Has anyone here used the Premier1 milking stanchion with dairy sheep? I have a mix of ewes of different sizes including two very large high percentage east friesians. I’m wondering how the stanchion has worked for the bigger girls.
No sheep, just goats -- full sized ones. But I made my milk stanchion. Not so pricey😁. That said, many of my girls will just stand tied, not using a stand. The stand is nice for the milker, to raise all the working parts while you sit. 👍
Regardless of what you use, I find having special quality hay there mandatory. Once mine eat their grain, if I'm not done milking, they're done providing without the feed! 🤣
We had 2 Premier type folding milking stanchions for our boys when they were showing their dairy goat herd. We used them at shows and Fairs. I kept one when the boys sold off their 4-H herds (100 goats left our ranch that day going to the same buyer). The milking stands are great - they are portable, heavy - have to be to not tip, but they are not huge. They handled our large Nubian does as well as mature bucks for hoof trimming. I use the portable stanchion if I have to shear (hardly ever since we switched our sheep flock to white Dorpers).
Having said that, if you don't have a need for a portable stand I would build one. The costs to build a larger and sturdier stand would be cheaper. particularly when you consider shipping costs, if any. There are plenty of design plans online with instructions and measurements. For your large breed sheep you could consider increasing the measurements by a couple inches - not too many because having a milking stanchion that is too large is a strain in the back and arms. Remember that the heavy fleece makes the animal appear larger than it really is. When sitting to milk you want to be able to rest your head against the animal's flank for support and to help keep her steady.
My husband built a double stanchion for our barn. It had a connecting seat for the milker to sit on. They were made with 4x4s, 2x4s and plywood. Super sturdy and heavy - we seldom moved them, they never tipped, and were totally safe. Then as the herd grew and we were began milking up to 20 twice a day, we bought a milking machine, and he added another double stanchion in the same pattern. We could put 4 animals into the stanchions at one time. It made milking time before school go a lot faster.