Permaculture in Action

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Milking Time

Mark with Bella, Patsy and Blossom

Mark started milking Patsy the second day after little Blossom was born. Blossom is Patsy's first calf and we weren't sure how well she take to milking. But due to Mark's educating and handling of Patsy since she was a young calf she has handled the whole thing really well. Mark even found her waiting in the milking shed this morning. Mark is milking Patsy morning and evening at the moment to get her used to milking but also to take some pressure off her udder.

In about a week, Blossom will be locked up in the calf pen after her afternoon feed. This allows Mark to get the first lot of milk in the morning before the calf takes it all. He will take between 3-6 litres every morning and leave plenty for the calf to feed any time throughout the day. The cow is mostly happy with this procedure as she feels happy to know that the calf is secure all night while she can go off and graze and the calf is kept warm and safe overnight and wouldn't feed again during the night anyway, so seems to suit all round.

We only milk once a day and get more than enough milk for our needs. We have plenty to drink and enough to make all the cheese and yoghurt we need.


  1. Wonderful. That is just what we are aiming to do, not with our first calf, but hopefully a grand daughter calf. Might just have to pop down for a wee lesson :)

  2. That sounds just lucky you are although i see a fair bit of work involved too which is what has held us back from having a few cows...too many kids to worry about first!Enjoy...did you make that cheese yourself?

  3. Well that's fantastic! I had a housecow 3 years ago but I was really scared of her. She was so big! So we got goats instead and I haven't been organised enough to set up a good system so we haven't got them pregnant yet.

    Enjoy your wonderful, non-packaged milk!

  4. Oh! How cute! So happy she's a she! And I really miss you fresh yogurt down here...