Can you milk a cow once a day?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Happy7Farm, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Happy7Farm

    Happy7Farm FKA: Ripcat Ranch

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    I was just wondering if you can milk a cow once a day. She is giving about 2 gallons morning and night. I had been selling the extra but now that milk is under $2 a gallon in the stores I think people are going back to buying store milk instead of paying me $2.50 a gallon. I would rather milk just once a day instead of selling it for $1.50 a gallon.

    If you can milk once a day how would I go about getting her into that situation? Do I just do it or do I kind of wean her off of milking in the morning for a week or two and milk her completely in the evening?

    Thanks, Happy
     
  2. Saffron

    Saffron Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't reduce your price - $2.50 per gallon is a steal for raw, natural milk. If your buyers are going back to the stores because of the cheap factor, then find buyers who want the natural - real - stuff and seel it to them.

    I haven't gotten a cow yet, so someone correct me if I'm wrong - but the way I understand it is if you reduce her to once a day milking, you will reduce how much milk she gives as well - and she may even dry up.
     

  3. Dairymaid

    Dairymaid Member

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    We milk 9 cows once a day, and don't have any problems. It does reduce your production by 10%, but if you can spare that, go for it.
    Cows can adjust to once a day milking easilly. We just quit milking the girls in the evening and they are fine with that. You could try milking twice a day every other day for a while if you wanted to slowly adjust them to the new schedule.
    Best wishes!
    Dairymaid...who is going out the door to milk her cows. :D
     
  4. wstevenl

    wstevenl Well-Known Member

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    I have a Dexter that I was getting 2+ gallons a day from and we loved the milk but it was taking too much of my time so we the advice of friends I transitioned to once a day. I just milked late on a Saturday, checked her in the evening and she wasn't overly full, then the next morning started milking steady every morning. I don't feed her any grain at all so she just makes milk based on how good the paddock she is on that day is. Right now she's on a bermuda pasture and I'm getting nearly 1 1/2 gallons. When is on alfalfa/orchardgrass I get more than that but not quite 2 gallons.

    She is doing very well with it and has had NO signs of mastitis.

    On milk prices.... for raw grass fed milk our friends milk 6 cows and get $8 / gallon. (When I bought from them last year it was $7)
    I know of a lady a few hours away that charges $4 for goat milk I think.
    I've never seen anyone doing grassfed/raw/hormone free try to compete or even care about store prices. I don't even have a clue what the store is selling for because our milk is NOT the same product.
     
  5. Judith

    Judith Well-Known Member

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    Some cows can be milked once a day. BUT ( and that is a big but) The heavy commercial gals can not. Some of the heavy producing Holsteins are literally milk machines and it would be quite painful to them to wait that long between milking. This is one of those depends on the individual cow questions :)
     
  6. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am OAD milking 2 Jerseys at present. I have done this for years without any problems. Judith is right on about the Holsteins, doable but not wise or comfortable for those gals.
     
  7. Happy7Farm

    Happy7Farm FKA: Ripcat Ranch

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    We have a Jersey, she is 5 years old. The most she has given us this time around is 2 3/4 both morning and night. As I said, at present she is giving a total of 4 gallons a day and it's been 4 1/2 months since she freshened and is not bred yet. (in heat today so maybe this will change!)

    So I don't have the Holstein problem, I guess I will be trying to change her around to an evening milking which will really help our quality of life! (especially since archery season is right around the corner)

    Thanks for all of your help, I appreciate all the input.
     
  8. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    $2.50 a gallon? How much are you making per hour after you figure feed and other expense? I get $5 a gallon and have decided I'm getting ripped off. Talked to a guy the other day who's getting $14 a gallon for raw milk, not organic. Of course, he's all legal and has to be inspected as a grade A dairy.

    I only selll a couple gallons a week, but my prides says if I can't find someone to pay more, I might just pour it on the garden. People blow big money on booze or fancy cars and don't want to pay for good milk.

    You might also consider a lower producing cow next round - beef cross. Use the calf to do one milking per day and you do the other. Works for me - last one I had nursing til almost 10 months of age - out of a beef bull, he was stout.
     
  9. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Any cow can be milked OAD but it is preferable to start doing this once they have passed their peak for the season - usually around 4-5 months after calving.

    There will be a drop in production then they flatten out and given good feed conditions, will stay at that plane for months. I don't keep records of milk production (I don't have any reason to) but I do know that overall I doubt that I lose any milk over a given period of time because they stay on that level playing field for so long. I have a cow that calved at the end of January. At the end of May I put her on to OAD and she dropped down to 16 litres a day. Mid-way through August she is still producing 16 litres a day and this is a winter milking cow, on grass, hay at night and 500grms of nuts while she's being milked.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  10. Happy7Farm

    Happy7Farm FKA: Ripcat Ranch

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    I'm not milking for a profit.....it is just the excess that we don't use for cheese, yogurt, pig feed. I sell to the our Amish neighbors who just want cheap milk! It is just a little extra money to pay for the feed. I wish I could find some people who would pay $14 a gallon.....if I did I might just quit my day job!
     
  11. Dairymaid

    Dairymaid Member

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    Do you live near a bigger city? You wouldn't beleive what they will pay for milk...
     
  12. cjb

    cjb Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We can get $10-12 per gallon for raw milk around here. I sell to friends for $6 per gallon to make it affordable to them. I ask that for goat milk too.

    The gal down the street gets $10 per gallon and has a huge waiting list. Another fam gets $12 per gallon and is sold out every day.

    Amazing.
     
  13. francismilker

    francismilker Udderly Happy! Supporter

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    Southeast Oklahoma price is $3-4 per gallon and folks think it's sometimes not worth it until they get hooked on the stuff. I live well off the beaten path and they really have to need a "milk fix" before they will drive so far to get it. I'm unable to sell it anywhere other than from home due to raw milk laws here. One of my friends who lives in a good location not 20 miles from me is getting $6 per gallon and selling out daily. It took me a while to get my solid customer base going but now they're as regular as clockwork.
     
  14. pioneermom

    pioneermom Member

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    you sure can, but not on a fresh cow, one whos lactate is about 6 or more months into it. I have 3 Jersey cows, of which i am milking only one...once a day...she gives me 2 gallons from the 2 quarters that are useable. she was born with one side that didnt milk at all ever. and she is a wonderfull produceing cow. I milk about 4 because its b4 supper and i can work all day then relaxe to milk. Here we sell milk also...for pet use....but in the stores here in canada milk is at 5.00 a gallon, for that junk but i sell for 2.50 a gallon...to 3.00 and thats alot of cream. I have stopped selling because i want the cream for us for the butter, so I have basically no cost for butter, cheese and milk..........however hay is crazy priced this year...sad to say...have fun , love and enjoy your cow, we sure love ours.
     
  15. furholler

    furholler Cedar Cove Farm Supporter

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    I do. And I did it from the get go, I just left the calf on her for part of the day and took the rest for ourselves. Still going, too.
     
  16. Mrs. Homesteader

    Mrs. Homesteader In Remembrance

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    We milk our jersey once a day. She gives us between 3.5 and 5 gallons. Right now she is holding steady at just under 4 gallons a day.

    If someone is really wanting raw milk because it is good for them, they will be more than willing to pay your price.