Author Topic: producing your own milk????  (Read 5483 times)

Offline kawatiri kaas

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2009, 04:06:07 AM »
Thanks Karen. So pleased to hear that sharemilking should be good for ease of milking next year. I grew up with my family always having a housecow, and tried for years to before we finally put all the pieces together. My wife loves rolling past the dairy section at the supermarket without needing to purchase anything (much). AND it's just so healthy, fantastic!
Brett Westport West Coast New Zealand


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Offline MrsKK

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2009, 05:00:53 AM »
Sharemilking is going much better for us this year than it did last year, too.

When sharemilking, my cow holds back most of the cream for the calf and is resistant to letting down for me, so I use the calf to get letdown started, then milk her out as best I can, allowing the calf to clean up the last of the milk/the best of the cream <Sigh>.

Last year, her calf started cutting her teats at 3 mos old, so I decided to wean her.  Within three days, I was down from almost two gallons of milk a day to little over a quart.  The cow was trying to dry herself off!  So I bought a foster calf, unfortunately, all I could get at the time was a Holstein.  Within six weeks, he was so big I couldn't manage him, so I went back to using the original calf to get letdown started.  When the cow was six months pregnant, she started kicking at her calf, so I went to milking once a day and she actually let down for me.  Even though it was only for the month before I had to dry her off, I was elated.

This year, I again sharemilked.  When I was really busy with preserving the harvest from the garden, it was great to have a "relief milker", as by that time the calf was big enough to handle all the milk she had.  I only separated them overnight a couple of times a week to get enough milk for the house.  I weaned the calf just over a week ago, as things have settled down and I'm ready to get back to cheesemaking.  She held up against me as best she could, but still gave me a gallon and a quart for OAD milking.  Over the past two days, she went up to a gallon and a half and a quarter of it is cream.  She still has some firmness in the upper portions of her front quarters, but I am sure that I will get full letdown within the next few days.

I am very relieved that I don't have to buy another foster calf this year!

Online FarmerJD

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2009, 07:03:30 AM »
Karen, What is your routine before beginning to milk? I mean how do you prepare her bag: i.e. washing with warm water, teat dip, etc? Just curious because I grew up having to worry about the cows holding back for the calf but I don't ever deal with it now. I am wondering if it is the routine, or maybe my cows are just inherently that way, or some other factor. Just thinking out loud.

Offline kawatiri kaas

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2009, 04:24:16 AM »
We're noticing problems with letdown also. We vigorously wash with warm (slightly) soapy water. I've tried using the calf to stimulate letdown at the start of milking, half way through and near the end but with no consistently good results. Thanks for the warning about the possibility of the cow drying herself off at weaning. Still hoping there will be bulk milk later in the season for better/more cheesemaking, might have to get a second cow otherwise! lol
Brett Westport West Coast New Zealand

Offline MrsKK

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2009, 06:42:06 AM »
JD,
I put her in the stanchion with her grain ration, then brush off her body and udder with my gloved hand if she's fairly dry and clean, or brush her down with a rubber curry if she's laid in nasty stuff.

I wash her udder with hot tap water (I transport it to the barn in a thermal container), making sure the rag comes clean before I finish washing her off, then dry her with a towel.  I then squirt a couple from each teat to clear them, then milk her.

This is the routine I have always used.  When she was drying herself off last year, I tried massaging her udder and the milk well, leaving her in the stanchion for anywhere from 10-30 minutes before milking, and even oxytocin shots, yet she started drying up.

She's just a really good mother, even to her foster calves.  If I had more land and it was legal to sell raw milk in Wisconsin, I would probably buy another cow and stagger their freshening times so that I always had fresh milk, but would use Buttercup to raise both the calves, plus an extra or two. 

As it is, it does work for us.  I just have to put up with less cream until she recognizes that she's not going to get the calf back.  Besides, it was much better this year than last, so maybe next year she will share with both of us.  I can always hope!



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Online FarmerJD

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2009, 09:03:51 AM »
That sounds very similar to what I do. I know many people struggle with the "holding back" problem. I guess I have been lucky.

kawatiri kaas,
I did get a second cow; and a third! Never enough milk. :)

Offline kawatiri kaas

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2009, 03:38:05 AM »
Now that's scary FarmerJD! Did you hand milk three cows? I have a Dutch friend who is always telling me stories about how his father (hand) milked a few cows and made his living from the cream, in Holland only 40-50 years ago. Our family is developing quite a taste for cream, so much so that's it's getting hard to find enough cream to make butter! lol
Brett Westport West Coast New Zealand

Offline MrsKK

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2009, 05:36:53 AM »
Just wait until you try making mascarpone, Brett!  Then you'll never think about making butter again.

I shouldn't really say that.  I'm making mascarpone now because the cream doesn't turn into butter very well now that she's on all hay, no fresh grass.  Come spring, I'll be making lots of butter again.

Online FarmerJD

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2009, 07:38:24 AM »
Yes every morning my sons and I milk all three by hand. We usually race or chit chat while we milk. special time.

Offline kawatiri kaas

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Re: producing your own milk????
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2009, 04:16:28 AM »
Sound perfect FarmerJd, my son is happy to help, but with only cow to share and no bail to secure her it's all a bit awkward. Can't really imagine by daughter volunteering though she was keenly involved in rearing the cow when she was a new born calf (and cute). Mascarpone... I only know from an American (now Kiwi) friend who uses it in desserts from memory (mine not hers), I'll have to look into it. Cheers
Brett Westport West Coast New Zealand


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