Almost. I realize you don't have your cow yet, and since you don't know what your situation will be till you do get her, I am just throwing info. out for you to consider. Lots of it might not be needed, but you seem like a person who likes to know things, so hopefully no harm done.BarredBuff said:Thanks for the advice!
I think this will be what I do. So you milke 3/4 in the morning and then after you switch to once a day you check and make sure the calf suck all out?
-The first 48 hours the cow will be producing colostrum which you do not want to milk out too much; it is vital that the calf gets it. It is ok to milk it out a bit and freeze it for future emergencies, but you are unlikely to have this situation.
Colostrum is thick and yellowish. Over a few days the milk will start turning a more creamy shade and this the milk you want for yourself. Generally a newborn calf will nurse from only one nipple sometimes 2 so we feel safe taking colostum from the quarters the calf does pay any attention too.
-After the colostrum stage, milk the cow 2x a day completely out, all 4 quarters keeping the calf with mom 24/7. You are basically cleaning up after the calf.
-When you go to 1x a day milking, then you have the option of leaving 1/4 for the calf as long as it is drinking mom dry by lock- up time. If it is not, then keep milking all 4 quarters until it does. You do this to avoid mastitis and to follow the laws of supply and demand.
The supply will increase with demand so the more the cow is kept drained out, the harder she will work to make more milk. The opposite is also true. If you and the calf take less milk, the cow will adjust over time to produce less milk. So if your goal is to have a glass of milk and and a pat of butter for breakfast, then you will be overwhelmed with milk and that is why some people get another calf. However, if you want that milk, for your larder, then I do not reccomend a 2nd calf.
You can expect that when the calf is 3 months old, you will be getting about 1-2 gal. of milk every morning. This is the time to stay on top of cheese and butter making because later, the milk supply will gradually decline and the calf will be getting bigger and piggier. Butter freezes well so stock pile it because if you just have the one cow, I promise you will run out of butter during her dry spell. If you choose not to rebreed her, you may continue to get milk but only in small quantities and not enough to keep you in butter and cheese. So...think about how to store that milk/cream in its various forms to tide you over for 2- 4 months till she comes fresh again.
If you have chickens, they too will enjoy some of that milk and you will never see any thing but big fat eggs and shiny plump feathers.