Major Farm's Cascade Yoking Systems, formerly produced by Vermont Shepherd, are now manufactured by Little Mountain Steel Fabricating
All parlors are now galvanized.
Dairy Goat & Sheep Headgates - Cascade Yoking Systems
- For Feeding and Holding Dairy Goats and Sheep
- Welded Steel Construction
- Simple Self-locking Design
- Saves Hours of Labor
- Platform, Ramps, and Gate also available
- Custom Designed to fit any size milking parlor
PLEASE NOTE: Make sure to consult your state milking inspector before building a portable milking parlor. Below is one of our customer's implementation of a portable milking parlor.
About Our Cascade Yoking Systems
Major Farm's Cascade Yoking System was designed by a sheep dairy farmer in England. When we began our sheep dairy in 1987, we were looking for simple, durable, fool-proof stanchions for holding sheep during milking. Since none were manufactured in the U.S.A., we contacted a number of European headgate companies and, out of all the designs, this one was best.
Other headgates are manufactured with only a single bar to prevent the does or ewes from entering a wrong gate, and this is often insufficient. Our headgates are designed so the does/ewes are prevented from entering a wrong gate by a solid blockade. Because of its excellent design, Major Farm Yoking Systems can save hours of labor and make it possible for one person to handle a milking herd easily.
We built our first headgate in 1987 for our own use. It has withstood years of rugged use. (We milk 80-90 sheep at a time for six months of the year.) The only maintenance it has required is an annual oiling of the bearings.
We are proud to say that we have had only praise from our customers.
How does our system work?
Imagine that the headgate is a ladder lying on the ground. Behind each square of the ladder is a bucket of grain (or a trough of grain). When the does/ewes come into the milking parlor, they try to put their head down into the "ladder" so they can eat the grain in the bucket or trough on the other side. Goats and sheep will inevitably try to eat grain at the first head unit they come to. This system is designed so the first doe/ewe has to walk to the end of the stanchion, "ladder", to get the grain.
When the doe/ewe puts her head down, she automatically opens the second-to-last head unit; she also locks herself into the yoking system. This enables the next doe/ewe in line to put her head in the second-to-last unit, which opens the third-to-last head unit, and so on. After milking is completed, one simple lever releases all the animals at once. By putting the lever back down, the yoking system is reset and ready to receive the next group of animals.
Both sheep and goats learn how to use the headgates within one to two weeks.