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How to go on vacation with a milk cow

When I was contemplating getting a milk cow I wasn't sure how we could still go on vacations or even a simple weekend get away. You hear how dairy farmers can never get away from milking, I certainly did not want to have to stay home all the time. What is a wannabe dairy maid supposed to do?

Apple Prairie farm, milk cow

I learned about an amazing trick called calf sharing. Super easy. With this technique you only milk once a day. When you want to milk the next morning; go separate your milk cow from the calf for the night. We put mama cow in the barn along with her calf but we put them in separate pens. Make sure baby can not some how get to mama to sneak some milk. In the morning, lead mama cow into the area where you milk, milk her and when you are done milking, bring mama and baby out to where you want them to be for the day. They will be happy to be with each other. If you want more milk the next morning then separate them again that night.

Apple Priarie Farm, baby calf

Now this is the part about when you want to go on a vacation. Leave mama with baby for the whole vacation. Wow, isn't that easy. When you get back from vacation and you want some milk for your fridge then separate mama from baby for the night. Milk in the morning. Yeah, milk and cream in the fridge!


This way of milking is so easy, maybe you had planned to milk but can't stand the thought of leaving your nice cozy house, or maybe your day suddenly gets busy. Don't milk the cow, just put her and her baby out together for the day. Maybe you can milk tomorrow morning.

Apple Prairie Farm, milk cow

Another reason to milk this way is maybe you only need a gallon or two of milk for the week. Depending on the breed of cow you have maybe you just want to milk once a week. Of course, the more often you milk the more used to the routine your cow will be. The way I run our tiny milking operation is, I consistently milk Monday through Saturday every morning. That means our milk cow gets used to the routine of being separated from her calf every night. I look forward to taking Sunday's off. (mini vacation, Yay!) Every now and then, I will wake up in the morning and just not want to milk. Just send out a capable kid to put mama cow and baby back together.


Here's a verse for you:

For every animal of the forest is mine and the cattle on a thousand hills. Psalm 50:10


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