Sharing the Milk

Lady Astor and I had a good think together yesterday. Cows and I mind-think  – think like a cow and all that. dutch belted cow

My Plan has always been to share-milk with the cows this year. They are older girls and have not ever been house cows. I had intended to do this with both  – but Elsie the Wild was not sharing. Lady A is doing the best she can though she has a short attention span and is getting a bit kicky when it is time to strip the last of her milk. This  is not good for her udder.  I was going to keep her calf and milk her outright. But she has convinced me – share milking is the way to go. Baby can come into the Parlour for visits.

She is good with me and good with me being near Naomi. I don’t feel threatened by her.  So I think we can make this work. Elsie threw me a  bit – her aggression knocked my confidence with cows – but I am back up on the horse – I think that Lady A and I can make a go of it. calf in barn

So starting from tomorrow Lady Astor  will spend all day with her baby. Naomi can come out of the barn into the field with her Mum.  Then Naomi will come in at night (which is safer – Potter and her Mum are locked up by the barn every night ) and  Naomi will sleep with the goats and I will milk Lady A the following morning then she can take her baby out into the fields with her for the day. And so on.  This is fairly standard practice for many House Cow managers and I think Lady A will adjust to it well.  It will also give Boo and I plenty of time with Naomi in the evenings. calf and dog

I will not be able to do this with Potter but I hope that the opportunist daily handling of her will make a difference.

I have this very real determination that animals need sunshine and air and fields.  I think we can all get the best of both worlds this way. Plus, not milking in the evenings, when it is hot and there are a million flies, will be better for everyone – most especially me.  I get milk once a day and Lady gets a health check once a day.  Fingers crossed.

Look at Potter, milking-021

– she is only a few days older and hurling herself around the fields. I want this for Naomi too. Lady A has been on a steep learning curve too.  But I am farming these cows for milk. Milk is one of the foundation proteins for the farm,  the animals and for me.

cows and calf

(Potter has her mothers nose. Poor girl. Aunty Del is making sure she is in the shot!)

Let’s see what happens next. Of course I am always ready to tack with the wind.  This is something we know about me.  But I think we are on the right track now. Soon Lady Astor’s milk will clear and be bright white. Ready to drink. Ready for fresh cheese. Ready for ice-cream and butter. Ready for coffee. But in smaller doses than with Daisy. Lady A’s udder is less than a quarter the size of Daisy’s.pigs

Yesterday the two buck goats went with their owner, my neighbour up on the ridge, to live at her house. They were gone in the blink of an eye, Freya, Hazel and I waved a goodbye. They are weaned and early next year we will borrow one back to stay with the girls a while. For now they are keeping her front field in order. And right at the moment I can see the attraction of milking Goats!

But: Keeping in mind that my objective is to grow everything I eat for a year – The cows stay.

But which year will be that year when I eat only what I grow.  Shall I aim for 2016?  Will my husband leave me?

Good morning. Things are settling. I can feel them settling – into that early summer rhythm.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm,





47 Comments on “Sharing the Milk

  1. Sounds like a good plan especially when backed up by potential adaptation. Adaptability is a must in all plans involving animals I’ve learned! Boo looks contented with his new charge! Enjoy your Sunday.

  2. I think that your mind-think sounds like a very sensible think . . . . and I truly am looking at Potter . . . . but most of all I am staring at that wonderful blue sky after the horrid past days! Good morning Celi: and good night for me 😀 !!

  3. I get the strong sense that you’re more settled and happy with things now, and that you feel it can be made to work. I’m glad, because you had such a lot to think about and variables to consider, and best of all, you have a Plan B. Both your little girls are dressed in the most beautiful black satin, like little French girls in Sunday best clothes. All they need is white lace collars. They look wonderfully sturdy and healthy, a tribute to the care you gave their Mamas.

  4. You are very wise, think bovine, so I’m sure it will all work out nicely.

    Is there something new you’ve signed up to, or is my newly-working-again Laptop? Every time I stopped scrolling down to read a bit of the post, an advertisement window popped up in the middle of the page. Easily got rid of, but still a pain in the fundament!
    Lovely day for afternoon tea with friends on the patio later. Coffee walnut cake ready!

  5. I love this that you mind-think with the animals. I do that also with the wild things. I believe they read our energy. I also love that you consider all that you observe and make decisions that will benefit everyone involved. Elsie the Wild has a mind of her own… and there is purpose in that as well. In time perhaps, the reason will reveal itself. You are wise to make choices that benefit all involved – not just your own agenda.

  6. I was just about to ask about the doggy in the header when I saw that Veronica beat me too it. It almost looks like he’s trying to be part of the farmy but isn’t quite. Very funny.
    A spy? Best of luck with the tack your on…I hope the cows will work with you on this.

  7. Joey! Good to see Joey. I miss him, the dirty little bugger. He needs a dip in the barrel by the house. I hope he will be able to visit while I am there. The new plan sounds good. I know you want to avoid any possibility of mastitis so if this will do that, then it is a good plan. I see the little piggies are having a bit of a mud nap there. It is indeed warming up to summer. Have a wonderful Sunday, C. Looks a little bit like rain here. Hopefully, I can still get outside and trim some bushes at some point.

  8. Happy Cows = everybody happy and well fed 🙂 Ok, now if I have been concentrating in cow school Elsie the Wild will need to be AI’d in a couple of months time for next years spring calf? Have you broached this subject with her yet, or will she also prefer a real bull? I think I will be happy to be parked here at the bottom of Africa when that day dawns. Glad you are all settling into your summer rhythm. Laura

  9. wouldn’t let one old cow put you off your stride..just be careful….

  10. While Auntie Del seems to enjoy being with Elsie and Potter I wonder about the example they are setting for her. I hope she takes her cues from the way Lady A has gentled to you rather than turning into a juvenile upstart with precocious tendencies. Lovely day to you Miss C 🙂

  11. In your shoes, which of course I’m not, I’d defer sticking a number to a year when your goal is due to be met. I’d stick a number on every year, including this one, and stretch the envelope as far as it allows under reasonable circumstances. Goals are fun but I’ve always preferred to journey. Love to you all, and I hope the sun shines warmly on the day. xx >

  12. All does seem to be settling into its own wonderful Spring rhythm! So very wonderful!!! xo

  13. I hope you get enough milk to make some awesome cheeses. Grow some herbs like thyme , rosemary , fennel , savory, basil, tarragon , dill, oregano , lavender, chervil and marjoram to add spices to your homegrown food and John will never dream of leaving you.
    I just read a great article from a book called ” The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor” . Every animal and human left to their own devices depends on taste and smell to identify nutrients crucial to live. All of our food these days is loosing flavor and nutrients because of mass production . As any grandparent can tell you , tomatoes , strawberries , chicken, all taste like cardboard today. You Celie, are bringing back flavor and nutrients . I’m proud of you.
    Yesterday I tested a l lemonade for a blog and it was horrible sweet .

  14. Hubby won’t leave ; ) He waited too long for you : )
    The calves are so sweet. I’m so glad they arrived safe and healthy. Looking forward to more goat pictures

  15. Good morning, Celi. My house is 69 years old, but I’m even older. : (
    It’s a Georgian, with plaster walls. I’m a bit deaf and my husband is a graduate of The Marlon Brando School of Elocution, so I spend my days hollering, “What did you say?” and he spends his days repeating himself.

  16. I am glad that things are settling into a routine for you, Celie. Did you by any chance get an email from me? Just checking in case it has gone astray.

  17. I find there’s an art to if one plan doesn’t quite work out to having others waiting in the wings for a gentle change of direction, sort of like the car GPS… I can hear Sweety Pie as we call her quietly advising “re-routing re-routing!”
    How far we often come without realizing… an interesting exercise to consider the changes already accomplished that become the norm. A decade ago when we began cohabitation the G.O. was fairly set in his food ways, thought I was a Foodie which I’m not, I was simply necessarily accommodating the proliferation and infiltration of Big Food via necessary adaptation of our shopping, cooking and eating customs. He’s now onboard and open to ongoing [gradual] evolution. I wish I’d kept a journal but who knew it would be such a journey!

  18. Sounds like a good plan. You have to be so adaptable with this kind of farming, don’t you? Gosh Lady A’s udder only a quarter the size of Daisy’s; that’s a big difference. You’ll be so glad to have milk again; I know how much you love it. It’s the white life blood of the farmy.

  19. Celi, I take my hat off to you, not sure I could keep up what you do every day.
    Have a beautiful day and here’s to 2016 being your year of being fully self sufficient.
    🙂 Mandy xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: