I'm not sure when or why it happened, but at some point I started wanting a milk cow.
John thought I was crazy. Maybe I shouldn't put that in past tense.
I started doing my research and decided I wanted a Guernsey. They have a very high cream content to their milk as well as a high calcium and protein content. MUCH healthier than holstein milk. Guernsey cow milk is also quite golden as it has a high beta carotene content. Guernsey's are also known for having an unaltered genetic profile for the A2 protein. Basically, this means that some amino acid chain is unbroken in their milk and it may be easier to digest for some people. Nothing proven, but it is what it is. Here is an article worth reading.
So, we started looking and found Maybelle. She was in Iowa, a 4 hour drive. We went up to visit, she has one 'blind' quarter, so only gives milk from three teats. Aside from that, she is a doll. She let me milk her in the field, stood still for all of my fumbling. We came back 2 weeks later with a trailer and brought her home.
She has been a dream. What a lucky woman I am to have gotten such a sweet, docile cow.
She gives two gallons per day, sometimes more. More than we need really. A post to follow on that!
She stands still for Paisley to pet her, lets strangers try to milk, and loves being brushed and petted.
Not to mention that her milk and cream are the most delicious ever!!!
She is due to calve in late December. Be on the lookout for a post about building a milk shed!
Here I am milking her in Iowa.
Here is my dad, learning to milk.
Maybelle makes everyone smile!
Sweet Maybelle under her pavillion tent.
Paisley brushing Maybelle on her first day home!
Ahh... That delicious cream line!
Milking was slow the first few days as I learned what the heck I was doing. I slowly got better and fast and now I can do my milking chores (including feeding the calf) in about 30 minutes.
Here is the best video ever! Paisley is calling "Maybelle! Milk time!" and I love that Maybelle gets as frisky as her cow self can allow and skips a little! Also, we were feeding her some undeveloped ears of corn from the garden. She loved them, shuck and all! I also noticed in this video how much better Maybelle looks since living with us for the last 6 weeks. Her coat is shinier and she is in overall better condition.