Resuming Milking

Due to a number of events out of my control and the constant increase of my writing work for the CLAA, I was forced to stop milking one of our cows (Rebecca) in mid-August.  I sent her out to pasture and planned to see her again next year.   However, things suddenly calmed down for me less than 2 months later and I asked, “Hey, can I get her milking again?”  After all, she should be milking for another 5 months. 

Fortunately, she had been with her calf in the pasture and the calf began nursing.  So, the calf kept Rebecca in milk during the time I wasn’t milking her.  I went out three days ago and prepped her for milking.  I went through the entire process as normal, gave her feed, cleaned her teats, massaged her udders and took just a few draws from each teat.  The milk looked fine, but there was hardly any there.  She was largely dried up. 

That evening, I brought her back in for milking and milked her.  She gave us one full gallon.  The next day she was up to a gallon and a half.  Yesterday she gave the same and today looks fuller than yesterday.  Knowing we’re beyond her 70-day mark, I’d be very happy with 2 gallons per day…and I think we might get there.  Nevertheless, it is possible to take a break from milking and resume.  Then again, we’re not milking for money, but for milk.

WM

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