We are trying hard to be ready for milking this time around (we weren't ready with the cow). A couple things need to be in place asap. 1) A safe, warm, dry place for the kids to be born. 2) A way to eventually seperate the kids from the mom. 3) A place to milk the goat.
1) We cleaned out most of the cow stall (the front is still too muddy from melting snow to do much with) and added a 2x12 across the bottom to seperate out an area for kidding. The board just hold the straw in place, not the goats. (lol) We will put up a fence to seperate mom in this area when she gets close to kidding. There is also a dog crate with straw in that area for her. Eventually I'll be running a plug to that area so we can hang a heat lamp. Since the kids are due in Feb and I'll be milking by mid March, I want to take the chill off. Don't worry, we'll be hanging it with no chance of it falling or any flamables/animals getting near it.
2) This same kidding area will also serve as kid separation area once we are pulling the kids off at night.
3) Wolf had a great idea, as usual, for turning the cow milking area into a goat milking stand. He thought up building a stand for the goats that is hinged to the wall and folds out of the way when not in use. I love this idea. While it keeps it out of the way, it also allows us to use the same area for a cow IF we ever get another one. I'm still open to the idea, it will just be a smaller one that we get as a calf so we can halter and lead train it and get it used to trailers. We have the stand ready, just waiting for it to get above freezing so we can install it in the stall.
Here is the stand from the bottom. This is the leg that will fold out and hold the stand. The other side will be attached to the wall.
This is the stand with the leg folded up.
We'll see how things go. Luckily we still have 1 1/2 months to get the goat used to the milking stand and being touched. At the moment she does NOT like her udders touched at all.