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Does anyone have a milk cow?

Lisa in GA

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Wow! Now that is one awesome present. Jersey's typically produce lots of cream. Mmmmm... besides great tasting milk, just think of all the fresh butter you can make. And buttermilk for cornbread, and sour cream cakes, and ice cream and.... well enough of that...


(poor granny, no BIG packages under her tree that might be one of those!! cry)




Very excited too and happy for you Lisa. Keep us posted. I'll try not to be too envious. bighug





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Wow, Merry Christmas, Lisa. I began milking a dwarf goat this past August. It's so great to have your own milk.


If you don't get any response in our Pioneer forum, try the question down in Country Homesteading forum.



Have fun



Oops, I see you already did! laugh


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Thought everyone could use a good laugh (copied from my blog)


Yesterday, milking looked like something out of a comedy. First, I stepped in cow poop, squish. Then the cow kicked the bucket, splash. As I tried to save my precious milk so it went all over my pants, splat. Needless to say I only got a little milk, and returned home with milk and you know what all over me.


Today, my daughter Sierra (12) wanted to go help. I woke her at 5:30a.m. and we bundled up for the barn. Sierra was learning to milk the goats when they were producing, but hadn't quite mastered it. I went to the barn prepared for another day like yesterday but it did not happen.


Sierra started to milk one side and I did the other. I also added beet pulp to the cow feed and that slowed my piggy cow down a bit too. We milked for a while and then stopped to empty the milk into quart jars. Then milked some more. Much better. I was so worried about losing the milk like yesterday, but Maybelline was a real trooper. Sierra got much better ar milking by the end. Not one kick from Maybelline the cow, almost a gallon of sweet, creamy milk and no one fell in cow poop. Woo-hoo!



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LOL Lisa! But you're getting it. Good for your daughter!!! It's great to have a back-up milker that the animal is used to. cheer




I had a wild time yesterday. My dear goat has one evil leg that just *has* to reach up and try to pry my hand off the teat. So that leg just routinely gets tied. She doesn't set up any fuss about it being tied. But then she will have at least one occasion to shake it at me during any milking session. Just cuz...y'know.


Well yesterday I had her up in the milking stand and all was well and I was enjoying it, as is usual now. I was nearly done when goat began to cough-choke. eek I quickly moved milking bowl to a shelf and released Chanel's head from the stand's locking stanchion. Then all heck broke loose twister cuz...... brickwall I'd forgotten to untie the foot. She immediately jumps down and heads for the door......dragging the milking stand behind her with a LOUD scrrrriiiitching noise across the cement. Which scared the goat, who pulled harder but she'd already wedged the milking stand in as far as it was able to move. My muddled brain finally coaxed my body into leaping forward to grab that evil leg and hold it fast while I untied it. Goat calmed down while I untied and...well, that THING was no longer roaring after her. laughrollingeyes And she was no longer coughing. I have to admit that it's happened to me and also to DH before when we first began tying the leg. But then we wised up. Untie leg FIRST! But this was extenuating circumstances.....that's my story and I'm sticking with it! laughkick




MtRider [milking is a peaceful, serene activity.......... yesno ......sometimes ]

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Congratulations Lisa. I'm envious. We have had milk cows in the past and really enjoyed the milk and all the products you can make from it. Like Mt_R. we have nigerian goats now.


All of our kids could milk though DH never learned, being mostly at work when milking was done. My WORST milking time was when the cow got sprayed by a skunk. EWWWWW. My son stayed home from school to help with the milking for several days while we tried to get the smell off the cow. We couldn't get the smell off our hands either and it was just awful. Did you ever try washing a cow with tomato juice, hydrogen proxide and etc.?


Not only was it awful, but you should have seen me trying to explain to the school why our son wouldn't be there for a couple of days. rofl


The last cow we had was a Jersey/gurnsey cross and she gave over five gallons a day. (more when first fresh) That's a LOT of milk but it raised a lot of kids, pigs, chickens, ducks, and etc. I miss the cream for making butter. Our goats give cream but it just doesn't separate well and not enough there to bother with a separater.


Great gift, Lisa. Thanks for sharing. I think I'll put one on MY list for next year. LOL.



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We have a couple of lamancha goats and milked one for several months. She was a chronic cougher about halfway through every milking and also would kick the bucket atleast once each time. I did enjoy milking her just couldn't get enough to feed our bunch of kids and do all the things I wanted to with the milk. Our cow is too skinny and still run down because the people we got her from did not feed her anything but hay thru out her pregnancy. We are working toward fattening her up and then expect to get more milk. Right now I am getting taking about a gallon each morning and leaving the calf with her the rest of the time. I expect to start milking twice a day tomorrow and then we will gradually increase the amount we take at each milking. Since we have 10 kids still at home, the more milk the better but it is still a great blessing.

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I grew up on a dairy farm--well, until I was 15, and while I prolly didn't pay attention to everything, I remember that heifers got hay and some silage and when ready to be bred, they were moved to the lot with the cows and were fed silage. Milking cows also got grain while in the stanchions in the milking parlor. Maybe she needs wormed?


Homesteading Today has a cattle forum: http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/forumdisplay.php?f=28

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I took a specimen to the vet yesterday, but he said no sign of worms. He told me to increase the all grain, and decrease the sweet feed. We already have good quality round bale hay in the field for her to eat all she wants. My vet is going to come take a look at her next week just to make sure I am not missing anything, but she seems happy and eating well. I really think she just didn't have enough to eat where she was before we got her.

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I have a question about having a milk cow - If you let your cow have a calf, and you don't need, can't sell, etc 5-6 gal of milk per day, can you let the calf stay with the cow and only milk say a gal a day from her? Could you milk her once a day like that or would it still be better to milk her twice a day?

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Basically you can do either of those things. It would be best to milk her dry when you do milk though. The main thing is not to get the cow built up and then not milk her on some sort of regular schedule. Milk animals regulate production by demand and somewhat to the amount of feed, up to a certain point. An animal is able to produce only so much but will quickly go down in supply if the milk is not taken.


With our goats, we take the kids away at night and milk the does in the morning before putting them back with mom's during the day. That way we don't have to milk at night. When I fell recently we just turned the kids in full time with the does so I didn't have to worry about them being overly full or the milk supply being lost. When we do wean them we could continue to milk only once a day but they may go down in their quantity. If we milk twice a day, which we probably will if I can handle it, it will take a while for them to build their supply for only twice a day instead of several dozen times a day. Eventually though they will reach a maximine amount.



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Mother, I've had one problem with my new baby goat that I haven't been able to solve. I wanted to pull her from her momma at night too, but she's the only baby goat that I have. I was reading at Fiasco farms (great source) and they were suggesting the same thing you mentioned to milk once a day. However, they said the way it worked so well was that 'all' the kids kept each other company. Since I only have the one kid, I've been trying to figure out what to do.



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Stephanie, you can take that baby away at night and you WILL have a bunch of blatting for quite a while, both from mother and baby but it won't hurt the little one.


If possible, though, house her next to but not with the doe so she can see mom but not nurse. Dividing their night time sleeping area is one way. Another is to put the little one in a big dog crate right in the pen with the mom. Company but not nursing. Give her some grain, water, and maybe some hay to keep her occupied and not hungry or thirsty.


Another way would be to put her near your weathers so she'd at least have some company.


Where there's a will, there's a way. Good luck with it. grin



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I've had good luck with my twins in the dog crate at night. Now everyone loves to sleep & play on the "top bunk" [top of the solid plastic crate] and the twins are lured inside at about 9pm each nite by a fresh batch of hay. I began putting them in there within a week or so and it wasn't a problem but, there are TWO of them. They've learned to grab one last sip before going in to bed. Mine are old enough to wean [born in Aug] but....they are doing me the favor of keeping up the milk. I'm not really well enough to milk at night too. Then too, I don't have an area to keep them while weaning....unless I put them in with the ducks. duck




MtRider [not as much milk but.....this tired old disabled body IS milking!!! Works for me! star ]

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I am penning the cow and calf in separate but adjoining stalls at night in the barn. The cow can see her baby and touch him with her nose, but cannot nurse him. I feed the cow and milk her first thing in the morning, taking about a gallon and then turn them out for the day together. so far it is working well for us.

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