When I started with the hopes of one day owning a raw dairy, I had an image in my mind of how the milk parlor would/should be set up. However, it actually wasn’t until I started milking and processing raw milk, did I really figure out what worked for me. While I grew up in the country and was always around cattle, never had I stepped foot into a small working dairy. There was a few pictures online that help give me some inspiration but nothing that really worked with what I already had.
Originally, our barn was designed and built for miniature show horses. So the stalls and set up is a bit, well, miniature. But I was determined to make it work, with minimal expense, a few minor adjustments and an addition of a clean processing room.
During the years I have been milking I have made friends with many other raw dairy owners and each of their set up is different. One of them uses a small 10×10 home depot shed with open doors on each side and another friend has her parlor in the main cavity of the barn. Because my barn is down hill (which means uphill on the way back) and further away from the house, I chose add a clean room to process and store my milk. (Not that I couldn’t carry the milk and buckets up to the house, but most of the time my hands are filled with small children). I knew I would need to add a refrigerator in the barn but because we live in Idaho and have temperatures drop down into the negatives during winter, my milk room would have to be insulated in order for the refrigerator to work properly. And if I wanted to run water in my room, then I would need a heater to keeps the pipes from freezing. I choose a small in-wall mounted heater, that I can turn on and off. You cant see it in the video but it is mounted under the counter top.
Hot water was a must in the processing room. Because my milk was to be sold to other families, maintaining a sanitary environment was crucial (and besides I have way to many dishes in the house to be bringing in milking buckets and filters up twice a day). I opted for a cheap 6 gallon water heater. This gives me just enough hot water to wash my hands and my equipment. It doesn’t sound like a lot of water but I have yet to run out of hot water when I need it. The water heater fit just perfectly in the cupboard under the sink.
We had one of our farm workers help build the milking parlor and processing room. It took him about 3 weeks and cost roughly $4000.00.
I have recieved multiple questions regarding the set up of my milking parlor and my processing room, so I went ahead and made a Youtube video. You can check it out here….
Also I would love to answer any questions you may have.