Tell me about your dairy cow : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I am curious about your dairy cows. Those of you who have them, could you tell me what it's really like in detail? I'd like to know things like, what are their personalities like, how long does it take you to milk, roughly how much milk do you get per day, what do you do with it all, how much room do you have for them (are they in a pasture or in a small enclosed area) etc. etc. Oh, and what their name is! Thanks.

-- Katie (, January 16, 2002


Ok Katie, Our Jersey Dairy cow is named Buttercup. She is very gentle and easy to handle, milk and be around. My son is our milker. He can milk her out in about 7 mins. He has raced to see how fast he can do it and has done it in 2 1/2 mins. We milk her twice a day. We do not feed her much grain and once we move in Feb. she will be grass fed. We did not have enough pasture here to do that. If we gave her more grain, she would give more milk. She is giving us about 4+ gallons of milk a day. On that alone, we supply milk for 6 families, 2 of which have 7 children. We give any excess milk to pigs, beef calves, cats and dogs. I do make cheese, but have not done much of that this fall. She is very good on routine. We open the gate and she walks right to her stanchion. My son locks her in (her food is already there). Then he washes her up really good, brushes off and loose stuff and gets to milking. When she is done eating, she just stands patiently and waits. She does have a bad habit of going to the bathroom while he milks, so we have a galv. tub behind her to catch it in. When he sees her tail go up, he moves the milk up and out of the way, and waits for her to finish. If you would like to see her picture there is a great one on our first picture page. The URL is God bless!!

-- Mike & Marci (, January 16, 2002.

Buttercup sounds just like my old cow! She was jersey and lived on pasture all here life. She was trained to milk without the bale or any kind of restraint, at milking time she would be waiting by the fence and just a gentle touch on here side had her put her leg back ready for wash cloth and the bucket to go under. 4 plus gallons a day for most of the year. Just a big soft pet really.

The habit of pooping at the milking stall can probably be broken and if the cow has never been abused all it may take is the right sounds of dis-approval when the tail goes up, unfortunately I think some cows are just un-teachable.

-- john hill (, January 16, 2002.

I too have a sweet Jersey, Sarah. I milk her with a machine because her teats are sooooooo small. She's only two and I'm hoping that down the road I can hand milk because its quite pleasant and almost as fast. She waits at the door to come in to be milked, she stands at her tub and eats with no restraint, but I have to be done milking before she's done eating. I am only getting 1 1/2 gallons a day now (I only milk once a day) and thats more than enough. I have to make cheese about 4 days a week. She's about ready to be dried up. I am going to put a couple calves on her when she freshens. She's real sweet to the other animals (I raise goats) and even stole a couple kids and nursed them (I think she's lonely for bovine companionship). One of my girls wants to show her in 4-H.

My last cow (a Jersey/Gurnsey/Brown Swiss) was a wicked thing, she had horns and would use them on anything within 20 feet of her, but she milked out like a dream, never smacked me with her tail or moved an inch. Sarah's a bit of a shuffler, but we're working on it. She's in a pasture of about 2 acres and gets about 5 lbs of grain in the morning and all the hay she wants during the day.

-- Julie (, January 17, 2002.

I just bought a jersey a month ago and she calfed a week ago, a little bull. An adorable little thing but not worth much. Her name is Jubilee, Juby for short. I haven't milked since I was a kid and didn't realize how much milk they actually give. I get about 4 gallons a milking, twice a day. We are overloaded with milk now. I make butter mostly but want to make yogurt. We have five kids 12 and under and they like to help milk the cow and feed the bottle to the calf. Juby is on pasture, hay during the day and at milking time she gets a mixture of grains and haylage (chopped grasses). I've had to experiment with when to feed her her grains because she moves a little during milking so if I wait untill she's given me the first 2 gallons then feed her she's easier to milk, less moving around. She just steps forward and back a bit. I've lost 1 bucket of milk already, I was a little upset but my fridge is full so I don't worry so much now if she dumps a bucket over. It takes me about 30 minutes to milk her out, that sounds rather long compared to others and I thought I was milking quite fast. I've tried to go faster but it still takes quite long, my hands get rather sore as well. We do enjoy having Juby though, I just hope her next calf is a heifer.

-- Lisa (, June 24, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ