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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking into getting a milk cow for our family - a jersey. I'm gonna hand milk.

anyone have any experience in this? I need to know where to get my milk buckets, etc. - Would fleet farm be a good place?

Any info. you can give me would be great. Thanks :)
 

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uuuum i have no idea....good luck and have fun...

all ours are range...i have a feeling if i went up to big ol Booger or Noel and tried to milk then, they would probably kill me....very slowly...and enjoy it.
 

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Make sure you are totally ready to be committed to be there twice a day, EVERY day to milk - or that you have a reliable friend or family member who can step in when you can't be there.
What is your plan for the calf you will have to produce every year?
I prefer stainless steel milk buckets - you can get them from any basic farm store.
Have you ever milked a cow before? Have you ever kept cows?
 

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I had milk cows growing up & worked on a dairy for several years. IMO if your not a stay at home parent or work from home, don't do it. you need to be there 2 times a day, EVERY day. Trying to find someone else to milk for you if you want to go away, good luck! Yes, fresh, raw milk is so much better than what you get at the store, but it's a royal pain.
 

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my mom thought about doing it but instead found a local milker and we just get some of there milk... we have no labor and we give someone local our business. and it helps if your lactose :)

but to find info on what you need i would i suggest finding a dairy farm and seeing if you can talk to them about the different things you need to be concerned about.
 

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IMO, the novelty will wear off in about a week, and unless you have a large family and are planning on making a lot of dairy products from scratch (very time consuming), you cannot possibly use all of the milk - unless they are a really low producer, then what would be the point in having one? And what others said...twice a day, every day - and it borders on animal abuse to be "late" about it. Perhaps you should volunteer to milk someone's cow for a week, then make up your mind.

Otherwise, any stainless steel bucket of the appropriate size that can be sanitized and is made in the US will do.
 

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I had a Guernsey cow, Daisey, for many years. She raised from 2 to 4 calves a year (two at a time -- one being her own). I put her calves up when I wanted to save her milk. Let them run with her when I did not want to milk her. She was broke to a head-catch (stanchion) and broke to milk when I bought her. She was a real sweetie.

You want to have one tested for Tuberculosis and Brucellosis before you drink her milk. Daisey had been calfhood vaccinated for Bangs (Brucellosis) and had the little ear-tag clamped on her ear.

Use all stainless steel buckets. You have to watch what they eat as some things 'taint' milk real bad. I also had a creme separator and a hand churn and made butter.
 

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I'd try and find an old walk thru dairy (some time you find a 2 cow) and go that way. Milking by hand, you need to build those hand muscles up. First few time or more your hand will start to cramp up.

As someone said, it's a 7 day, twice a day gig.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just wanted to post on here that I got a jersey cow! Her name is Annabelle and she is a 2nd calf heifer. I've had her for 8 days and my hands have finally stopped hurting!!! wooga wooga! lol

thanks for all the reply's on here :)
 

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I had goats. Much easier. If they step on you, it only hurts a little.
 

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Goats' milk varies a LOT from goat to goat. I had up to 20 goats back in the 60s and 70s. I had 2 Nubians that had milk that you could not tell from cows' milk. I had a couple of Alpine and Toggenberg goats that had milk that even smelled like a goat. They raised awesome calves and bum lamb but I would have gone hungry before I drank it.

You will find that many things they eat (like weeds and wild onions and wild garlic in the spring) will make your cow's milk smell and taste bad. You will also find that when they are on good grass, the Carotene comes through and their milk and cream is yellow.

I loved my goats and they had 'homogenized' milk where the cream does not rise to the top. I had a separator and made the best butter and and ice cream.

What are you going to do with Annabel's milk? Did you get her calf, too? You need 10 kids to drink it all.
 

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Goats' milk varies a LOT from goat to goat. I had up to 20 goats back in the 60s and 70s. I had 2 Nubians that had milk that you could not tell from cows' milk. I had a couple of Alpine and Toggenberg goats that had milk that even smelled like a goat. They raised awesome calves and bum lamb but I would have gone hungry before I drank it.

You will find that many things they eat (like weeds and wild onions and wild garlic in the spring) will make your cow's milk smell and taste bad. You will also find that when they are on good grass, the Carotene comes through and their milk and cream is yellow.

I loved my goats and they had 'homogenized' milk where the cream does not rise to the top. I had a separator and made the best butter and and ice cream.

What are you going to do with Annabel's milk? Did you get her calf, too? You need 10 kids to drink it all.
I didn't know that about diff. kind of goats having diff. kind of milk :? Interesting.

About Annabelle's milk - we have 5 kids in our house - plenty to drink that milk! With some of them being teenage boys(cough) it's no problem to go through that milk, plus make butter and ice cream... I should tackle cheese one of these days :)
 
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