Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Controlling the Calf

The first step was putting a halter on him.

I am trying a new technique with my milking and the rambunctious calf. First I am milking more often to get her more used to me and secondly to stockpile some milk for cheese making.

I have just been milking three times a week and since I found she has been holding up her milk and cream on me, I have been letting the calf nurse on one side while I milk on the other. Now I get as much in half as I was getting in all four quarters before.
From October 2010
We finally got a halter on him. Doesn't he look stubborn in this picture? He is.

I first tried to let him nurse about half and then shove him back into the pen behind hers. Ever try pushing a 3-month old stubborn calf anywhere....it doesn't work. Called in help and we got him in there.

I finished milking; no problems.

So this morning (Monday) I thought we would put him in there first; hoping she would look right at him and let her milk down for just me. I think it worked great except I almost filled the three gallon pail and I just gave out so I let the calf out to strip her out. I will know more about the cream when I bottle the milk in the morning.

We had to buy another container for holding the milk. I just use the cheap granite-wear from Wal-Mart. It works great and has a lid. I think it is labeled stock pot.

Both calves get to nurse at night so they are really getting all that is required. A calf just needs a gallon a day and both are eating grain and a little hay. I don't want anyone to think I am mean.

I don't' know if I will milk this morning or not. I will bottle the milk first and see where I stand on supply for cheese. I will skim off the cream to see if Mrs.Stubborn Cow (willow) has held out on me or not.

More to follow.


  1. That calf looks so cute standing there with his halter on. He also looks really mischievious. I love your stories of life on the farm.

  2. He does look cute, but I can imagine trying to "corral" him to milk! I nursed so that's the extent I know about milking. Used to beg to milk at my aunts' but never could get much out! I do know I like the butter, cream and cheese part!ha ha Love my visits here and so glad I can just turn on the computer and see what's going on at your farm! The apple butter and cider recipes are still stuck in my head this morning, just from peelings you have more food to put away. I'm thinking you need to take all these journals and write a book! Have a great day Glenda!

  3. Okay, over at Ilene's she's the 'rock whisperer'. I hereby dub you the 'cow whisperer', Glenda. You are figuring out Mrs. Stubborn Cow and those calves' wily ways. If you ever make a label for your dairy delights, you might want to use that pic of the haltered calf. I can see the label now: Happy cows? Try ornery instead! LOL

  4. Ornery was the word that sprang into my thoughts the moment I saw the picture of that Calf. Have you named him yet? He looks like he's just daring you to try to make him do anything he doesn't want to.

    He certainly doesn't look like he isn't getting fed well, so, no, I don't think anyone will think you're being mean.

    Growing up, I had a girlfriend that her daddy called "Bullcalf" because she was so stubborn.

    He'll make an impressive bull.