We've got some exciting news! We brought home our dairy milk cow, August, about 1 1/2 weeks ago from a registered Jersey dairy farm (Marshland Dairy in Spencer, WI). And our one cow turned into two Saturday when our cow freshened and gave us a new little heifer calf. She is just the sweetest....our son has named her Dandelion, and she's a healthy and happy little calf!
Why would you want a milk cow?!
I'm sure you're probably wondering this. I know people think we're crazy. And maybe we are :)
Having a dairy cow has been a dream of mine for a while. D has been really interested in getting beef cows, and hopefully they will too join our homestead after a while, but for now we're starting with dairy. We chose the Jersey breed because of their docile nature, smaller stature, and high butterfat content. So far, we haven't been disappointed!
Owning a milk cow will help with our own sustainability. We will have our own milk, cheese, butter, and cream from our homestead, and we are so excited for this season to start! I have milked her twice so far, and she is just such a good girl, standing so still while I fumble around and take a long time to get her milked. Right now, August is still giving colostrum (the rich first milk reserved only for the baby). Because she's so full, we've started milking, but we aren't drinking the milk yet. She is such a good mama. She takes good care of her baby, who is nursing well and is spry and happy. We aren't sure on our plans for Ms. Dandelion yet, but we do know we are planning to calf-share, which means share the milk with the calf. We may be adding another calf to the mix, with hopes that we can keep up with all of the milk. It's also our hope that by calf-sharing we won't be "married" to our cow, and we'll have some flexibility and freedom by sharing the milking chore with the calves.
We couldn't be more pleased with Ms. August. She has gone above and beyond my expectations. She is so gentle, such a good mama, and gives so much to us already. She is a great first cow, and we are excited for all she is going to give to our little growing homestead!
Stay tuned for more updates!
Life has been so full and so busy. We are trying to find time to plant our tomato and pepper seeds, but we have just been so busy, we haven't gotten them in their pots yet. Maple syrup is taking most of our time! We have cooked about 27 quarts of syrup so far, which puts us at about 7 gallons of syrup. We use so much syrup, both as sugar and as syrup, for baking and for eating, and I just don't know if it will be enough. We will see. The trees are still slowly running, but the buds are starting to appear on the trees, which means the season is going to be ending soon. We'll keep taking what Mother Nature gives with thankful arms!
What have you been doing to keep busy this spring?
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