Get a milk cow they said. It will be fun they said!
Y’all, I’ve been in the homesteading community for years. I’ve dreamed of the day when I can milk my very own dairy cow and partake in the goodness that one doesn’t get from goats – cream.
Oh glorious cream how I want to whip you and eat you with a spoon. I desire to make ice cream, butter, I’ll even take sour cream. I do all this for cream.
What I did not foresee, and what I never saw anyone else really talk about, is the flying hooves that guard the udder – the keeper of the cream.
So, here I am, a small voice in the world of homestead bloggers, but I am here to tell you the truth! BE PREPARED.
I have been kicked. I have been stomped on. I have been swatted in the eyeball with a thrashing tail.
Cows, as it turns out, are just like goats when you go towards them with a milk bucket and a dream. They do not give it up that easily.
Here are 4 things I wish I had known on day one.
- You aren’t going to get milk the first go round.
- Get a milk machine. Seriously.
- Even the nicest cow is going to throw a tantrum.
- Have a squeeze, a sanction, a kick board. Something! I don’t care if you can fully handle your heifer now. That is a lie.
My sweet gentle holstein, Massey, who I could handle in any way prior to milking her, is a total demon when it is milking time. Upon the birth of her calf, she promptly abandoned it, which put us into a milking nightmare we were not prepared for. Not only did Massey not want that calf touching her udder, she didn’t want us too. Thus led to having to physically tie her to the barn so we could get close. She is haltered with her head tied, and we tie her legs so she can’t kick far. A bucket of grain is stuffed in front of her face and we cautiously stick the milk machine on her to suck her dry as quickly as possible. When that grain runs out our time is done. Unless of course we wanted to train for the rodeo.
It is not beautiful. It is hardly the romantic “own a milk cow” picture that was painted for me before this moment.
Who wouldn’t want to be a bottle Mama to that beautiful face.
But I digress.
In an April Tells All first, here I am to say that goats are far easier. I’ll gladly take a kick from an 80 pound animal than a 1300 pound animal.
Imma just saying.
Although, it isn’t all for loss. At the end of it all, and thanks to a portable fully enclosed milking machine, I go back to the house each evening with more milk than I use in a day, which is pretty exciting.
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to apply heat rub to my shoulder again.