Sunday, October 26, 2014

Our Very Own Milking Cow

These photos of 'Smokey' were taken when he was a few hours old. He's such a dear little thing! 
For almost a week now we've been enjoying our very own milk, fresh from our Jersey cross cow. It's our first time owning a milking cow, and Missy Moo's very first calf too. We raised Missy on a bottle from 3 days old, so we're quite attached to her and have been anticipating the arrival of her first baby for quite some time! It seems a little surreal that we are producing our own milk. It's something we've been discussing and dreaming about for years. And now it's finally happening! The speed at which we are able to milk is increasing every day, as Missy is getting used to the routine and we're getting used to this milking business.

We've yet to make cheese from our milk, but I am trying my hand at creme fraiche and will try yoghurt too.


What's happening in your part of the world? Are you trying your hand at anything new?
I'm off to make a pizza for lunch and a batch of jam.

I hope your weekend is wonderful


  1. Oh wow. How exciting. Owning a milking cow is on my wish list.
    Do you shut her calf out of a night and milk her of a morning?

    1. Hi Zara,
      Everyone told us we would have to take the calf away at night, but we really didn't want to (we're a bit soft I guess :-) ). So we tried milking her with the calf on 24/7, and so far it is going really well. We started off getting 4 litres a day, and after nearly a week we're getting around 6 a day (we milk twice a day). Her milk supply has been increasing as the calf takes more, and also we've gotten much better at milking and thus can milk her properly :-).
      Our logic to not removing the calf was this - most people milk the cow in the morning, and then let the calf out and it has a feed. The cow is giving enough milk for you and the calf. By not taking the baby away overnight, we figured that she'll still be making the same amount of milk, but the calf will simply be having his drink before milking rather than after; obviously the calf isn't going to drink more milk just because we want to milk the cow afterwards. And so far it's working really well. We have been told that we'll need to take him away overnight when he's older as he drinks more, but I guess we'll wait and see :-)

      Hope this isn't too confusing and answers your questions!
      Sarah x

      PS A friend also leaves the calf with the cow 24/7 and milks once a day at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I'm not sure how much milk they get, but they have six children so I image they'd need quite a bit :-)

  2. Amazing Sarah! We have often talked about getting a milking cow or goat but up to this point it has only been talk! I admire your commitment as I know milking a cow regularly requires dedication. Both cow and calf look very content...happy milking x

    1. I absolutely love milking Jane, it's so peaceful and rewarding. As you know we try to produce as much of our own food as possible here, and so far milk seems to be one of the easier things to supply! xx

  3. Amazing!
    My father in law is a milk producer. But I don't like the milk...

  4. Your new calf is so adorable! What a great name for him too. You've got lots of new things going on since I was last here, and I'm so glad Rilla has sheep to round up each night ... lucky girl! How is your new pup getting on? We're having a warm autumn, with the trees all turning and losing their leaves now. It's nice to read about you heading into summer :) Enjoy your weekend! Wendy x

    1. Yes there's been so much happening here! So much I don't seem to have time to write about it all :-) Rilla absolutely loves having sheep to work, along with locking them up every night I've also used her to 'free graze' them which she just loves :-)
      Hope you're well! xx

  5. Lovely .. Must be nice to have fresh milk .. The calf looks such a little cutie.

  6. amazing. my grandpa had a farm in korea and i remember drinking milk from his milking cows :) beautiful pictures! have a wonderful week!

  7. These shots bring a tear to my eyes Sarah! How beautiful and sweet are your cows and how wonderful that they are producing milk for you all!!! Fantastic! Wishing you an outstanding week!! Nicole xoxo

  8. Such a sweet like Smokey calf - and how fab that you're getting your own milk now. That'll be fun trying out all the different things you can make with it.
    Happy middle of the week!

  9. Not bored with either post. Just envious of the life you lead, though I know it must be tremendously hard work.

    Such a sweet looking little calf. Given that he's a boy what will his future be Sarah?

    1. With hard work comes satisfaction though (at least in this job anyway! :-) )

      If Smokey was a purebred Lowline we'd probably sell him as a bull under our stud, as we plan on doing with the other bull calves we've got at the moment, but as he's crossbred I'm afraid he's destined for the freezer (when he's between 18-24 months old) :-)

  10. So many people are getting milking cows but us. I bet the milk is wonderful and the fact you have known your cow for a long time makes it even more special. Look forward to hearing about the cheese journey. i think that is the only reason I would get one.


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