This is my current "milking station". No stanchion, but instead a tree. No nicely organized cabinet for me to keep clean washcloths, disinfectants, and bag balm in, but instead having to take it in and out of the house with me each time I need it. No floor mats or concrete slab to stand on, but instead, the ground with dust and hay and manure. Hobbles are used to keep her hind end from wandering around too much (which she really doesn't mind them at all, but she knows when she doesn't have them on and takes advantage).
BUT...I am able to get nutrient dense, raw milk for my family. And, we are that much more self-sustained. And that tree? It provides cool shade, while the birds serandade us as we quietly go about our work. I enjoy the sound of the milk spraying into the can as well as watching it froth as we fall into our rythm. My heart fills with gratitude for our milk cow for providing for our family.
If I had waited until I had the perfect set up to dive into this area of my homesteading journey, I would have been waiting a long time.
Sometimes you just have to take the leap of faith. This adventure has been FULL of the unexpected. I had not planned on getting a milk cow until this Spring. But in the Fall, we received an unexcpected offer from a neighbor...a bred heifer at a great price. We didn't even know where we were going to put her! But you know what? It just somehow works out. We were told she was due to calve the end of February. Guess who show up February 2nd? We had planned on having our disease tests done prior to her calving (but that didn't happen because of her early, unexpected calving). Being green, my world was turned upside down with the arrival of the calf...let me just say, beef cattle are very different from Jersey's.
But through it all, I have learned and grown so much. And that is where I find my joy...in the "stretch". This is the best unplanned thing that has happened to us in a long time.
Added bonus, we no longer have to make a 120 mile round trip trek to town just to get milk.