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Since milk prices have gotten over $5/gal here for the cheap stuff, and now that we finally have a couple acres of bermudagrass growing, DH and I are considering getting a milk cow.

DH doesn't remember if he read it somewhere or thought it up, but he has the idea that we can seperate the milk cow from her calf at night, milk her in the morning, then turn the calf in to be with her for the rest of the day, and then seperate them again in the evening. At least, that would be our plan if the cow gives more milk than we would need. Is this a plan that would work?

Not that we're too lazy to milk twice a day... I'm just trying to think of different options if the cow gives more than we can use. Don't really know anyone we could give milk to.
 

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That is called share milking and works very well once you have the routine established. The downside of it can be that the cow will hold back her milk and you will find the easiest way to get her to let down is to put the calf on her. That's fine while the calf is small and easy to push around but once they get up a bit in size it's not quite so easy. Don't let that put you off though, before I got so many cows I used to sharemilk with six of them and it worked fine.

If you find you do have too much milk consider getting a couple of pigs. If that doesn't suit you, put the excess into a bucket or drum and feed it to the chooks and dogs.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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I tried that with mine but didn't have the setup to keep the calf near her...or on the opposite side of her while I milked.

Also tried just separating them all the time, and bottle feeding calf his requirements in daily milk of hers...well, she'd not let down for me, and the calf wanted his momma.

Once I lost the bottle off the back of the truck, and couldn't get to the feedstore to quickly get another, and turned him back on her...well, he'd not take the bottle again after that, and he was less than 2 weeks old.

What I may have to do with her is not let any calf have her at all!! Especially if she gives me a heifer next time. But I want that replacement heifer to have HER milk.

So, I haven't really figured out what to do.
 

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darbyfamily said:
I just read a great article on this at backwoods website...want the link?

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/lewis99.html
Maybe what Patrice [author] said would work for me IF I had a willing carpenter for a DH rather than a computer geek with springtime allergies...and a HUGE lazy streak!!!

Next calf will be bottlefed MR so we and our cowshare folks can have her milk, after its had her colustrum.
 

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I share milk and it works fine. The calf stays in the adjacent field with the other cows. My Jersey will come for a bucket of grain. I just put her in another paddock all day, milk at night, turn her back in with the herd. Once in a while the calf will nurse thru the fence. She'll hold back about half of the milk for the calf but I still get plenty. The only downside is that she holds nearly all the cream. We love Jersey butter and will have to wait until I wean. I don't milk every day, just when we need milk. I don't even take her to the barn anymore, just tie her to the fence and milk! If I have time to milk extra, I make cheese (hard cheese, cottage, ricotta, cream cheese) which is awesome. If I am lazy, I don't have to milk! The important thing is to have the same milking routine. If I change pastures and have to tie her to a different fence, she is unsettled for a day or two. If you have too much milk, buy her a second calf to raise! Mine will raise two calves :) and milk for the family too. She is truly the perfect cow!
 

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I've always milked this way. To get the cow to let down the milk for me I keep a halter and rope to go on the calf, let it nurse for a minute to to get the cow to let down, then pull the calf off and tie it up. When I milk what I want I let the calf loose. If you start this when the calf is small it learns to "lead" and will usually not be a problem to pull away from the cow as it gets bigger.
 
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