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Milk For Days

August 17, 2014
Good morning Jane

Good morning Jane

Now my days are book-ended with milking.  Milk for days?  Yes, for the next 275 days or so, I’ll be milking twice a day.  TAD.  Signing up for a family cow means I have a responsibility to milk that cow on a regular schedule for about 9 months a year.  Every. Single. Day. On. Time.

Nadine Jessie

Nadine Jessie

I can neglect dead-heading my dahlias.

weedy headland 8-16-2014

weedy headland 8-16-2014

Or weed the garden headlands any time of the day, or any day of the week.   The weeds or the dahlias don’t care, but the cow does.

Lunch time

Lunch time

And the calves do.

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

 

 

 

100_8723
So this third lactation for Jane is going well, ten days in and we’re settling into a routine.  At age four, Jane is mature, predictable, and more healthy than ever.  Jane’s shy quarter milks a little slow, so I work on it first to give it more time to properly drain down.  The calves get fresh milk (via nipple bucket morning and night) and reheated hand skimmed (means I left some cream behind) for lunch.  And, drum roll…butter has been churning out of the farm kitchen.  Got to harvest that sunshine while I can.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily Summer permalink
    August 17, 2014 6:04 pm

    Beautiful garden! How lovely to have all that fresh raw milk. How I envy you.

  2. CassieOz permalink
    August 17, 2014 6:46 pm

    I just love to watch an expert milk. Wonderful to see! I’m a little jealous as Morag is ‘weaning’ DH and we’re down to 7L OAD. She’s due to be dried up in about three weeks anyway but I miss milking terribly.

    • August 17, 2014 8:24 pm

      I like milking, she’s a dream to milk too.

      I bet Morag is missing you 😦 But I bet she wants some rest too. “Mom, get all healed up so you can milk!”

  3. Carrie permalink
    August 18, 2014 1:27 am

    I’ll second the comment about watching an expert milk – done with such skill that it looks easy… Until you try it yourself and find otherwise.

    Also you make an important point about responsibility and duty of care, and the commitment that entails 24/7, 365. And it matters not whether it’s a milk cow, a couple of hens in the back garden, or the children’s pet rabbit.

    • August 18, 2014 8:53 am

      Carrie, I think I could milk in my sleep, Jane’s making it easy for me though, she’s an easy milker.

  4. Mich permalink
    August 18, 2014 2:52 am

    Glad that Jane is well 🙂
    Fresh milk & mmm fresh made butter. Bliss.
    Worth the daily bovine & milk bucket appointments 🙂

  5. August 18, 2014 6:15 am

    Hello Nita. It’s wonderful to see Jane has safely delivered another fine calf. And all that creamy milk!I know you’re happy, I can feel it in your words, I hope you’re well too. xx

  6. August 18, 2014 8:02 am

    love to think that jane is so well and happy.

  7. Bee permalink
    August 18, 2014 8:32 am

    Nita, I’m curious — why the TAD schedule? Since I’ve been doing OAD, I would never go back to a TAD schedule unless forced to. Is Jane too heavy a producer for OAD?

    • August 18, 2014 8:50 am

      Bee, yep, I would rather not, but she’s breaching the 7 gallon mark right now, and she’s got some scar tissue that seems to bother her when the calf gets large enough to really pick her up (4 months or so) so no four legged relief milker for me with this cow. She’s persistent too, last spring when the grass greened up she up her production by a gallon in a week, when I was trying to dry her off. I suppose I could lock her up and feed her hay, but that kind of defeats my purpose of having her graze as much as possible. Plus I hate feeding hay in the summer 😦

  8. Kristin permalink
    August 18, 2014 8:48 am

    I assume the calves also get whole milk again in the evening? I’ve toyed with the idea of feeding skim at times.

    • August 18, 2014 9:00 am

      Kristin, yep morning and night. I milk out a gallon+ and that goes to them and then I finish up. It’s just less work that way to handle the milk as little as possible. She’s producing so much I would need another bucket to carry it all in and then just carry it back out. Feeding skim at lunch gives me a little more cream, and it’s not like they are only getting blue milk.

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