The Milking Diaries: Part 4 (So Far So Good...)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

To read the start of the story please visit:

And so we were frustrated with the whole cow milking process...

We needed a solution...

We needed to work out a way to get our cow to let down & produce that abundant quantity of milk we'd been anticipating for so long.

Enter Dave...the problem solver. 
Dave had found an old single milking machine on ebay.  A farmer was retiring and this machine had served his family for over 20 years.  We decided to visit & have a look - with the intention of making an offer if we were happy with what we saw.  And we were: not only was this a good quality, single cow milking machine, but it was also in perfect order and better yet, it was in our price range.  We knew how much this would help our milking dreams and so we purchased it.

We knew that to use this machine we would need to keep the cow in a single place.  My problem all along had been that Bessy would be milked WHEN she was happy to be then she would simply walk off.  It took Dave one trial with his machine to realise that a stall would make things so much easier (I may have mentioned this much earlier in my quest for milk...).

It is amazing how quickly a man can put together a milking stall when one is needed.  The very next day we  had a stall & while we used a star picket behind the cow, the stall worked perfectly!  (The gate on the side was because the other cows were making a nuisance of themselves trying to eat the grain from the side. This gate is one of those 'temporary' permanent solutions!)

As we purchased an old machine, we did have to source some new inflators.  This was a little bit of an issue, but eventually we were able to get the correct ones.  And we were ready...

The timing of this corresponded well with the butchering of  Bessy's calf  Beefy (yes, he drank milk right up to the day of his butcher).    The day after butchering, with udder bulging, Bessy happily gave us her milk.
We were astounded to get 15L from a single milking!!!
Finally, that milk we'd been waiting for!

We continued to get that amount throughout the lush winter time we experienced.  The quantity did decrease down to 10L after about 6 months without a calf.  The quality of the pastures were also decreasing at this time.

We thoroughly enjoyed milking Bessy every morning.  It became a peaceful start to every day.  Zai & I were the main milking team & we had a good system.  It was a wonderful bonding time!

And then our summer holidays came up & we had to dry her off....

How we are longing for more fresh, raw milk.
(And yes, I do intend to try milking Chocco again, but life is a tiny bit busy right now)!

Have a lovely day friends

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