Hand milkingRSS feed

Posted: Wednesday 3 July, 2013

by Rosemary at 8:23pm in Cattle 3 comments Add your own

Last year, when our two cows calved for the first time, I didn’t get round to trying to hand milk either of them. This year, I was determined to do better. Well, I have, but only a very little.

I thought I would try to milk both, but suspected that Breeze would be much more amenable than Blizzard. I was quite wrong; I can’t get a drop of milk out of Breeze, while Blizzard at least lets me have a wee bit.

I’m not doing well getting a system or routine together. I should be milking in the byre but I haven’t got it mucked out yet. We won’t be using it for wintering livestock again, so once it’s done, it’s done – but it’s not done. :-(

So I’m using the field shelter and have to carry the milk pail, the bucket of hot water and the feed buckets round. I’m haltering Breeze and Annie as well as Blizzard, just to handle them, and the young calves too. First, I have to get the three cows in and tied up then comes the rodeo of getting the calves in. They seem to think “Ah, mum’s away, time for a good romp” and off they go round the field. After I’ve shoo’d them in, I have to eject the hens – and it’s all a bit of a faff. But I’m not giving up.

Blizzard is actually pretty good, in that she stands nice but she’s not that keen to let the milk down. I was milking one side yesterday when Charlie latched on the other side – oh, THEN the milk came down. :-)

After we finished,  she drank the hot water I’d used to wash her udder – she seemed to like it. Maybe I’ll try bribing her with a nice cup of tea today.



Thursday 4 July, 2013 at 10:16pm

Hi Rosemary,

So good to see that you are getting back to publishing your diary entries as often as you used to. Keep up the good work.


Friday 5 July, 2013 at 9:29pm

Thanks. I'm afraid Facebook kind of took over but I am determined to do better :-)


Friday 5 July, 2013 at 11:35pm

I'll be watching avidly as I am going to get back to milking after a year off. My 2 dexters will be calving in Aug and I'm determined to have milk this fall and winter. One(Nephine) will be her first milking so should be interesting. Good luck!

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