Monday, 28 March 2011

A Herd Update

It has been 1.5 years since we got our first cow and calf, and I am continuing to learn every day. In the last few weeks, Honey went to live at my friends' farm, as they will run a horned herd over there. She's currently with the bull, and they hope to be milking her by the new year!

Honey, 1.5 years old, the day she left

It was a little hard to let her go, being hand-reared by us and so loving and quiet. But I am rapt we'll be able to visit. It also means I can raise more calves without crowding the paddocks if some of them move on!

Wags and Poppy are a year old now, and growing big and strong. They both love a scratch under the chin and are very tame. Wags is destined for the freezer when he's about two years old. Poppy will hopefully be in calf by this Winter sometime, delivering in a year or so.

We are hoping for a calf from Lucy before the end of the year.

Today Lucy was Artificially Inseminated (AIed), so will hopefully deliver a Jersey calf around Christmastime. If today didn't work, we need to try again in 3 weeks' time. I've been charting her cycles and reading all about the signs of bovine fertility for a few months now, another learning curve.

I am still milking every day, but getting much less - about 6L, once a day. I make a lot of yoghurt, and the labneh I make from the yoghurt is so creamy and delicious. I can't make enough of it to keep it up to the family! I think I'll tackle fetta this week. Jersey fetta is very yummy!
Labneh - photo from this tutorial


Luscious Lea said...

You're going to make your own feta, Ohh I might have to make a trip up the hill!! Sounds delish

Anonymous said...

Oh they are lovely cows - I grew up with cows and wish i was in a position to have some now but they don't really like suburbia. They really are very friendly animals.

Fay said...

Your cows look gorgeous!! So great to follow along with your farm antics.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have a cow...even a minicow would be great. I simply don't have enough space on our little lot. I envy you!

Libby said...

Loved reading all about your cows. I've recently heard about Bambarah Organics which don't kill any of the male calves, so I've been eating some of their cheese (which is delicious). Haven't been able to find their milk locally though.

Bel said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! I am blessed to have my own cows, I know! It is hard work, and difficult to travel when you have a house cow in milk... but it has been a wonderful 1.5 years with them so far.

Barambah Organics seems like a lovely dairy, Libby. I have only ever had some of their yoghurt, and some sour cream. I've been eyeing off some of the recipes on their site -

Bel said...

I made feta! It took all day, but I'm thinking it was worth it. :)

farmer_liz said...

I'm so glad I finally found your blog! We are getting a cow and calf this week and have been preparing for a few weeks, with cheese-making and milk-filtering and cow-milking equipment! I think we are ready, but I was hoping to find a blog with advice etc, so I'm looking forward to reading more about your cow, milk and cheese :) Nice to meet you!

farmer_liz said...

hi again Bel, thanks for you advice on natural cow remedies. We got our cow on Saturday and have milked her each morning. She's lovely and tame. I have tried to make yoghurt (will attempt cheese on the weekend) but am not having any success with the raw milk, its coming out very thin and the whey tends to separate. I have made yoghurt regularly using easiyo and using milk powder/water with some yoghurt mixed in, so I thought this would be similar. Any advice? I'd love to see a detailed yoghurt post so I can try your method. There seems to be so many different options, I don't know what to try next!