Getting a Family Milk Cow – Part 2

Getting a Family Milk Cow – Part 2

To go back to the beginning go here.  This is the second part in our milk-cow story.

We hand picked our wonderful cow.  We fell in love.



About week 3 of hand-milking our cow we noticed the milk was going sour very quickly.  By week 4 Faith had a fever, her milk was not straining or separating.   I did not know what was wrong, I just knew something was wrong.

Every person who saw me over the next 2 weeks got to hear about my cow/ milk problem. I spoke to vets, farmers, dairy people, cow boards, friends, people at church, neighbors, and family.   I got the most random answers from the most random people.

  •  She got into an onion patch
  •  She’s adjusting to her new home

  • I needed to clean the milking equipment better

  •  I needed to clean the cow better

  •  I wasn’t getting the milk cold enough

  •  I wasn’t getting the milk cold fast enough

  •  I was giving her too much feed

  • I wasn’t giving her enough feed


I was a clueless newbie desperately seeking answers.   After a difficult 2 weeks of a sick cow, we learned that we were dealing with mastitis.  From there we contacted a wonderful vet who helped us get our cow better.

2 - faith udder

We learned that cows sometimes don’t transition well from electric milk pump to hand milking.  Faith went from being emptied in 30 seconds to being emptied in 30 minutes.  She was sick.

It was a real drag to hear.

Good news – all we needed was a milk pump!

Bad news – We had no intentions of ever purchasing an electric milk pump.  We loved hand-milking.  An electric milk pump was not in the budget.  Ugh.

This story does have a happy ending.  Faith got better.

We had no idea that we could problems transitioning a cow from an electric milker to hand milking.  It never occurred to us that it would be an issue at all.

We still had a lot to learn about owning a family milk cow.

Although she did get better, here was more bad news to come with our sweet cow, Faith.

We eventually learned that this was not her first case of mastitis, nor would it be her last.

To read more about our battle with mastitis and how we managed:

  • go here–  Help!  My Cow May Have Mastitis!
  • go Here – What Causes Mastitis?
  • go Here – What is a Good Mineral Program?
  • go Here – 9 Reasons to Get a Jersey Cow and 3 Reasons Not to
  • go Here – How to Stop Your Cow From Holding Up Milk

For the wrap up to our first cow ownership go here for Part 3.

As always, you can subscribe via email (here) so you never miss another post.


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