Milking the Family Cows and Goats
How can you call yourself a self-sufficient farm if you don’t have a milking cow or goat? It took us years to take the plunge, but we haven’t regretted it for one day. We have a very small herd of Saanen goats. We also have one beautiful Jersey/Guernsey cow cross. Depending on where the animals are in their lactation cycles, we could be milking either cow or does (or sometimes both). And of course we have baby animals because babies and milk go together.
We have just bought ourselves a new milking machine that allows us to milk both cows and goats. We struggled with our first milking machine for years, but it really needs someone who has a better understanding of mechanics than we have to keep it humming. If you fit into that category and are looking for a milking machine, we have one for sale at a very reasonable price. We are happy to show you hand milking too.
As we ask so much of our milking animals (providing both us and their babies with milk), we feed them a special mix every morning. If there isn’t much feed in the paddocks (winter and early spring or drought), they are also fed hay in the evening. The milking and feeding are done from 7 am on Saturday and Sunday morning so be at the dairy bright and early if you want to experience it and get to know our beautiful animals. As we handle them all the time, they are very gentle, but it is still always wise to be wary of large animals.
If you want to scythe and attend the feeding, you'll have to scythe one day and attend the feeding the other as these activities are held simultaneously.
Buttercup with her new born calf. Channel, one of our French backpackers, milking one of our Saanen does.