How to Make a Mock Cow Milking Station

cow. cow in farm/field image by L. Shat from

Things You'll Need

  • 8 boards, two by four inches wide by 6 feet long
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Box of three inch nails
  • Hammer
  • 2 buckets, five-gallon with lids
  • 10 gallons of sand
  • Dairy cow, black and white fiberglass full size statue
  • Straw, three bales
  • Milk pail, stainless steel
  • Milking stool, three legged

The mock cow milking station serves as a visual representation of the dairy farming way of life universally accepted throughout the world. Agricultural exhibitions often use the mock cow milking stations for educational purposes to teach individuals about the process of milking a cow without the use of a real cow or dairy barn. The Future Farmers of America and 4-H clubs can use this exhibit during fund raisers and livestock shows to add a point of interest to draw in passersby.

Building The Cow Stanchion

Lay two 6-foot boards evenly on the ground running parallel to one another three feet apart. Write the word "top" at one end and "bottom" at the other end on each board. Run a tape measure along the entire length of the boards beginning from top to bottom. Draw marks one foot down and four feet down from the top. These marks will serve as guides for the placement of the cross braces of the cow stanchion.

Measure two of the six-foot boards and find the middle using a tape measure. Draw a line at the center point with a pencil. This mark should be at the three-foot center of the boards. Cut the boards in half using a circular saw.

Place two of the three-foot boards at the one-foot and four-feet marks of the boards lying on the ground. Nail four nails into each board to attach the cross bracing boards to the six-foot boards beneath with a hammer. There should be two nails at each end of the two cross bracing boards. Flip the entire stanchion over and nail the other two cross bracing boards at the one foot and four feet marks mirroring the previously placed cross braces.

An example of a steel cow stanchion.
cow behind fence image by Jeroen de Haan from

Cut two boards four feet long and slide them in vertically between the four cross bracing boards. These boards will act as lockers to hold the fake milk cows head in place while milking. Nail each of the bottoms of these boards in place between the two lower cross bracing boards three inches out from center. The two head locking boards when open should form a "V" shape.

Setting Up The Milk Cow Station

Cut a two inch by four inch hole in the center of each bucket lid. Slide the lids onto each leg of the cow stanchion. Set the legs of the stanchion in the two five-gallon buckets. Fill the buckets with sand holding the stanchion centered in the middle. Slide the bucket lids down the legs and snap them onto the rims of the buckets. Position the stanchion at an angle to the flow of spectator traffic.

An example of square straw bales.
bales of hay image by Mark Grenier from

Place a fake, life size milk cow in the station with the cows head locked in the stanchion. Set up two bales of straw behind the exhibit butting the bales together and then placing a third bale directly over the center of the two bottom bales.

An example of an antique milk pail.
yaourt.. image by Claudio Calcagno from

Set a milk pail beneath the udder of the cow. Place a milking stool on the traffic side of the milk cow positioned as if someone is about to sit down and milk the cow.