Nothing compares to owning your own milk cow.
I like my chickens. The ducks are adorable. The pigs are ... well, pigs.
The cow is another story entirely. If you took my ducks I'd be sad. If you took my chickens I'd chase you. If you took my pigs, I'd thank you. If you took my cows, I'd die. Well, maybe not really, but I'd want my cows back. Immediately.
Before we purchased our first milk cow everyone was trying to convince us we were making a mistake.
Some of the advice we were given before we got our first cow:
That we'd be "married" to the cow.
That owning a dairy animal was not for "hobby farmers."
That we'd never be able to leave our house.
That owning a cow was like being in prison.
That a cow is a really large animal.
That we'd have to milk twice a day, at the same time everyday.
That cows eat a lot of food.
That we could buy milk at the grocery store.
That if we do get one – can they buy some butter?
Some of it was true, some was a matter of opinion. Much of it turned out to not be true for us.
The truth is ...
I can not begin to tell you how happy I am that no one scared us out of getting our cow. Yes, she's huge. Yes, we milk her every day. Yes, it's a commitment.
Yes, I want to keep her forever. My life is better with cows.
We now have two Jersey cows we milk every day.
How my cow has made my life better –
They provide structure to my days. Everyday I milk the cows at the same time. This ensures that my day starts on time, early, and consistently.
Because of the cows I get exercise everyday. There's the walk to and from the field, the milking, the cleaning, the feeding, the mucking, the sweeping, the straining, and the skimming. Plenty of exercise.
Everyday I get fresh air. I have to go outside and care for the animals no matter how stupid it is outside. Freezing, raining, snowing – the cows must be milked and fed.
Home dairying makes me happy. I always have a refrigerator full of fresh, raw (probiotic rich) milk. Fresh, raw cow's milk is full of beneficial bacteria as well as CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). CLA is a superfood that you want in your diet.
My cows save me money at the grocery. I don't have to buy milk, cream, butter, cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, whip cream, or ice cream ... ever. Happiness!
Because of our raw milk, my children no longer get allergy shots. I have two children with severe allergies. Once we got our cow, they no longer needed their allergy shots. The cow is in the pasture eating all the grasses, weeds, mold and allergens that send my children into hives and sinusitis-land. Our allergies have significantly improved since we got our milk cow.
Less frequent illnesses. We are healthier since we started drinking raw milk from our cows. They have absolutely improved the healthy of our entire family.
Companionship. If you want a friend, and some fresh milk – get a Jersey cow. Our Jerseys love people. When they hear us, they come to greet us. If anyone is near the field they come over hoping for a little scratch behind the ears or a treat.
Life skills. Because of our cows I know how to milk an animal by hand and with a milker. If all the grocery stores closed, we would still have the ability and resources to get all the dairy products we want (as long as we have a dairy animal).
They remind us where food comes from. I love that my children know where milk, eggs, butter, cream, meat and vegetables come from.
Last but not least, they give me baby cows. Milk cows who are bred back after calving will produce a calf each year. Calving time is almost as exciting as Christmas. The calves can be used for food, for a future dairy animal, or for income.
I have never regretted getting a milk cow. I am blessed to be able to spend time with my sweet cows every day. They have given so much to our family. Our health is better. Our life is better. I am so grateful for our sweet, Jersey cows.
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