5 Myths Keeping You From Living The Milk Cow Life
In this series, I’m talking you through, step-by-step-by-step, the 5 most common myths about keeping a family milk cow so you can crush those negative thoughts and set yourself up for success.
By the end of this series, you’ll see that getting a milk cow is not only totally possible, but that it is absolutely within your reach.
Myth #1: I Have To Wake Up At Dawn
This has to be the most common assumption of milk cow owners: that we get up well before the sun, in the dark early hours of the morning in order to milk the cow.
It is true that you can do that, if you want to. And since I’m sharing, my #unpopularopinion is that I’ve come to really love dark cold morning milkings.
It’s the quiet. As a mum of 5, I treasure every ever-loving minute of quiet ’cause they’re rare.
But it is not true that you must do it.
Truth: You should milk about every 12 hours.
Truth: You get to set the schedule and decide when to milk.
Are You An Early Bird? Or A Slow-Morning Person?
If you like getting up early to see the sun rise and get a head start on the day, milk early! Perhaps you’ll milk at 5am and, 12 hours later, at 5pm.
Or maybe you’re not quite that ambitious and getting up just before 6 is more your jam, then you’re going to milk at 6am and, 12 hours later, 6pm.
But if you’re a slow morning kind of person and you don’t want to get out of bed before it’s light, then maybe you’ll milk at 8am, and 12 hours later, at 8pm.
Or you want to get the kids off to school, get some tasks done around the house, and have a second cup of coffee before you head out to milk, so you decide to milk at 10am and then, of course, 12 hours later at 10pm.
Feel Free To Mix It Up
You know as well as I do that not every schedule and every family is cut and dried. And we have seasons when things are busier than others, when we have certain commitments at certain times.
And so you can mix it up.
Truth: You can be flexible when it comes to milking time.
Truth: Aim for no more than 14 hours and no less than 10 hours between milkings.
Milking every 12 hours is a good goal, but you’re not a commercial dairy and you don’t need to maximize your yields in order to make ends meet.
If you want or need to mix up your schedule so that milking isn’t quite 12 hours apart, your cow will adjust.
And once you do decide on a schedule, stick to it. Your cow thrives on routine and consistent milking times will improve her attitude (chuckle), her cream lines, and her production.
A Mixed Schedule
Here’s a real-life example: perhaps you decide to milk at 7am. That’s just right for you – enough time to get in a cup of coffee beforehand and just right to get the kids up and started at a reasonable hour afterwards.
But perhaps you have piano lessons and soccer practice and ballet commitments in the evenings, usually around 6 or 7. So you decide to milk at 5pm instead of the standard 12 hours later at 7pm.
No big deal. Your cow will adjust.
And if it turns out that you need to change it up in another couple months because your commitments change – again, no problem. Just do so gradually.
Squeezing In Even More Flexibility
- Transition from TAD to OAD milkings
Depending on how much milk your cow is giving and where she’s at in her lactation, it is absolutely possible to transition from twice-a-day milking (TAD) to once-a-day milking (OAD).
Whew! Let me tell you, that shift is a game-changer. It suddenly feels like you have four more hours in the day (ha!)
- Calf-sharing (when you allow the calf to stay with the cow for at least a portion of the day)
Depending on how much milk your cow is giving and how old/big the calf is, you may be able to leave them together for the day and skip that day’s milking all together.
We’ll talk more about calf-sharing in the next post where we tackle Milk Cow Myth #2 I Can’t Leave The Farm or Go On Vacation.
And you can learn more about how to get started calf-sharing here.
Keep Learning in Milk Cow 101
If you’ve got the gumption to learn something new and you’re ready to dig in and start living that milk cow life (boy is it a good one!), join the waitlist for Milk Cow 101 today.
Bonus: you for sure don’t have to wake up at dawn!
You’ll be the first to know when enrollment opens and you’ll be ready to learn everything you need to feel confident and prepared to bring home your very first family milk cow.