Let me introduce to you all Kisses Moo our beautiful jersey house cow. We were lucky enough to be given her by our landlord as a gift for B when we was born so she is technically Bs cow. She is such a beautiful soul and so friendly. We had originally become friends with another of our landlords cows and we were hoping to milk her but sadly she died of milk fever and then we met kisses who was so friendly and allowed us to pat and cuddle her. We were both pregnant at the same time and I felt sure we would “calf” together but her calf came months after B.
This is stingray our little Heifer calf and we hope to train her up to either sell as a house cow or keep as a backup. Kisses is a wonderfully gentle cow giving lots of kisses (hence the name) and loves a brush. She is so gentle she will just stand to be milked by D and has only kicked once due to fly’s irritating her. When we started milking we noticed the milk was salty. I was horrified thinking we wouldn’t be able to drink it but after much research we soon discovered it might be a early sign on mastitis. Being a breastfeeding mother I have huge mastitis paranoia and know how serious it can be if left untreated. We went back and tasted each teat, It was only in the back two teats and we had read we could try to treat naturally before getting the vet out so we gave ourselves two weeks to try milking out , tiger balm and comfrey.
D dutifully got up at the crack of dawn before work to milk her out and would do it twice before bed feeding her comfrey leaves and putting tiger balm on her udder in the evening. After a week we tasted the milk again and one quarter had come clean but we were worried about the other quarter. We gave it a few more days and HOORAY D had cleared her infection and we had saved ourselves a very expensive vet trip. I think Kisses certainly loved all the extra attention (and food!)
Presently we are getting about 4 liters a day, We very rarely separate her and stingray and this system works well for us. We still have enough milk to drink for our family (and we drink a LOT) and I have also been making Butter and cheese – Haloumi , Ricotta, Basket cheese , Mozzarella and Yogurt. Having a family cow is wonderful often when I look at store bought milk now I wonder what cow it’s come from and where that cow lives. There’s something very satisfying about having a relationship and connection with your food and knowing it hasn’t traveled 100s of kilometers ( not to mention the packaging) to reach my kitchen.