I left behind a cooler full of beef, which we had in surplus … the lady who posted this milking machine said it was in her barn when she moved in, and the barn needs to come down (oh, yes, it most definitely does) but the equipment ought to be put to good use if someone could get it cleaned up.
I went for the milker – which is a Surge bucket milker (top picture), complete with the claw, the pulsator, surcingle, and (most importantly) the vacuum pump (bottom left). I had been looking into setting one up – a friend had a bucket I could have, but I needed to buy a pump and the shells and claw (and possibly the pulsator), which was going to be about $300, near as I could figure. So I started looking for a full-meal-deal kind of thing, and found this!
The head catches (bottom right) were in the barn and the lady said if I could use them please take them … so we got them unhooked and here they are! A can of Tremclad will deal with the rust and then I’ll install one of them in Sasha’s milking stanchion. They work by trapping the cow by the neck, bascially: it opens (the one on the right is open) and the cow puts her head through to get to the food you’ve set on the other side, then you latch it shut and she can’t back out because her head is wider than her neck – but the opening is plenty wide enough to keep her head through comfortably.
Sasha is pretty good without the catch, but it’s going to be very useful for training milk cows. It’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to buy, but having it is sure nice!
The milker cleaned up very nicely … I need to get air and milk hoses, and new insertions for the teat cups but that should be about it. The vacuum pump is really dirty (and too heavy for me to lift out of the car by myself, so I need to wait for The Boy to get home so we can unload it) and needs a bit of work and probably a new belt, but the lady said it had worked the last time she powered it up so we shall see.
I’m off to do some research!