Tuesday, June 18, 2013

~ Milking Again ~

With the arrival of our sweet little bull calf comes the chore of milking again. It was a nice break but its nice to be getting all that daily goodness again. We milk share here on our little farm because it is best for the calf. Milk replacer can not begin to cover all the benefits that mother's milk can offer.

Last year we waited about a week to milk. Ginger's bag wasn't all that big and I wanted to make sure that the calf got all the mama goodness had to offer. This time around Ginger's bag was huge and she looked miserable so we milked her last night, about 12 hours after giving birth. When we were done she looked so relieved and she should have been. Saving some milk for her little guy, we still got almost two gallons. We froze some just in case we needed it with our other calves, who will be born in the colder, snowier months of this year.

Hubby milked this morning and had trouble with the milker. He ended up only milking out about a half gallon. He didn't say anything to me until almost noon. I went to check on how she was doing and she looked okay. Her calf is quite the nurser.  I milked again tonight, milking her all the way out and got almost a gallon. I could tell that her calf had nursed not long ago, two of her quarter were pretty empty.

I am still going back and forth about weaning and bottle feeding this calf at two months. Honestly, I don't think I will. I believe that mama's need their babies and babies need their mamas. I should be able to halter break and make him friendly without totally separating him from his mama.

On a side note, both his daddy [being Scottish Highlander] and his mama [Jersey] have horns. All my other highland calves have been born with horn nubs but he doesn't have any. Any one else with highlanders have this happen before?


  1. I used to help milk a cow a long time ago but wasn't involved in other management. I'm curious as to how long cows produce colostrum. You milked her so soon after calving, was it all milk?

  2. Hi Leigh,

    That first milking was a mix of colostrum and milk, which is why we froze it for later use.