Sunday, June 07, 2009

Blessed With Milk

We are truly blessed with milk.... lots of milk!! A family milk cow can be a very valuable asset to your homestead. Our cows are all grass/hay fed. They eat grass whenever it is available which is really a large part of the year. Then we feed them hay. We do feed them kelp and salt free choice as well. Their milk can take care of most of the dairy needs of your family. There is milk to drink; cream for butter, ice cream or whipped cream; milk to make yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. Also, you can feed calves with the milk and get them started. We also raise pigs every once in awhile and we give them milk each day. When we have an animal in milk, the dogs and cat get some each day. Chickens will drink milk and we often give milk to our turkey poults while they are in the brooder.

We have been keeping up with the milk so far. The two calves drink 2 gallons a day between them. When they are weaned, I will have to get creative. I have been making soft cheese and will make that again this week, because we have to take some cheese spreads and crackers to a graduation party this weekend. I also need to start making cheddar again. We use a lot of cheddar cheese and if I have the milk, I need to be about it. Also, mozzarella is very easy to make. You can check out the cheese section of our web page. I have been working on my webpage as time allows. I am revamping the kitchen pages and also the cheese page. Many of the pages need to be updated.

Here are some pictures of "the girls." This first one is Buttercup. She is the cow currently in milk. My friend's son took this first picture. :)

This is Molasses. She is Buttercup's daughter. There is an old line of Jersey cows that have not been bred up for production. They are still basically bred to be grass fed. We used a straw from one of those bulls to get Molasses. She is currently visiting a bull as we have had a time getting her to take with AI (artificial insemination). She is a bit cantankerous to milk.

This is Clover. Most people refuse to believe that she is a Jersey and not a Holstein. They can believe what they wish. It does not change the facts though. She is a heifer, which just means that she is a female that has never had a calf yet. She is due with her first calf in September. We are going to be milking her, just to get her used to it. She will probably be Buttercups replacement at this point.

It looks like tomorrow needs to be another dairy day here. I have LOTS of milk in the fridge. :) Not counting the milk in our house fridge, there are 14 1/2 gallons out there.

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