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Monday, 24 February 2014

My Other Girls

I'm very happy to have these old favourites back home.  After a few months of r&r at Bottle Tree, during which time I've had to suffer 'bought' milk in my coffee I'm glad to have welcomed these girls home in preparation for babies.  


Priscilla is due to calve next week,


her expanding girth and burgeoning udder a clear giveaway.  


Unfortunately her old udder has got a little closer to the ground (gravity favours no species it seems) and her baby will need a little help learning how to 'go low' in an effort to get a drink.  Usually a couple of days is all it takes, milker calves known for their ability to latch on to anything.


Her Brown Swiss cross daughter Penelope, who happens to dwarf her mother,


will be last to calve, due several weeks after Priscilla and Olivia.


Olivia, the cheekiest milker by far is perhaps my favourite to actually milk.  Provided enough grain is placed in front of her, she'll fill a bucket with little effort.


We're looking forward to an abundance of milkshakes, custards and puddings in coming weeks. And with these three giving me as much as twenty litres a day, I'm thinking of giving cheese-making a red hot go.

Cue eye-rolling from the big fella.

23 comments:

  1. What great shots! I can't imagine all those long legs in those bellies, ouch haha.

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    1. Haha, yes Jackie, the milkers tend to show the huge bellies more than the other cattle too. In fact I looked at Priscilla the other day and wondered if there might be more than one in there!

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    2. I actually thought the same looking at the photos! Or else its a monster of a calf!

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  2. Hubby's Aunt made some fantastic cheeses from her milkers. She tried out Feta and Ricotta styles which we all just had to sample and they were pretty amazing. Good luck with the cheeses, I know you'll do great with them.

    xx Susan

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    1. Apparently cheese isn't terribly difficult to make Susan, I'd love to give it a go. Will keep you posted.

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  3. Beautiful photos! Nothing better than fresh milk! Good luck with the cheese making - sounds like it could be relish!

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    1. Luck is what I'll need Jessica, though with milk in huge supply, it won't matter if I make a few slip-ups. The pigs can enjoy any failures!

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  4. If my memory serves me correctly, didn't you have a milking machine that needed a little repair 😉

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    1. I'll be showing this to Matthew Ainsley! If my memory serves me correctly, the 'milking machine' may be currently in use as a saddle rack.

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  5. Just like your Liv, I was also a good milker. But now, sadly, I could probably tie mine in a knot around my neck!

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  6. Replies
    1. All grown up, fat and shiny, weaned and packed off home Cassie. Your memory is sharp ... though I guess you wouldn't forget that name!

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  7. ha ha, I remember hearing about the milking machine, but haven't seen it here in action... Geez the udder on the old girl (and I feel her pain re gravity, and dare I say, abundance of udder). They all look in rather good condition, bottle tree has been good to them.

    And I can tell by the angle of the head, that cheeky milker has got some attitude. We often have to bring in the neighbours milker, and there is nothing more determined to do it her way than a seasoned milker. In a hurry? lets make sure we zig and zag and zig some more instead of walking in a straight line home. (plus pretend the gateway has shifted). Or bail up the kids at the feed room door, instead of waiting for their feed at the trough.

    Now I remember why I don't have a house cow. That, and the fact that despite Dad trying to teach me to milk (we had a cow until we all went to boarding school I think) he gave up in despair as I just don't have the knack for it.

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    1. I've never seen the milking machine in action either Sharon! But it was a bargain.
      Yes, milkers are spirited, peculiar creatures. You do tend to learn each one's idiosyncrasies though and provided nothing changes in their daily routine we all get along just fine. Have one of the kids come over though, or God forbid, the big fella, and they work themselves into a terrible state. Poor old darlin's.

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  8. PS Cheese making? I wouldn't even dream of starting (apart from the lack of cow/milk). The lanky one here would probably be more vocal then rolling his eyes if I even mentioned a desire to start something as kitchen orientated as that.... (I'm actually thinking I might suggest it, just to get the reaction!)

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  9. Ah they are beautiful girls and I am sure you will enjoy the babies coming your way along with the fresh milk. Cheese making sounds like a good thing to try.

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    1. Yes, milker babies are always cute. The past couple of years I've sourced sexed dairy semen, so they'll definitely be little girls, some Brown Swiss this year, and some Jersey.

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  10. Lovely cows! We try to stagger our two calving so we always have some milk but not too much! Cheese can't be too hard, my husband even made one the other day when we had a spare 10 L. Usually I am the cheese maker, but I was away and he hates to waste anything. There's some tips on my blog. Good luck!

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    1. In theory I'd like to stagger our calving too Liz, just easier in theory than practice. Similarly our two sows always have piglets within a week of each other despite attempts to keep the boar away. I will definitely be over to glean some cheese-making knowledge from your blog Liz, thanks for dropping by.

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  11. Yeh go for the cheese. Could be second only to the Christmas Pudding thingos.

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  12. fresh cows milk.......yummo........goodluck with the cheese making.............

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  13. Your fresh milk menu sounds delicious.
    They look very content. x

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