Milking with Company


I wasn’t expecting to be milking again so soon, but I am. BP has more milk than a calf can drink, and she needs to be relieved. The baby didn’t really understand what was going on, and BP got pretty upset when she walked around the side of the milking parlor where she couldn’t see her, but we all got through it and I think BP felt much better when it was all over!

(And yes, that’s a dirty old bucket. I just threw the milk out. There’s colostrum in it and I don’t need any milk right this minute anyway. I was prepared for two or three dry months and my freezers are full of milk!)


  1. Charlotte says:

    Oh don’t throw it away! Soak some grain in it for your chooks – they’ll think you are the bee’s knees! (lotsa protein in that thar milk = lotsa eggs)

  2. Frank says:

    Freeze the colostrum, it is always very useful if you have to bottle feed an animal. Goat colostrum would even be better, but cows’ is not to be wasted either 😉

  3. Sarah K says:

    I had to look up what colostrum meant. For anyone else curious, here’s the wikipedia link:

    I don’t know anything at all about cows, but that sounds pretty neat. 🙂 Super Milk!

  4. Alison says:

    Too bad you don’t have a pig to feed it too. The new calf is so cute. And I really like the name.


  5. Woodwife says:

    Some folks bake the colostrum like custard and eat it. It’s sometimes called beestings.

    I’ve seen recipes for other things too, pretty much anything you would make with regular milk.

  6. Nancy in Iowa says:

    Poor little Glory Bee, wondering why human hands are at her milk bar!!!

  7. Richelle says:

    One piece of advice: just keep one bottle of milk with colostrum in your freezer. If something goes wrong with one of your goats during birth and you end up with an orphan, colostrum is essential to keep it alive. Goat’s colostrum is even better, it’s less fatty and can also be used to feed to orphan cats (I raised three this way).
    And try making a sweet soda bread with cinnamon with BP’s colostrum milk instead of buttermilk…I always cook up a liter or so and freeze it per cup. Yum!
    And I agree with Charlotte, feed it to your chickens! Just soak some old bread or grains in it and they’ll love you for ever…

  8. Jennie C. says:

    We start milking just a few days after the calf is born, so we are without milk in the dry period BEFORE calving, but not after. We remedied that problem by getting a second cow. 🙂

  9. Sheila says:

    Fall piglets are cheaper than spring piglets. Get a couple and watch how fast they grow on excess milk mixed into pig feed! Milk fed pork is extra tasty!

  10. Cheryl LeMay says:

    This may sound stupid, but does colostrum look different from regular milk? Or do you just go by the number of days after giving birth that she produces it? Never having children nor a dairy animal I have never seen it.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Cheryl, I actually don’t know that much about it and will have to do some studying up! I might try keeping it, as some people have suggested, for the goats (expecting some babies this winter) or even try baking with it, but BP having her baby was a bit sudden (sooner than expected) so I haven’t looked into it yet. I just decided at the last minute that I needed to start milking her and relieve her some, so I just grabbed a bucket and went.

  11. Jeanne says:

    Lordy she is cutie. You can see her Brown Swiss heritage in her face and body structure but that color is baby Jersey. You know it is not too soon to teach her what a halter or neck collar ( if you start with a neck collar be sure you introduce a halter soon because it is a very valuable skill for a cow to be easily led) is and how to be tied. The earlier you start the easier it is, it gets her into a routine and it will keep her close during milking so BP won’t worry was she is up to. Swiss can be very stubborn and determined cows and life is a lot easier when they learn what a halter is at an early age. Plus handling Glory Bee now will really pay off as she grows. BP seems a little standoffish but given her previous life she probably didn’t have a lot of human interaction when she was young. You have the potential for a really big giant puppy looking at you from under BP’s tummy.

  12. joycee says:

    As a previous breast feeding Mother, I can assure you she appreciated the milking!

  13. DragonLady says:

    Glory Bee is a beauty and I love her name!

  14. Drucillajoy says:

    Ditto what Joycee said…I remember standing in the shower with it spraying out & wondering how I was gonna get it stopped so I could get dried off, I could have fed several.
    A beautiful name for your new calf…I love it!!!

  15. ulli says:

    Love the name–Glory Bee (maybe Daisy for the next one??) I’m with the others–please done toss the good healthy colostrum. I’m no farmer, but I know when nursing my own it was very important for them to get that colostrum. I’m even wondering of you can freeze it and donate it to some sort of farmer’s milk bank if you can’t use all of it on your farm.

  16. Chic says:

    What a great photo. Oh how I can relate to BP’s discomfort…been there and done that 5 times!

  17. Anna says:

    another way to freeze it is to use ice cube trays
    and then store the clostrum cubes in a baggy that way you can grab what you need and not have to thaw a big amount if you only need a little

  18. Cori R. says:

    Oh no! Don’t throw it out! Besides the potential for feeding needy kids and calves, the milk is so rich. I would just about kill to get some to make some of the Latvian dishes that call for it like jaunpiena pudiņš (new milk pudding). I posted the recipe on Farm Bell – super-easy and designed to show off the richness of new calf’s milk.

  19. Senta Sandberg says:

    Your readers are so smart today. So many good ideas. Love the picture.

  20. Jill B says:

    We kept the colostrum also in the freezer for emergency and also didn’t drink the milk for a week. we only milked once and day that way the calf would have what she needed.

  21. Aunty Depressed says:

    Growing up on a dairy farm, I’ve seen and handled my share of milk, and colostrum too. We always had barn cats and farm dogs. What didn’t get used for calves was given to kitties and doggies, there was never any waste. If there was more than could be consumed at one time it was put in a milk can. It did ferment, but the animals loved it. We had some healthy animals on our farm. Never heard of using it for human consumption though… What first came out of the cow was more often pink (some blood) and that does not seem appealing to me at all. Usually after 3-5 days the cows milk was acceptable for shipping to the creamery. Then we started the calves on bottle feeding with milk replacer.

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