Thursday, December 24, 2009

Family Milk Cow

I thought I would share a few thoughts for those interested in taking the plunge. I will probably have to share some pictures too.

The first thing to know is that it is a daily chore and all year round, except the two months she is dry and then you have to be sure she has good pasture and water.

You should have approximately a 305-day lactation with a 60-day dry period. Speaking of dry period, you will have to get her bred, your bull, a friend's bull, or A-I. A-I is getting harder and harder to find a technician. Be sure to have this problem worked out before getting your girl.

Some don't feed grain.....I think that is a serious mistake unless you have some rare breed that can maintain body weight and milk production on grass or hay alone. I feed a limited amount to my cow twice daily.

If you are a complete novice, please consider getting a cow that has already been hand-milked or machine milked if you are doing it that way. So she will have already had a calve or two or more. Mine was 6 years old so she had already had probably 4 calves but her udder was perfect and she was very sound.
Breaking them to milk is not always an easy job and especially if you have never done it before.

Enough for now, will add some more rambling thoughts on breeds and etc. in later posts.

Now here is our Willow. This is her fist calf born on our farm. She is a heifer out of our Black Angus bull. She is getting darker every day and may end up black!

First Picture, one-day old  Willow and Ginger


  1. What an interesting post! How could you not fall in love with your cows. I love the name Willow.


  2. Thanks! I'm definitely looking forward to more cow posts!

  3. I LOVE this post. It was so nostalgic. When I was a little girl, I would get up at the crack of dawn every day with my daddy and go out to milk the cow (Lady). Then we'd come back in and he'd let me turn the crank on the cream separator (which I still have as a plant stand in my garden). Afterwards we'd go back to the house and have corn flakes with fresh, warm cream on them. Yum. It's a wonder I didn't weigh a ton. I loved growing up on the farm and had such an idyllic childhood. Thanks for reminding me of it.