Monday, September 30, 2013

Homestead Chore # 10 (Milking Time & Potential Hazards)

Milking here on the farm has been going on now for 4 years, on and off.  The only time we weren't milking were the times she had to be dried up when she was due to calve and for her second pregnancy.. It really is a farm chore.

When milking you start with the grain the cow will be eating while you milk and a clean stainless steal bucket for the milk. You can use other kinds of buckets but the stainless/seamless steal buckets are much nicer when cleaning times comes and they hold less germs than a plastic one can.

First I tie her up and give her the grains to keep her occupied while I clean her before the milking begins.

You then start the milking. Wait! Why is the ground all wet? Well, AnnaBelle decided that she had to release her bodily fluids just as I started milking her. You can bet after all of these years I *know* when she is going to do it and have learned to move really fast before I get sprayed down along with everything else. Let me tell you something too, WHEN A COW URINATES, its not a trinkle but a full fledged flood. 

Thankfully, that doesn't happen too often!

I now have to stop everything and get several 5 gallon buckets to wash the floor free of the flood she has made. And wash her teats and udder down again too.

I don't keep the milk either. I won't take a chance on what may have gotten into the steal bucket so I get the grain bucket and finish the milking. That milk will go to the pig (it's clean milk but the it's not the bucket I prefer.)

Notice the milk coming out by itself? She was ready to drop that milk with or without my help.

Finishing the milking myself. 

This is the little bit I got before the *accident*.

After the milking I spray *fight bac.* on her teats to prevent germs from enter her. Let her go, and commence to feeding the pig.

Another farm chore done for the day. Until the next morning. 365 days a year morning and night. Ready for a cow?


Matthew 6:33


  1. I love reading your blog. I am a missionary in Romania, we started with chickens and a garden a few years ago, and we live on 2 acres and are hoping this year to expand to have a cow. We don't have any kind of barn and I was wondering what you would recommend for a structure to house our cow? Does it need to have cement slab, how big, must haves, or things you wish you had, etc. We have a climate similar to the midwest, hot summer and cold winters. We appreciate any advice!

    1. I appreciate your kind comments. AnnaBelle has what I call a *loafing shed* just 3 sides of sheet metal with a roof. It is in her pen which is all dirt.

      The*milking shed* is still not complete after 2 years, But it does have a concrete floor which makes for easier cleaning after milking. If you look at the blog, you can get an idea of what it looks like and how big it is.

      Before the *milking shed* we milked her tied to a tree and that was for 3 1/2 years. She is a good cow, so we could get away with not having to use a stall.

      We live in a very moderate climate. Rarely any snow. VERY hot and humid during the summer months. If we lived in a colder climate, I know we would have to make sure AnnaBelle's shed was more weather tight.

      Taking care of AnnaBelle is relatively easy once you get into a routine. (And AnnaBelle LOVES routine- as do most cows, from what I have read.)

      The biggest part of taking care of a cow is medicating her when she get sick. Learning to give a cow a shot is an experience one NEVER forgets ;-)

      Cleanliness is vital to ensure the cow stays healthy and to ensure you get clean quality milk.

      Hope this helps! I may try and post a more detailed list for those who may be thinking of getting a cow.

      It sure has been a learning experience for us, but a BIG blessing as well ;-)

      Bless you and your ministry in Sweet JESUS's name!

      Matthew 6:33