Milking Cows And Goats

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Ken Anderson, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    When I was a kid, we had a milking cow that kept us in milk, butter, and cheese. Most days, my dad would milk the cow before he went to work but there were many times when that task was left to the rest of us. I had four brothers, so milking the cow was not something that I had to do regularly. Feeding the horses was my job pretty much every day in the winter, but someone else milked the cow more often than not.

    For a while we had two milking cows, but then we had only the younger one. I didn't usually ask about such things but maybe one was getting too old to produce enough milk anymore, I don't know.

    I didn't like milking the cow. For one thing, if a couple of weeks had gone by since I had last milked the cow, it would take me a long time to figure it out again, and get the milk to come out. A bigger problem was that there was an icky feeling to milking the cow. Not only were there flies in the barn, and cow crap, but milking the cow had a disturbing masturbatory feel to it that contributed to the icky sensation.

    That would lighten up some when the cats came around, since I could squirt them with milk - which, I suppose, is why they came around. Some of the milk never made it into the pail, which may even have contributed to the ease in which I could usually get out of milking the cows. I tried to avoid having to milk the cow, and was often successful.

    Far worse than milking the cow though, was milking the goat. I've probably told this story in this forum before, so please don't get mad at me for repeating myself, but I absolutely hated milking the goat, and not one drop of goat's milk ever made it into the pail on my watch.

    That goat was the orneriest thing I have ever encountered. It would kick me, and butt me with its head. It would kick the pail, spilling everything onto the ground. I was able to milk the goat but the darned goat made sure that no one got any of its milk while I was the one milking it.

    Everyone had trouble milking the goat, I think, but I think a couple of my older brothers were able to get some milk into the house, while I could not.
     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    You are absolutely right about milking the goat, @Ken Anderson ! My kids probably hate that worse than any other childhood memory (even though I was the one that usually milked the goat. They did agree that they had good forearms from the attempts at milking though.
    I think that having a goat-milking stand helped because it worked like a cow stanchion, keeping the goat’s head firmly held in place. As long as the goat was eating her grain, she would mostly stand still to be milked; but she gobbled her grain like something was going to steal it from her if she didn’t eat it all really fast. Once the grain was gone, she kicked the milk pail, usually spilling the milk all over the person doing the milking in the process and then laughing at you afterwards.
    Not only were goats horrible to milk, they are all natural Houdini escape artists, and if they have horns, they will (invariably) get the horns caught in the squares of the stock fence, fighting and squalling while you attempt to untangle them.

    Comparatively, cows are much more pleasant to milk. They will stand there contentedly munching their grain, and mostly do not deliberately kick over the milking pail. Maybe they realize that they could become hamburger if they are not cooperative. I think that milk cows, by and large, just seem to have a nice calm disposition.
    And there is nothing as delicious as morning coffee with fresh real cream in it ! Sometimes, I really miss having a milk cow, or even a milk goat, which would fit a lot more handily into my back yard (if allowed by the City).
     
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  3. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    I'd take the modern milking of cows today over the hand milking of years ago. But, then again, I like "automation" and the "modern day" stuff of today.
     
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  4. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I don't think Ive ever been up close and personal to a cow unless it was with my kids in a petting zoo type situation or visiting a farm with their school. Can't remember though.

    I doubt I'd milk one but if I grew up on a farm, I probably would have. I did what I was told.

    I hate milk though and always have.
     
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  5. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Remember, Chrissy, you told us that you were a "big city" lady. Those kind of gals don't milk cows or enjoy getting around the smells and sights of a farm. Doing it with your kids/grandkids would be more enjoyable. "Big City" men are the same way.

    When I lived in So. California, I was teased quite a bit by folks when I'd mention about being raised on a hog farm and living around other farms.
     
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  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Even though I didn't live on a farm, I'd never tease anyone that did. I'm also pretty adaptable. Although I wouldn't want to live on a farm I could spend a few days on one and not be offended by the smells etc.

    I still wouldn't drink the milk but I would eat the eggs. :)
     
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  7. Terry Page

    Terry Page Veteran Member
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    That's my experience of keeping goats @Yvonne Smith during the 1970/80s, we had 8 in all of various breeds, the Alpine one was the escape artist, the Golden Guernsey the calmest with the creamiest milk. I found them easy to milk once you learned the technique, which is evidently completely different to a cow, though I have never actually milked a cow.
    I built a milking parlour with a stand and a place for the goat to put it's head through to feed, even then the odd pail of milk would get spilt. The excess milk we had of up to a couple gallons a day, I froze in heat sealed bags and sold to a local health food store, it was raw milk so wouldn't be allowed nowadays :eek:
    The goats did stray onto a field of wild garlic one day, so we ended up with garlic milk for a few days which is pretty horrible, their milk can be easily tainted by certain foods they eat.
     
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  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Goats are naturally browsers, like deer, as opposed to sheep and cattle, which are grazers and eat mostly grass. Deer and goats enjoy tree leaves and even the ends of branches when they are tender, and will stand up on their back legs to reach higher into the tree and nibble the leaves and branches. Goats LOVE rose bushes, and also raspberry bushes, and many other flowers that we didn’t want gobbled up by them.
    I think that this is at least part of the reason why they could have their milk tainted with an odd flavor from something that they ate. When they are kept penned up and only eating good alfalfa hay, the milk has a much better flavor.
    I definitely prefer the taste of cow’s milk; but for a small family, a milk goat is much cheaper to feed and gives about the right amount of milk.
     
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  9. Terry Page

    Terry Page Veteran Member
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    Yes they pruned all the roses in the garden area when they escaped and browsed the washing on the line, ;)
     
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  10. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Oh, forgot to mention, on our farm in northeastern Indiana, we had a Billy and a Nanny. Didn't milk though. We weren't into the milking of them. But, they sure were helpful in keeping the weeds eaten from around our small pond. They would even stand up on their hind legs and eat the leaves off of tree branches. It was extremely funny to see the two geese we had put their heads down and go after these goats. The Billy would run and then turn around real fast, put it's head/horns down and run after the geese. The geese would "turn tail" and run and sometimes fly into the pond. Then, there were times these two goats would go after a hog. The hog would run.

    The geese and goats could really put on a show!
     
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  11. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    The teasing I got was ended when I met my wife and suggested we move to Colorado after our wedding. She jumped at the idea. The teasing ended when we moved. The area we lived in in So. California, nobody knew what a cowboy was, except the "nightclub/dancing" type.
     
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  12. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Maybe they were just messing with you...how can anybody not know what a cowboy is? I'm not a fan but have read and have watched plenty of movies and TV shows.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy
     
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  13. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Nope, not messing with me. I heard the teasing way to much for it to be anything else. Only time I didn't get "razed" was when I was at a rodeo. Have to remember, compared to when we were young and watched Western's on tv, today's kids don't grow up that way. And, parts of So. California definitely aren't like Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and others where the Western lifestyle can live.

    Believe it or not, when it rained in Orange County, where wife and I lived and met, I'd say how much I loved it (the rain) to people. They'd look at me and say "you don't belong here. You need to go back to the farm!" Seriously, they'd say that to me.

    In fact, living here in northeastern Florida, the folks have no idea, or want to know, about any kind of Western/cowboy stuff. One reason we are looking for to moving.
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

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    I tell everyone that I don't like sunshine, nobody bats an eye. We live in such a diverse country especially in California...I just can't imagine anybody being noticed for being different.

    Did you read the Wikipedia article to see where some cowboys and ranchers originated from?

    Many countries also have their versions of cowboys...I know Argentina where I was born is famous for their gauchos.


    A gaucho (Spanish: [ˈɡautʃo]) or gaúcho (Portuguese: [ɡaˈuʃo]) is a skilled horseman, reputed to be brave and unruly. The gaucho is a national symbol in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Gauchos became greatly admired and renowned in legends, folklore and literature and became an important part of their regional cultural tradition. Beginning late in the 19th century, after the heyday of the gauchos, they were celebrated by South American writers.

    The gaucho in some respects resembled members of other nineteenth century rural, horse-based cultures such as the North American cowboy (vaquero, in Spanish), the Chilean huaso, the Peruvian chalan and morochuco, the Venezuelan or Colombian llanero, the Hawaiian paniolo,[1] the Mexican charro or the Portuguese campino.
     
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  15. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Ever live in Orange County? There are rodeos there, but the cowboys I knew didn’t live in that county. They lived in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, parts of Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Where I lived it was beach and city folks. Some did wear Western clothes, but to go to a nightclub or to a rodeo. Other than going to a rodeo, they never got around cowboys.

    A lot of folks say that So. Calif. is very different than the rest of the state.
     
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