Family Milk Cow {Part One}

Getting started with a family milk cow (part one)

We welcomed our first family milk cow to our farm in 2010. We had never ever milked a cow before… by hand or machine!

Elsie, our first Jersey milk cow, was dropped off one evening and the next morning she calved… aaahhhh! What do we do now?! (Click HERE if you want to watch the birth).

I’ve documented our journey with our milk cow to help you get started milking your own family milk cow, goat or sheep!

Let me give you the secret to success with a family milk cow, goat or sheep… it’s DESIRE. We’re now in our fourth year milking a family cow, AND WE LOVE IT! 

We love our sweet Jersey’s for the ability to have high quality fresh milk, cultured butter, and all kinds of cheese! Having your own personal milk source is like owning a bank full of gold!

Here a video that starts from the beginning… I hope it inspires you.

FarmTek

Our first milking parlor. I think you’d call it a redneck set up. But it worked! Milking on concrete is so much cleaner. And having the car port roof above helped when we had bad weather! :)

Building a milking parlor Building a milking parlor

Building our new milking parlor. We got tired of being in the weather… when it’s really cold, raining, snowing or 1,000 degrees in Texas… you want a nice milking barn!

Building a milking parlorBlue Prints for a milking stanchion head gate

We added onto our existing pole barn, cut a hole in the wall, framed it up and poured a concrete slab. I really shouldn’t say “we” all this beautiful work is my husband Andrew’s handy work ;-) If you see anything on the farm that looks cool and is well done… Andrew did it! :)

Building a milking parlor cow head gate Building a milking parlor cow head gate

Milk a cow with a baby How to milk a cow with an infant. Andrew and his baby, Isabella in an Ergo

One of the tricky parts about milking a cow every day is when you have young children. I’ll tell you though… it can be done! Here are two pictures taken at different stages newborn and at 8 months old. The keys here are using an Ergo Baby Carrier (which we still use and our toddler is 19 months) and our stroller that is strictly for farm use, the Baby Trend jogging stroller.

Milking bucket and cow supplys Family milk cow supplys

We use a garden cart to transport, hot soapy water, a strip cup and our milk machine and equipment to the barn for milking time.

In the blue tote is fly spray, cow teat cleaner (water, vinegar, iodine, essential oils and glycerine), shop towels (for the water), and white paper towels to dry the teats off before putting on the milk machine.

Click HERE for part two of our family milk cow adventures.

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To Find Them Any Fresher You Would Have To Grow

Comments

  1. do you guys vaccinate? What about internal worms?

    Just wondering. Im so mixed on feelings , and wondering what others do…..
    Roxann

  2. How do you make your cow teat cleaner? I’m just getting ready to start milking Marigold for the first time and yours looks interesting. Thanks. Jerriann

  3. Wow, how old school. Growing up on a farm in MN during the 1960’s and 70’s we always had a “family” milk cow. My Dad milked her by hand and we made butter and always had cream on hand. I didn’t drink any “store” milk until I was in COLLEGE! It was just the way things were done.

  4. Looking forward to reading more about your cow, as we’re hoping to have one someday. Great to see photos and video.

  5. Rashel, you are not going to believe this but Jack and I just started using our milker this week. I’ve been hand milking and decided it was time to try it out. Of course, we love it but I have a question. How do you clean yours and with what? I’m sure I’m not cleaning it right and would love to hear from you. Regina

  6. Hi Rashel, I just found your blog. I noticed that your links above are mostly in Winnsboro, TX. We live in Winnsboro and I’d love to come see your milking set-up if you live here too. I had a blog that I haven’t kept up in over a year homesteadersdelight.blogspot.com
    You can also find me on Facebook as Alisa Burnham-Foy
    Hope to hear from you, take care,
    Alisa Foy

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