stanchion

milking-mabel1 milking-mabel-2

In preparation for milking Mabel, Stewart divided the barn into two sides. One side holds Mabel’s stall and the stanchion Stewart built for her along with a corner for feed and tools. The “other” side contains three goat stalls and a goat milking stand.

A couple of weeks ago we coaxed Stanley, Mabel’s calf, into the “other” side of the barn while she was enjoying a snack. I woke up to her mooing at 1:30 in the morning and didn’t hear her again until around sunup. Since then, most nights we milk the goats, separate Stan, and tell Mabel we’ll see her bright and early the next morning. And every morning there she is, not far from the barn waiting for breakfast in the pasture.

We found out the very first morning that Joshie is absolutely terrified by a mooing cow so my morning milking plans quickly changed with him glued to my hip. But together we’re able to fill her feed box and Stewart does the milking.

We are so grateful for the abundance of milk the Lord has graciously allowed and the recent rains that seem to be perking up the pasture a bit for both the goats and the cows. We have made a little butter, a little yogurt, and a little cheese thus far and most meals are now served with as much milk as you can drink and somehow no one has yet to grow tired of it.

Like so many things here on the homestead, we are complete greenhorns in caring for this cow. We’ve been reading Keeping the Family Cow and have gleaned from other homesteader’s experiences but as newbies we are just taking it one day at a time. We are grateful that the Lord, in His mercy, has granted us the care and use of these animals for feeding our family and that, on top of that, He provided a very nice, gentle, and seemingly healthy cow for our first go round.