here.

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