When is milk consumable?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
rosehaven
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When is milk consumable?

Postby rosehaven » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:43 pm

So our belted galloway had a calf on Tuesday. The calf isn't quite feeding equally from each teet. So I milked her tonight after the calf got his fill. I got roughly a quart from just one teet. The others he did a good enough job on. So question is, how long after a colf is born would the milk be consumable for people? Thanks
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby Putangitangi » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:11 pm

That probably depends on whether you like the taste of colostrum. Our cow takes about four daily milkings before the cream isn't noticeably yellow. But don't short-change the calf on all that super-nutritious first milk.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby rosehaven » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:29 pm

I only started milking today because the calf hasn't been doing a good job draining her. She came in last night with one side about to bust. Same with today. One of the teets was actually just flowing milk but he doesn't know to switch sides when one is done. So i'm only milking to relieve some of the pressure and so no infection sets in. She had a bout of mastisis last year and she was not a happy camper. The calf gets all the milk he wants. We are beefers not milkers but since she is a dual we thought maybe get a little bit of milk from her. :D
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby kickinbull » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:41 pm

six milkings, then it will be clear to drink.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby rosehaven » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:01 pm

6 Milkings from today or 6 days after calf is born?
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby I luv herfrds » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:16 am

For a dairy person 6 milkings is milking twice a day for 3 days. I would do it 6 days after the calf is born especially if you are only milking once a day.
Are you going to drink it raw or pasturerize it?
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby rosehaven » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:23 am

Probably both or atleast until we learn how to pasterize it correctly.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:36 pm

The colostrum won't harm you, it just tastes different from ordinary milk. We're TB-free and free of anything else which might be harmful to us from drinking the milk from our cow. Before she came in (she missed getting in calf on her first heat last year and was last in the herd to calve) I went out with a jar each day and milked enough from any quiet Angus cow to keep me in coffee. Processed milk is so awful, I prefer not to drink it. We started drinking the milking cow's milk as soon as we could and there was still some fairly yellow cream settling on top.

What are your fears about drinking it too early?
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby rosehaven » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:45 pm

Nothing I just want the calf to get all the colostrum. do you do anything after milking like boil it or anything ? I know to strain it to catch anything that might have fallen in.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:02 pm

I just strain with a couple of layers of muslin, then I wash those cloths with a bit of soap and boil them up. In earlier years I didn't boil them every time, but I wasn't as lazy about washing them immediately then. We test our milk on city children when they come to visit and none of them have been sick. ;-) If you were pregnant, I guess you'd want to be a bit careful about raw milk and we always tell people when we serve them our dairy products that they're unpasteurized, in case they have an immune system issue/pregnancy we're not aware of. I'm only that careful because we can't test to ensure there's no problem. I have no real doubts though, because we ensure everything is scrupulously clean and store the milk carefully.

(When our cow had mastitis, the first indication was the sliminess of the straining cloths when I put soap with them. That was a very useful day-by-day indicator.)

The full benefit of the colostrum to the calf, in regard to the immunity it confers, passes after the first few hours. After that it's just an extra-good feed and as you've said, the cow has way more than the calf can eat, so it won't matter much if you take some.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby rosehaven » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:51 pm

I don't have muslin cloth so i used a couple of coffee filters tonight. it actually tasted like milk tonight if that makes sense. last night when i tasted it had an off taste a little. probably the colostrum. it will take a little getting use too as it is much richer. this is the first time I've had straight from the cow milk.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:32 pm

When you start getting quite a bit of milk, strain it straight away (before it cools) into a large container and leave it for 24 hours, then skim the cream off the top. (Have you done any of this before? Sorry if I'm telling you things you know.) Then the milk may taste a little less rich, without so much cream in it.

I bought a 10 liter (2.5 gallon?) stainless steel stock pot especially for storing the milk (we get about two gallons of milk each morning) with a nicely-fitting lid and then I use a lovely round spoon I found which is about 4.5 inches across with lots of holes in and super for skimming the very thick cream which settles on top. We used to use the cream for making ice-cream and we both got pretty fat. This season we've banned ice-cream and I'm making butter instead, which is an equally good way to store the cream for later use. The milk is going into cheese-making, which is not overly successful yet, but some of it is pretty good.

When we first milked, it took me a few weeks to get over the vague "ick" factor of drinking raw milk. Now I love it and hate the weeks we have to go back to store-bought. I'm experimenting with freezing, so maybe we can keep using our own for the 12 weeks of the cow's dry period.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby I luv herfrds » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:48 pm

I actually saw a recipe to can milk for storage. You can freeze it and put it in the fridge till it thaws out. Just make sure you shake it before you drink it.

I have 2 counter top pasturizers. I have a couple boxes of disposable milk filters. Also you can make cheese.
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby rosehaven » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:43 pm

Only got about a 2 cups yesterday but I know to strain and cool it. Didn't know about 24 hrs of cooling. Would love to make butter and ice cream. Could you post how you did it or did you find it online?
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Re: When is milk consumable?

Postby chippie » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:21 pm

We make butter also. I have two churns - an electric and a manual. You can also churn small amounts in a quart mason jar by shaking it. When my husband cowboyed, he would put the cream in a mason jar, wrap it in his slicker and tie it on the back of his saddle. By lunch time he usually had butter.

This link has instructions for making butter with an electric mixer and a mason jar.

http://www.organicgardening.com/cook/homemade-butter

It is very important to wash the butter well as directed. If you don't, it will become nasty.

You can find ice cream recipes online. You substitute your cream for the cream called for in the recipe.

Coffee filters are not the best for straining milk because milk does have solids. I buy cotton dish towels at Walmart. They are a white thin fabric and are inexpensive. I set a strainer over a pot and lay the fabric in it. Pour through the strainer and throw the towel in the laundry. I bought my first milk cow when I was 21 and that was 38 years ago. We have always had a family cow and when our children were little, I milked goats too. : )

Have fun!
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