What could be more satisfying, more rewarding than owning your own cow? You would have fresh milk daily for your table. You could make your own butter, cheese and yogurt. And the very best of allall the homemade ice cream you can eat.
But folks who might be considering the notion of keeping a cow at home for their private milk supply must first and foremost be aware that milk is a perishable product and if not properly handled, will most definitely make them ill. There is no reason to fear raw, unpasteurized milk or processed products made from raw milk provided the entire process of milking the cow and handling and refrigerating the milk is done with scrupulous care and fastidious attention to cleanliness. (If there is any doubt as to the cleanliness of raw milk, as a safety precaution, you should pasteurize that milk.)
With the assurance and confidence that the milk from your cow is safe to drink, you may now regard the experience of having your own cow as an adventure. Yes, owning and taking care of a beast that weighs in at, the very least, 1, 000 pounds comes with guaranteed challenges. Cows are big animals, requiring adequate facilities for both housing and milking. You just don’t push a half-ton animal aroundespecially when she doesn’t want to. She must be milked in a timely manner to maintain consistent milk production. If she’s not fed correctly her health and milk production will suffer, and your experience with a dairy cow will deteriorate into a lot of extra expense, frustration and disappointment. Simply put, if you want to milk your own cow you had better be prepared to do it right.
Chris Newton grew up on a farm in Missouri and learned how to milk cows as a youngster. He and his wife Mavis moved to New England a number of years ago; she as a teacher and he as a hospital administrator. A dream of the Newtons was to eventually buy a small farm, and on that farm they would have a cow that would provide them with fresh milk daily. The Newtons found a farm in Connecticut, and proceeded to purchase a cowa Jersey named Bambifrom a dairy farm in Rhode Island.