Sunday, March 24, 2013

The 2013 plan: Start milking this summer

She's over 1,000lbs now.  Here she's about 600

I've been thinking about having a dairy cow for a while; years, in fact.  But you can only think  about it so long, so in April of 2012, I purchased a likely looking dairy cow heifer and have been carefully raising her ever since. 

Part of my personal goal on my farm is to produce all of the food that I consume, and dairy is a personal favorite.  I really haven't decided where I'm going to go with this, but I'm looking forward to having all the milk I want for all sorts of things.  Fresh milk cheeses.   The milk itself.  Cream.  Butter.  Ice Cream.  And having a couple of milking cows around will make it easier to raise calves if I choose to go that way.  There are commercial possibilities again, but I'm pretty clear that selling raw milk is out for me.    I'll drink the milk I milk myself; but mostly because I know exactly how its produced and can personally attest to the quality of the milk. 

I actually have 4 dairy cows that are pregnant right now; I've been talking about this little heifer on the blog, but there are three other cows; two more holsteins and a Jersey cow.   I wanted to have the experience of working with different breeds and different kinds of milk. 

The new farm has a complete milking parlor; what this means is that I can milk all 4 cows simultaneously, in about 15 minutes.   It's going to take longer to clean the system than to actually do the milking.  the parlor was being used to milk 300 cows twice a day -- 4 cows won't be a problem. 

So I'll have plenty of fresh milk and all of the dairy byproducts this summer.  Looking forward to it. 

No comments: