Thursday, 21 March 2013

Our jersey cow

This is our jersey cow, which our 4yr old son has named 'alley'. She is the third jersey cow that we have owed. We bought her from a dairy last year. She was a cull cow, so would have been sent to the factory. She is ten yrs old, quiet old for a dairy cow. She was been culled due to her age, and with that age the ligaments in her bag(udder) are gone loose. You can see from the photo that her bag hangs low, low being belong the hock. This for her is due to age and from being a high producer, it puts extra strain on her bag. When the bag 'drops' like this, it is more prone to getting damaged from being stood on etc.
She was priced according to her bag and age, so we couldn't pass on her.
The great benefit of getting an older cow, is that usually they are so quiet and know their job very well. Alley is so quite and lovely to handle that it makes milking a pleasure.

This photo shows her after I have hand milked her. I usually get about 7litres twice a day. We use about 5litres a day in the house as drinking/cooking milk. We soak rolled oats every day with the warm milk to make a porridge for the hens, which they love and it had resulted in higher egg production. We also leave out a bowl of milk for our two dogs and one cat. The rest of the milk I bring into the house and skim the cream or sometimes if I don't mind all the washing up involved I might put it through the cream separator. I save the cream for making ice cream and to have pouring cream for coffee and cooking. I used to make butter, but until I find an easier way, I'm just buying it in the shop.
This is my milking bucket after the mornings milking, lots of froth and cream. And a soft cheese straining, great when salted with herbs added. Yum!

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