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I have squarish cattle paddocks, need to build chutes/milking stations within

Posts: 261
Location: Central Virginia, Zone 7.
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All my cow areas are 4-sided with wood fencing.  No chute, no place to put the cow so I can milk.  Most have a run-in shed in the middle.

My veterinarian says I should have a chute if I have cattle (it's obvious SHE wants me to have a chute!), and I would like to resume milking friendly cows, an activity I stopped when I moved here 10+ years ago.

Anyone here have a simple setup for a chute?  I never had one, don't know what they look like.

Milking stanchion:  What I want to do, is simply drive four poles into the ground, then add a couple horizontal lumber pieces on 3 sides.  Food bowl on the closed end, cow walks in, eats, and ignores me while I reach in and try to get to 2nd base with her.  I have one cow that I know will ignore my existence the entire time as long as she has unlimited oats.  The others ... may need some encouragement to stand still.

My friendly cows never needed a head gate, is that 'standard' equipment?

I can also use the stanchion to keep the mom busy while I try to get the calves to like people, petting or even a bottle.

I'm off soon to Google, wanted to ask here first.  Thanks!

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Location: Beavercreek, OR
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Sounds fun!

I am still building a chute ...I consider it bad advice when I got started 4 years ago that I didn't need a chute or a squeeze.  True, they aren't as necessary as a water trough or a fence but there are times when they really help, and even if its once a year, the safety it introduces is significant.

For all things chute, Temple Grandin is the person to listen to.  She has a bunch of designs for large operations ... I have a herd of 8 so I was pleased when I found this presentation: https://www.hobbyfarms.com/corral-cattle-herd-build-temple-grandin/  I'm still building mine so I don't have any learned comments, although I am making a Y split in he curve with one path leading to a squeeze (and back to the holding alley) and one leading to a loading ramp.

As for a squeeze, new metal ones are really expensive and they all seem built to handle rodeo bulls all day long.  I went with a simple headgate instead - still steel.  My cattle are quite chill.... we'll hope that is enough.

Generally milking parlors have smooth, hard floors for cleaning and such.  But if you're outside that may be less of an issue.  I think you are still at greater risk of contaminating the milk, but you can perform your own risk assessment.  Its easy to make a little wooden headgate - you want to encourage the cow to hang out and get treats, and you're not imprisoning her.  You will need a significant excluder fence/bumper to keep the cows from cheating!
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