Well, after 3 1/2 months of milking, I decided to sell the cow and calf. Our current family schedule just doesn’t accommodate the demand of owning a family cow.
In the morning I have to spend 40 minutes to milk, feed and clean. Then another 20 minutes in the evening to feed and clean. Kay has to spend at least 60 minutes to filter the milk, make kefir and wash all the milking equipment. Each milking require a minimum of 3 persons at the barn. All in all, it takes a lot of time and effort to get just a couple liters of raw milk a day.
However, we will still look for a family cow some day, may be in the spring. Lessons learned:
- Don’t rush and buy a cow. Take your time and look for one that fits all your requirement. For our next cow, we want a A2A2 cow under 4 years old.
- Smaller cow is preferred. The one we had consumes at least 1 square bale of hay every day. Next time, we would choose high quality milk (A2A2) of lesser quantity over abundance of lower quality one.
- Owning a family cow is a chore! Expect to spend 1 hour a day to take care of your cow. That is if you want to keep a clean and comfortable living/milking area for the animal.
- A cow is a big animal. In order to handle a cow safely, a halter with leading rope is a must.
- A water bucket with heating element is a must if you intend to keep the cow (or any animal) during winter.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience for all of us to be able to hand milk and drink fresh raw milk.