Adventures of a Milk Maid

Well, it’s been a few days since we started milking Ava.

feb-2017-009

The beautiful Ava and her dainty heifer…we’ve named her Ebony

Whew! What a responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, I want to do this and did not walk into this adventure blinded. I knew this would be a huge thing to take on.

The first day of milking we milked by hand because our milker hadn’t arrived yet. Ava was fairly calm and enjoyed her treat of grains but she was impatient with me. The hand milking just took too long and I wasn’t very good at it, (she prefers the machine which milks her out in a few minutes). We weren’t able to get all the milk out that first day, so we milked her twice that day. Farmer Hick helped out in the evening.

It’s important to get all the milk out for two reasons, milk left behind may encourage mastitis and also signals the udder to produce less milk. So, I was pretty worried that day.

The second day our new portable milk machine arrived. Farmer Hick helped me to set it up and off to the barn we lightheartedly went.

I had not expected the job of getting the milkers onto Ava’s teats to be SO frustratingly difficult!

For any of you who use portable bucket milkers….you’ll understand this. LOL A large hand is needed to pinch off all the hoses while one by one you stick each milker onto the cow. My hands are not tiny, but it still wasn’t happening. No success.

That first day with the milker I failed miserably and Farmer Hick got quite impatient with me. However, once he got the job accomplished he agreed that it’s not an easy job. LOL

After the milking, straining and bottling I pulled out my favorite ‘cow’ book by Mary Jane Butters because I remembered reading a little blur on milk machine manipulation. Sure enough, this smart lady has dealt with the same frustration I felt that day and has since learned a few tricks. The next day I followed her advice and what do you know? It worked! Milking was over in a few minutes. Whew!!!

If you ever read this Mary Jane, know that your book is a gem! I hope you know that already. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

To all you future milk maids…don’t get a milk cow unless you’re a 100% committed and DO buy Mary Jane’s book. The title is ‘Milk Cow Kitchen’. Besides great advice on all sorts of cow subjects, it has many cheese making recipes with step by step instructions and pictures, plus many recipes using milk and cheese with beautiful photography.

This is where I’ll end today’s post. I have to go milking again…..

Stay tuned!

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