A Milking Morning


My friend Sarah’s cow, Pearl, had a baby last week.

It’s a boy. Don’t get attached. He’s an awful cute little stinker, though.

Sarah’s other cow, Bessie, is also about to pop. Check out the exploding udder.

That’s a lot of milking, two at once. I loaned Sarah my milking machine so she could try it out. I went over to her farm this morning to help her hook Pearl up.

Adam, who sometimes works at my farm, also works at Sarah’s farm and was at her farm today. He said, “That’s city milking.” Pearl makes about 7 gallons a day. Adam can milk a cow out in about 10 minutes. You know, when he’s tired and one hand is broken.

Sometimes it’s embarrassing to still be a city slicker after you’ve been living on a farm more than four years.

We just milked three quarters, leaving one for the calf-come-lately.

Then Pearl and baby had to say goodbye until next milking time. Or until the next time he breaks out to be with mommy. Which I believe was about five minutes after this picture was taken. I told you he was a stinker.

I haven’t milked a cow since last fall. It’ll be winter before Glory Bee delivers. I can’t wait to have a stinker, and some milk, of my own!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 23, 2012  

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17 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 7-23

    We raise our little Jersey bulls up to about 700 pounds which takes about a year. They make such nice meat-especially hamburger. We have them steered right away, and they are no trouble at all.

  2. 7-23

    He is downright handsome.

  3. 7-23

    It’s hard to not get attached to such cuteness! However, we’ve dubbed him “Stew” so that if we call him anything beyond “the calf” we’re reminded of his future.

  4. 7-23

    Gosh, Pearl and Bessie are really good looking cows, too. Breed?

  5. 7-23

    That is the cutest thing! Why are all the little farm babies soooo adorable?!?!

  6. 7-23

    Aww, my heart is melting :heart:
    I’m almost afraid to ask what’ll happen to the calf…in the UK most male calves are shot at birth, but we’re finally finding more farmers are raising them on for ‘rose veal’ not the meat that is cruelly raised with crated calves but giving them a propper life first. Hope this little one makes it too.

  7. 7-23

    Bessie is a Jersey. Pearl is a Guernsey.

    Rose, I’m sure the calf will be raised to a year or more before being butchered. I can’t imagine why they shoot male calves at birth!

  8. 7-23

    Ohh, look at those long legs and that kissy-nose!

    …and soon :hungry:

    I can barely wait for the stories of “Milking Glory Bee”.

    :cowsleep: :moo:

  9. 7-23

    Yes, this calf will be raised for over a year before he graces our table. The plan right now is for November of 2013. We’re hoping he’ll be big enough to give us meat for a year.

  10. 7-24

    He is so cute, let’s hope he gets less cute as he reaches full growth. Sometimes I would think it would be a relief to butcher and have one less thing to do on your list. The reality of farming isn’t pretty.

    I would think a freezer fully of beef would be a relief, too.

    Rose, is it maybe lack of pasture that causes the farmers to shot the bull calves?

  11. 7-24

    So cute! We arrived back home in Kenya after 8 mos. stateside and were welcomed by the sweetest little red 3 week old heifer. Love at first sight. African cows don’t give quite as much milk; they are bred to withstand drought. Between 2 cows, we get about a gal/day.

  12. 7-24

    The milking machine comment reminds me of my brother-in-law, who has four dairy goats that they milk by hand. They went on vacation, and left my adult nephew to do the milking. After the first couple of days of a full hour of milking each morning, he called in reinforcements: Grandpa.

    Grandpa grew up milking cows. Grandpa has now been deemed the family “pro”, since he could milk in about a third of the time!

  13. 7-25

    I thought they got to stay with momma all the time longer than that! Why are they seperated so soon?

  14. 7-25

    Stacylee, if they stayed with mama all the time one of two things would happen. 1. A person would not be able to milk the mama for their family. 2. If a person did milk for their family (which is why we have a milk cow) the mama cow would produce lots more milk than would be healthy for the calf. The calf would gorge itself on mama’s milk, get scours, and most likely die.

  15. 7-25

    Stacylee, The picture of Mama looking at baby and baby looking at Mama is about the cutest thing I have ever seen! I LOVE your site and live vicariously through you and your farm until the day I can move out of Southern Cal to my own little piece of heaven. Happy Days!!

  16. 7-27

    How often is he with his mom to nurse? We are bottle raising a jersey calf and trying to do it with just goat milk and alfalfa/pasture. We don’t really want to use grain unless we have to since cows are not meant to eat grain. He is almost one month old and is drinking 2 gallons of milk/day. He is very active and does not have scours but he is a little on the thin side. There is a lot of warning about not giving them too much milk so I’m not sure if I should give him more or not. He does graze and eat hay as well as his salt lick. I am trying to get an idea of how he would be fed if he was still with his mom. Thanks!

  17. 7-27

    In case Sarah doesn’t see this, I think I can answer–the calf is with the mother cow every time they milk her. They milk her, leaving on quarter unmilked, and after they finish, they bring the calf in and he drinks from the fourth quarter. That’s twice a day.

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