It was about 9 a.m. and we were getting ready for church when the phone rang. It was a sweet friend calling with a question….an amazing question….did we want a cow who had just freshened (had a calf)….for FREE!!
Well, of course we did! We had been looking for a milk cow for some time and right now they are very expensive. Market prices are up in our area and milk cows are more than twice what they normally cost.
She had been offered to someone else here locally and they had declined. They wanted to see her go someplace she would be well cared for…she has a shoulder injury from birth and does well on pasture but struggles in a crowd of hundreds of other cows or on cement.
My friend told me there was a hitch….this was not a Jersey….”she’s a Holstein”. Hhhhmmmmm. We’ve never had a Holstein…never been around a Holstein etc. We love Jerseys. Higher butterfat content, cheaper to feed, smaller in frame so easier to handle. Plus…our milking parlor was designed for Jerseys.
Elijah and I did some talking and came up with a list of questions. Our questions were answered…they offered to bring her to us…so we accepted.
HOWEVER, she was giving 10 GALLONS of milk a day. Gallons people! Before your heads start swimming with pictures of cream, cheese, milk and ice cream…think about milking 10 gallons a day BY HAND!
So…we dug out our bucket milker, are having some tubing replaced and are looking forward to some relief. Of course her production has dropped – we knew (and hoped) it would! We aren’t milking 3 times a day like the dairy was. We aren’t feeding the same high intensity feed and we certainly aren’t milking her dry each time.
I will say that this is the gentlest cow we have ever had. You can walk out into the field, sit down next to her and milk her and she doesn’t move. She doesn’t kick either – although she occasionally swishes her tail!
We had a family emergency the day she arrived so we didn’t get to milk her until later that evening. Elijah and I spent hours in the barn…she has very tiny teats! We borrowed a milker from a friend the next day to make sure she was milked out….I was worried about mastitis! One cow milkers may be the best invention in the world!
We are very grateful to our friend for thinking of us and to our heavenly Abba who has provided abundantly once again! We serve an incredible Father!
She is only 2 years old so we hope she is a part of the family for a long time! She doesn’t have a name yet…we are open to suggestions!
She is certainly enjoying this slower paced life…green fields, sunshine, and solitude. Well…almost solitude…there is someone who is helping with the milking right now….