We love our cows. To be honest, they did take some getting used to. I think we took some getting used to for them too. I was frightened at the beginning – Jason kept telling me to let them know who was boss, but I wasn’t sure how to do that. But it’s been pretty easy to feel in charge once I got over the whole fear issue!
Our cows are Dexters. It’s a smaller breed. Effie is full-grown and stands about chest height. We decided to go with a smaller breed because we didn’t think we would need gallons of milk every day and then we would also be able to feed them less than a jersey. We end up getting between 8 and 10 cups of milk a day. We milk her in the evening after Jason gets home from work. We are able to milk her just once a day and after the milking is done we let her and T-Bone (her bull calf) hang out the rest of the night. Jason separates them in the morning before he heads to work. We would get more milk if we weaned her calf and also if we milked her twice a day. But this arrangement has been working out well for our family. This past weekend we took a day trip to see my brother and his family up in Vancouver and we were able to let the cows be together and then we didn’t have to worry about the milking.
We end up drinking most of the milk. If we get more than we can drink I make cheese. The only thing about having a Dexter is that we don’t really get enough milk to make butter. I don’t know if the fat content is much lower than a jersey would be or if it’s just the volume.
We also end up drinking quite a bit of chocolate milk. I am training for a triathlon and I hear it’s a good recovery drink (it’s nice to have an excuse, anyways). I either make it in the blender I just dump in one cup milk, 1 T cocoa, 1 T sugar and a little vanilla and blend it up or I use a chocolate syrup and stir in about 1 Tablespoon into a glass of milk.
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Sift cocoa and sugar into saucepan.
- Add water and salt and heat over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Enjoy in a glass of milk or over a bowl of ice cream.