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txbikergirl Posted - May 24 2015 : 4:58:39 PM
need to pick all the brains of you nutty cow people ;> all ideas and comments are appreciated, i don't take offense at anything and appreciate experienced people sharing their knowledge.

this week lover boy has been chomping on the idea of attaching a milking parlor to our outdoor "summer kitchen". want to know if y'all have any suggestions for us in case we aren't thinking of something important. note that i have read MJ's milking parlor chapter (page 238!) a million times so am trying to incorporate everything.

the reason this is timely is that due to rain this year our outdoor summer kitchen (its a 30x30 covered patio with counter, sink, bbq, oven/stove, hot water, refrig, etc) is ahead of schedule since it is reachable with large equipment (seems like nothing else on the farm is). we have built the shelter and have all the kitchen stuff (thank you craigslist) but need to still pipe out all the electrical/water/gas and pour concrete. and that is the june project.

this means instead of using a corner of a barn to milk, for hardly any extra cost I could have a fully functional milking setup ready for Sally O'Mally when she arrives. Lover boy is piping for everything already, so if we pay for a bit more concrete, and additional wood/roofing to extend the shelter then i am a very lucky girl.

- can cows go up a ramp easily, or will they refuse? we have either a 1 foot or 2 foot drop from the concrete to the ground in the potential area so would pour a ramp for bovine/human ease.
- it would be 10x30 so considering using MJ's milking parlor on p 238, but only the top 10x20 portion - the "kitchenette" part and the milking area. NOT the bottom 10x20 outside washing area and pen. i could always wash outside "al fresco" before bringing her in, but do you see issues with this?
- without the "outside" area i am not sure where to bring the calf so momma can see her. since I will have 10x30 and MJ shows 10x20, should i just have the calf anywhere near momma in my extra 10x10 space, or will momma have issues with that? i am thinking a gate to put the calf in the corner of the 10x10 area would keep it close by but safe and away.
- do y'all have anything else you keep in the cleaner "kitchenette" area other than the cleaning supplies and feeding supplies? i will have all that there, but then the bonus to this setup is that i walk 5 feet and am in a really clean area to finish up my straining/bottling/etc in the summer kitchen. and i have a pantry area in the real house with a big sink and plenty of room to hang buckets/machines/etc to dry after sanitizing.
- we don't thermize, we are totally raw drinkers. would you bottle your milk and put it in the freezer to cool down for an hour before going to refrig or invest in a little ice maker to have a constant ready supply of ice to ice bath the milk?
- we'll have electrical, water, hot water, gas, concrete floor, and a drain in the middle of the floor, and hose spigots for cleanup.
- we'll put the "milking parlor" concrete a few inches below the summer kitchen concrete so that water and mess doesn't move from the milking parlor to the other area.
- we'll essentially have a 3 sided area, as the fourth wall (the 30' long outside wall) won't be enclosed the entire length. but any "open" wall would have a gate on it.
- keep in mind we are in the south, eastern texas. so while we have 3 months of "winter", we get snow about once per year that sticks for 10 hours if we are lucky... and normally have about 10-20 days where it stays 20-32 degrees all day. we do have LOTS of rain even in a dry year (normal year is 40"). so i am thinking that a well done 3.5 sided structure will be much better than a old airy barn with 4 sides.
- given i am milking 1-2 cows max i dont see smell as an issue this close to the summer kitchen/backyard. i'll clean and hose down anything each milking. and we have the chicken coop with 40+ chickens adjacent and there's no smell issue there...

this setup would be a luxury for me to start with and more than i imagined for years - but given the low pricetag its actually cheaper to do this than attempt a makeshift milking parlor in the barn. and then the barn bay just becomes the cow condo when they need more than the shelter in the pasture for birth, illness, extreme weather, etc..
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CloversMum Posted - Mar 17 2016 : 08:30:24 AM
I love your red hose ... Reminds me of my yellow wheelbarrow. The things we enjoy now for Christmas gifts and the joy they bring on a daily basis! Good thing our hubbies know us so well!
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 16 2016 : 4:26:45 PM
janet, it is just so true - isn't it. everything we eat, drink, wear, apply, use - is it safe? and 98% of it isn't. sad world.
NellieBelle Posted - Mar 16 2016 : 1:42:45 PM
I learned that you have to watch for lead free faucets. I will be making sure my faucets for the parlor are lead free. Seems like a person is always having to be on guard. Wouldn't it be nice to know things were safe to begin with and not the other way around?
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 16 2016 : 12:34:16 PM
well they have to maintain a "sterile" environment you know, both literally and figuratively i suppose... i find that not only do pink farmgirl buckets keep me happy, but they NEVER disappear around the farm. the boys don't touch them ;> so i now have pink buckets in almost every size and shape.

i have to do something different for my sink faucets as they are deck mounted and not wall mounted. will cross that bridge when i get there.
maryjane Posted - Mar 16 2016 : 05:36:06 AM
That's a nice faucet, Cindy. Love the look of the galvanized tin.

I was checking out the faucet set-up at WSU recently and coveting it.

But, they don't have anything on your pink bucket and red "Christmas" hose. Happy and bright. Love it.
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 15 2016 : 3:48:14 PM
charlene, isn't it amazing how happy a utility faucet can make one?
CloversMum Posted - Mar 15 2016 : 2:29:16 PM
Your progress just keeps plugging along, Cindy, and looks great.
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 14 2016 : 11:10:14 AM
sydney, that is a fantastic idea! especially if you can target using inexpensive materials (reuse, reduce, recycle). frugality is a positive exercise in my book, especially on the farm where every little thing seems to add up.
NellieBelle Posted - Mar 14 2016 : 09:17:41 AM
Looking good Cindy. I love it!
Sydney2015 Posted - Mar 14 2016 : 08:09:27 AM
It looks like your parlor is coming along very nicely! I do believe we will be building one this summer, I am going to turn the parlor into a 4-H project!
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 13 2016 : 7:05:59 PM
well, milking parlor improvements are a welcome surprise ! lover boy managed to get the plumbing to one end of the parlor hooked up. this isn't the sink area, its the end of the "grooming" section. we got these cool moen faucets that have both hot and cold (you know, hot water is all the rage this century) and are meant to hold a bucket over the spout AND has a hose thread on the end of the faucet. farmgirl happy dance. it has the extra support for the spout so that the weight of the bucket doesn't sacrifice the integrity of the faucet installation.


i realized after this that i installed my stainless shelf on the wrong side of the wall. i should have swapped it with the tool holders, so that the shelf is over the faucet, then the broom holders and such to the left of it so they don't get in the way of the faucet. rectifying this episode of poor judgement is just a few kind words to lover boy and he'll be out there in a flash to fix it up. but no rush, it is functional for now and will wait for another day.

we also put a regular hose faucet underneath this towards the ground, for freezing weather we can open it up if we want. and this way if we want to use the upper faucet for one thing and keep a hose connected to the bottom we can. but with the hose threads on the true faucet, warm or hot water via a hose is only a moment away .

progress feels good.

oh, and that red hose? a christmas gift from lover boy, no joke. its some "super duper never kink max supposed to be most amazing hose in the world" thing that i had to have after seeing in a big box store last winter. so he got me two for christmas, and believe me this farmgirl has no complaints over practical gifts like this. he got me two. its 3/4" and super thick and tough and heavy. and the first time i used it, it kinked. no joke. HA! but i pulled the kink right out and it appears fine.
CloversMum Posted - Mar 04 2016 : 1:24:20 PM
I keep imagining all the laughter, good times, and memories that will occur in this outside kitchen of yours, Cindy. What fun.
Sydney2015 Posted - Mar 03 2016 : 06:56:51 AM
Wow Cindy! What you are doing is amazing, my grandma would love to have a kitchen like that, for corn, sauerkraut, making jam, doing just about everything! We are hoping to do something sort of like that with our parlor(if we get one).
NellieBelle Posted - Mar 03 2016 : 04:21:28 AM
Looks like you are coming along with your summer kitchen Cindy. You will sure have many hours of enjoyment with family and friends. Thanks for sharing.
CloversMum Posted - Mar 02 2016 : 7:40:29 PM
This looks fantastic!
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 02 2016 : 4:38:46 PM
the summer kitchen attached to the milking parlor moves along. we got the dishwasher placed next to the stainless area, but we are going to raise up the height with a toekick similar to the stainless work area. we also got the stove/oven in place and working. and five stools... in place for five nieces for the reunion in may! we'll be adding wood countertops in late april or early may, once all the plumbing and electrical is done.

txbikergirl Posted - Mar 02 2016 : 4:34:05 PM
here's the one wall we have built in our milking parlor, lover boy got the shelf up to organize stuff. my goal is "nothing on the floor" if possible, unless it rolls around like the milking trolley carts.

the shelf is another IKEA product, a 4' version of their kitchen shelf. easily hoses down and keeps everything clean. its "grundtal" a stainless steel shelf, but not solid metal - stainless bars that create a shelf so anything can drip dry if needed. the bottom single rail is a separate product called a "grundtal rail" and S hooks; we just screwed them both together using the same screw holes, but they are separate products.
Sydney2015 Posted - Feb 08 2016 : 8:30:32 PM
Wow! So great to find everything you want/need for your kitchen! Last year we really started pushing for some landscaping(our yard looks terrible) we finally got some cement last year, also a small rock wall with steps going down it. We just need everything else. Also, we haven't even started planning for our (hopefully) new barn.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 08 2016 : 7:53:56 PM
Fantastic find! This looks fabulous!! What fun times and memories you'll be able to have in your outside kitchen and farm at the Firefly Hollow Farm! I think you should plan a HJO cow party down in Texas!! :)
maryjane Posted - Feb 08 2016 : 5:02:04 PM
I'm jealous. What a great find.
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 08 2016 : 4:58:05 PM
lover boy just made a deal to buy this commercial double oven, six burner stove and griddle for the summer kitchen. used, of course. already on propane which is what we need. we will be headed up to dallas saturday morning after milking miss sally to pick it up.

other than the countertop we now have every piece for the summer kitchen. all paid for. feels good.
txbikergirl Posted - Jan 24 2016 : 5:54:10 PM
hi charlene, i got them from amazon. i am going to start a milking parlor supply thread right now so we can all share any of our stuff in that so it doesn't get lost in the construction part... so look for towel info posted there shortly ;>
maryjane Posted - Jan 23 2016 : 5:25:49 PM
Nice set of teats on that super-duper purdy Sallygal, Cindy:)
CloversMum Posted - Jan 23 2016 : 10:27:54 AM
Cindy, where did you get all your towels?
CloversMum Posted - Jan 23 2016 : 10:27:10 AM
Cindy, you did it again! Love that idea! I'm ordering a couple for our dairy barn ... this is perfect and everything stays so much cleaner. LOVE IT. And that chair is on my Amazon wish list ...

Sally is looking beautiful.