I haven’t posted any new blog lately because we are so busy adjusting our mornings routine because we finally purchased our first dairy cow.
Yes, we have a cow now, and her steer calf.
“HoneyCream” (name that the children picked after many arguments) is a 6-years-old Jersey cow. She is a calm old cow but she is big and around 800 lbs (or a bit more). I am a small guy so I have to be careful around her. When she pushes I really have to brace myself and get out of the way!
Kay is meticulous when it comes to sanitization of milking equipment, cow teats and our hands. First we use a brush to dry clean Honeycream’s udder. Then we use shop towels to clean her teats follow by cotton towels with warm water to clean the udder and teats. Finally we use another towel to make sure the udder and teats are dry. Sounds like a lot of preparation but afterall, we are drinking raw milk (our only reason why we are having a cow)
So far the milking has been a lot of work (cow poop is BIG) and it takes about an hour each morning after everything is done. Hopefully as the cow learns her routine and we get more efficient, we can cut it down to half an hour. The amount of milk fluctuates from 2 litres to 7 litres per day.
We have chosen to milk her once a day (morning) and leave the calf with her for the rest of the day until 20:00 when we separate the calf and the cow. That would allow us to have more milk in the morning.
Another challenge is to train the calf to be accustomed to halter and lead rope. Hopefully the girls, being veteran lamb shower, can apply some of their skills in training the calf.
|This is Honeycream, our Jersey cow.|
|This is her calf.|
|We now have a cow, a calf and 2 sheep.|
|To milk a cow, first pinch the top of the teats with your thumb and index finger. Then squeeze with the rest of your fingers.|
|It is tiring at first but with 3 people milking it is not that bad.|
|1 gallon of milk beside our milk can.|
|The milking pail.|
|Filtering the milk. Sometimes we have to filter twice because it is pretty dirty.|
|See how dirty the milk is before filtering? Dirt, hair, grass can all get in during milking.|
|A good day of milking would give us 7 litres.|
|Our hard working mama. Cleaning all the pails and towels every morning.|