Back to milking

We lost our milk cow back in August of 2008.  Since then, we have been searching for another Guernsey. 

Guernsey cows are difficult to find around here.  Most family farming people  prefer the smaller Jersey cow.  The Jersey cow gives a nice amount of creamy milk and works well with a family farm, however we were already sold on the golden Guernsey butter and creamy milk not only for its taste, but the special A2 milk interest we have.

We finally received an email with a lead (thanks Amy!!) on a Guernsey milk cow and her heifer calf which we were very excited to investigate.  Being that the seller was an Amish family in Kentucky, it took some calling around to find someone, who knew someone, who could go find out if the cows were still available before we took the day trip to Kentucky.  (No email or phone you know…)  We found out they were available…so we headed out  to go take a look at them. 

We’ve bought a few milk animals before.  We know what we are looking for.  For some reason, even when we know what we are looking for, we always find what we don’t want.  This milk cow had a lot of what we did want…but some major things we didn’t want. 

What we wanted in a milk cow:

  • Guernsey
  • dehorned
  • 4 working teats not damaged by mastitis – easier milker than our last cow.
  • has her tail— wasn’t docked by a dairy.
  • giving some good milk each day…doesn’t have to be newly fresh. 

What we found:

  • a registered older Guernsey mammoth with her 6 week old beautiful Guernsey heifer.
  • yes, dehorned and yes, has a tail.
  • 4 working teats that weren’t damaged by mastitis but a massive udder that is very low.  A slipped udder will hang low and could cause problems.  Definitely not something we wanted…but were willing to give her a try being that she did have a beautiful  heifer calf that we could raise to be a fresh starting milk cow here in a few years.  We also considered the fact that we have been having a hard time finding Guernseys–here’s two of them!
  • yes…giving lots of milk at about 7 to 8 gallons a day at 6 weeks fresh. 

laynamilkcow

So far, we’re adjusting to the change in schedule ….or what I should say is — we are still adjusting to the cow taking over our lives.  Milk cows are amazing animals that teach you how to stay home.  We are very thankful for the milk and very excited about our golden Guernseys!

4 Comments

  • LBus says:

    I’m so happy you found a Guernsey.
    She produces a large amount of milk, Wow!
    Have you considered an udder support? It might help prevent her from damaging your udder.
    Just a thought
    God Bless

  • Tracy in Ky says:

    We lost our milk cow in September 08. She was a full Guernsey and died 1 & 1/2 days after giving birth to a Guernsey heifer. We are raising the heifer. We have another milk cow now who is part Guernsey, part Jersey. She calved in March, and we’re raising her bull calf for beef.
    Milking does keep a family busy!
    That is a lot of milk! Our cow is giving around 5 gallons a day at about 9 weeks fresh, and it is a lot to keep up with!
    Love your blog,
    Tracy

  • amys says:

    Congrats on the guernsey. She’s is beautiful!
    I’m glad you posted on why you prefer the guernsey. I had wondered b/c I’d learned most people prefer the Jersey b/c of temperment…so I knew you had some good reasons. The special A2 reason is very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
    Amy

  • BethTN says:

    yes…we have thought about udder support 😉 We didn’t know if there was such a thing for cows!
    Tracy–Congrats on your cow… Yes, milking does keep a family busy! I recenlty read that dairy farming is “hard core” farming—I think I concur 😉
    Amys–yes, we are very interested in the A2 milk. It doesn’t seem to be very popular here in the US yet….

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