First cow...what do I need?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by sheepmom, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. sheepmom

    sheepmom Guest

    My new cow is coming in 6 weeks....she will have raised her calf to old enough, and then she is coming to me. Yippee!!!! She is a black Jersey, tame as could be.....Cow milk! Fresh cow milk!!! Butter, cream, yoghurt.....

    What equipment should I have? I planned on milking her in the same stall I milk goats. How big of a bucket do I need? I have strainers, etc for the goats....Halters, lead ropes, etc.....what stuff is just "cute" and what is really necessary?

    Help me before I buy half the nasco catalog.......
     
  2. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    Black? Jersey??? Unless things are very different over there, jersey cows dont come in basic black :no: .
    Have you seen her being milked, is she close enough so you can go and practise and introduce yourself to her before she moves to your place??
    What does the current owner do? Observing her in her current place should answer all your questions.
     

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Well to be very basic, to give you a rough idea what you will need to milk. First off you will need a small portable milker, it will make milking easier than hand milking. Not only that, it won't take a long time to milk, probably a few minutes vs 10-15 or so. It also keeps the cow on a schedule, so you can do the other stuff aside from milking, feed etc. So what will you need with one cow.


    Portable Milker
    Bucket
    Teat dip
    whipes
    cleaning shtuff for the milker when your done

    There are other things, but its the basics. The place where im going to be getting my milker this coming spring/early summer is here. http://partsdeptonline.com/

    Scroll down, the first one listed might be the one you need. If you want to get something on wheels, the second one. However for your needs, and if I was in your shoes with one cow. I would go with the small unit, set it where in reach of where your milking, and so on. The first one is $1344 as listed, however after talking with them the prices are slightly lower.


    The other stuff would be feed, grain etc. Remember feed her enough to keep her body weight healthy, but this may also produce more milk than you need. Good feed, and a healthy amount will result in good milk production. Genetics too, but this cow will be a pet/milker so who cares about genetics. IMO feed her hay and grain. Hay increases the butterfat content and protein. If you did buy silage from a farm, this is energy but you can use other methods to keep her energy up. What I personally like to see, and do. I like to feed them enough to produce and keep their body weight up. Ive said that twice, but this will keep her strong and healthy. If she is athletic, it will keep her strong through any issue you could have, or the sort. Just allow her excersize each day rain or shine so she can keep her muscle tone. Don't worry about the cold, they can take it, so give her some room to stretch her legs. It isn't hard raising cattle, just treat them the way you want to be treated, minus a few things such as tv, and internet. Dont let your cow surf the net! ;).


    Jeff
     
  4. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are "black" Jerseys...they are an extremely dark brown that appear black...they always have a brown stripe down the back though. They are not the shiny Holstein/Fresian black color though.
    The half Jersey, half Norwegian Red bull we kept for breeding was out of Shenekwa our last black cow....he has thrown some black heifers that have that very stripe down the back.
    When I get my digital camera I will get you some photos of the black Jerseys at the school farm.


    Hehe...our cows love lsitening to the TV. We have one in our milking barn and have regular shows we watch and usually movies if there aren't any decent shows on.
     
  5. farmerdan

    farmerdan Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I had a registered Jersey that was totally black except for the tip of her switch. Jerseys come in a wide variety of colors!
     
  6. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    To each his own, but I sure wouldn't go to the expense of a milking machine for one cow. Just a 13 or 16 quart stainless steel bucket, a strainer and filters, a one gallon tote, some dairy towels and wash cloths. I use dish soap, then spray with diluted cider vinegar to wash/disinfect the pail and strainer, and have never used teat dips. To wash the udder, a two chambered pail plastic mop bucket from the hardware store with dish soap and water on one side, plain water and a little hydrogen peroxide on the other for rinsing.

    Hand milking a cow can be an enjoyable, relaxing experience.
     
  7. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have to agree with Horace on this one. Why go to all the expense of a machine for only one cow? :confused: Now if you have other issues to deal with such as arthritis or something that makes it difficult to hand milk, then perhaps it would be worth it to get your fresh milk. But I don't see any other reason why it's necessary. Besides, whatever time you save in actual milking your still spending in cleaning your equipment. So, it's going to take some time regardless of the shortcuts you think your getting.
     
  8. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    I would agree, see how it works out first before shelling out a lot of money for a porta milker. Another note is that Jerseys are suspect to copper toxity, so might check your levels if you plan to use the sheep feed. You might want to get a curry comb and some brushes if you don't have any. Is your cow halter broke? Cause ya might go through a few ropes till she learns. We use an iodine dip before and after milking to sanitize the teats.
     
  9. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have to agree with the others too - to fork out that much money on a machine for one cow is probably not too wise. I hand milked six cows before I finally gave up and bought a home-made machine for $250. It's not only the money though - by the time you have set the machine up, milked the cow, rinsed the machine, and cleaned it with dairy detergent and hot water, you could have milked the cow by hand, put her back in her paddock and only had one bucket to wash out.

    Your first few days with your new cow will probably see a bit of fun and games until she settles down and you both get into a routine. Once that happens I think you will find milking the nicest time of your day. Cows are very peaceful to be around and there is nothing quite like your head resting against a nice warm flank, her chewing her cud and that lovely sound of milk going into a bucket.

    From reading this thread, and others, I've come to the conclusion I must be a grubby begger :eek: Every milking I rinse the machine twice with cold water then put hot water and dairy detergent through it. Once a week I put Kleer Klenz (trade name) which is chloride of lime based, through it and once a month I strip it and clean the pipes and droppers with a brush purpose made. But it's the cows I fall down on. If they come in with mucky udders I use the hose to take it off. Other than that, the only cleaning done is with a wash cloth and warm water - no soap, no nothing. The cups come off and they get sent on their way without the benefit of teat sprays. I don't have mastitis in my cows. Please feel free to comment.

    Valmai, my first ever cow was a "black" Jersey. Very dark body and mask with the gold stripe down the back, the typical Jersey nose ring and lightening to fawn under the belly and the back of the legs. Not a lot of them about but they are there.

    Good luck with your cow Sheepmom and may you enjoy each other.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  10. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    I stand corrected regarding black jerseys. :worship:
    Some people live and learn others just live. It would be a very boring world if I had nothing left to learn, and I would most likely be the most insufferable person on the planet :D
    As Ronney said to milk a cow, resting your head on her flank listening to the ssspttt of the milk going into the steel bucket, and the music which is the gurgleing in her stomach feeds your soul and wellbeing. Cows are the best therapists ever. I too was suprised a little when reading how much preparation and cleaning of the teats you do over there. None of the cows on the dairy farms I've worked EVER had their teats or udders cleaned before milking and afterwards it was just a squirt with iodine and off they went. We just trust the filter sock to deal with all the mud poo etc.
     
  11. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    :eek:

    My milking pail consists of a whole fleet of 5-quart plastic ice cream pails. Take the plastic lid and cut a large hole in the center, leaving a rim of plastic about 1-1/2 inches wide. Now, take a piece of fine muslin and place it loosely over the top of the pail, leaving some slack. Snap the ring in place around the top, and you're ready to go!

    The muslin will keep flies, and any crud falling off the cow, out of your milk pail.

    If the cow is prone to kick or move its feet around a lot, milk into an open bucket, and dump the milk into your covered pail every few minutes. That way if the cow knocks over the bucket, or steps in it, you won't have wasted more than a couple pints.

    After milking, clean out the pails immediately, and wash the filter cloths in very hot water with a dash of bleach in it. Hang them in the sun to dry.

    I would recommend buying a home pasteurizer. (I found one on eBay for $20.) People have differing opinions on pasteurization; I've always thought of it as a cheap insurance policy.