Thinking around getting a household cow? You’ll love the remarkable taste the the milk and have plenty of fresh cream!

How much will you get a day and also what have the right to you carry out to control her production?

Your cow will most most likely milk between 2-3 gallons per day. This will certainly vary with feeding, phase of lactation, age, health and also breed of cow.

Congratulations, this is interesting stuff!

We have had a family members cow because that years, a Jersey called Aleene. (She was component of our herd once we milked because that a living.)

We love the abundant milk and also are large believers in drinking it real (you might say raw).

If friend are an ext comfortable through pasteurizing her milk, walk for it! great news, it’s your milk for this reason you have the right to do as you please!


Here’s my video on just how to milk a cow. It’s easy, when you acquire a tiny practice.

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We’ll go over how much milk you deserve to expect from her cow and what you can do administration wise that will readjust the lot she produces.

Good management and also husbandry of your cow will certainly will aid her live her genetic potential.

Poor management and/or husbandry will have her living and performing below her potential.

There are borders of production, greatly individual capacity and phase of lactation, yet all cows have the right to be regulated for greater or reduced production.

Cow Amount the milk
Jersey, peak lactation3 gallons per day
Jersey, mid lactation2 gallons every day
Jersey, late lactation1.5 gallons every day

Your cow will milk 2-3 gallons per day

Our cow produce 2-3 gallons per day, together an average.

You deserve to count ~ above at the very least a gallon a day, also in the late stages the lactation once she is at her lowest milk per day.

If you are considering a cow that has production records, this is easy. Milk manufacturing is measure up in pounds and there are 8 pounds come a gallon.

Here’s an example: the production records state the the cow of your selection is creating 24 pounds of milk per day. Division 24 by 8 to gain 3 gallons the milk every day.

Remember, her cow will milk the amount that is biologically appropriate for her in the environment you administer for her.

Her everyday environment has how friend treat her and also what she eats.

You execute not need to feed grain

No, her cow go not need grain! we don’t feeding Aleene grain, ever. But, and also this is a pretty huge but, our cow does just fine there is no grain.

She keeps on weight, she appears happy and also she has plenty that grass or hay come eat to gain all the nutrition she needs.

If and/or when Aleene looks choose she requirements some grain, we will happily provide it to her. Till then, she is doing fine without it.

Milk Cow management ChoiceMilk production Result(vs she potential production)
No serial to cowlower
High top quality pasturehigh
Low high quality pasturelower
Varying routine, especially milking timelower
High stress, consisting of weatherlower
Restricted water intake(including slippery/icy footing to acquire the water)lower
Cow is fatlower
Cow is thinlower
Cow is well fed through slick hair coathigh
Higher or reduced production is contrasted to your cow’s individual ability, which is a mix of genetics and also environment (which you manage through management).

Aleene (our Jersey) milks 2-3 gallons per day

For us, Aleene to produce 2-3 gallons that milk per day.

She is no fed grain and is given the flexibility to roam around the barnyard and also close fields as she chooses.

She always has access to grass, yet in the winter she demands hay together well.

The plus side of this hands off style is she simply needs accessibility to plenty of hay, actually it’s haylage, and also water and she takes treatment of herself.

The under side of this system is she will poop whereby ever and we need to be vigilant about keeping the door to the feeding shut!

Why am I informing you this? What Aleene eats and how she feels, happy or stressed, low or high power food, will all affect how much milk she produces in ~ a specific point in her lactation.

The exact same will it is in true for her cow.

Look closely, you can see the cream line on the milk! give thanks to you, Aleene!

A few lactation basics, supply and also demand

The milk a cow produces follows what is dubbed a lactation curve.

The curve yes, really looks an ext like a mountain: v a steep next to the top then a much more gentle slope back to the bottom.

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Here is a graph the a share lactation curve. Cows have the right to calve year round, so the peak deserve to happen any month. If you want grass based milk, setup the calving day accordingly.

Milk manufacturing is based upon supply and also demand, you take the milk she renders more.

You leaving the milk (skip milkings or vary times of milkings) she interprets that as you leave the milk so she provides less.

For more info review my post How to Hand Milk A Cow for every the details top top milking by hand.

Her milk production will peak at about 6 weeks after freshening (having a baby) then it will progressively taper off together the lactation duration continues.

How long she remains at optimal production and also how rapid she tapers turn off in manufacturing are based off of genetics and your management.

The ideal milk cow calving cycle is 12 months

Ideally, you will certainly have her bred earlier at 3 months after freshening. This will put her ~ above a one year production cycle.

Being a month or so later on is no a huge deal, but will relocate the bear of the calf and also therefore the begin of milking back.

Not a huge deal uneven you gain multiple months turn off schedule space are count on grass based milk.

If you require her to freshen at a details time for her area, detecting heats and also getting she bred ago for the appropriate time is critical.

She will ideally be dried (you space no much longer milking her) at 10 months, for this reason she will have 2 month turn off of milking until she has another baby at around 12 month (close to the same date of last year’s calf).

If she’s not bred, keep milking her!

As I discussed above, ideally her cow will stay on a 12 month schedule.

For a commercial dairy products this is a pretty huge deal, due to the fact that maintaining this 12 month schedule is the best way to store a cow healthy and balanced and lucrative at the exact same time.

For you, more than likely not such a huge deal.

Just be aware the much longer it takes to get her bred back, the further away from more milk you will be if she dries up quicker than you had actually planned on.

You can help your family members cow produce more milk

Keep her in an excellent healthKeep a milking scheduleFeed her more high energy foodBe sure she has actually easy access to waterShe requirements a comfortable place to cave outKeep she udder soft

Keep her milk cow in good health

How can you tell f she is healthy, girlfriend ask? It’s actually pretty easy. She should have a slick, shiny hair coat.

In the winter the hair coat through be thicker and also longer, yet it still need to look nice.

Another easy method to spot a healthy and balanced cow is that she is laying under chewing she cud. Once a cow is full, she relaxes and chews her cud.

If you are not seeing much cud chewing then look into what might be missing.

She need to be eating, drink or chewing she cud any time friend look at her. If not, do some investigating.

Keep to a milking schedule, cows love routine

You need to milk her cow twice a day together close to 12 hours apart as you can. As soon as you milk doesn’t matter, simply pick a time and stick come it. Cows love routine!

If you require to adjust the milking time, do the readjust slowly end a couple of days.

Your cow can’t tell the difference between 6:15 and 6:30, however she definitely knows the difference between 6:15 and also 10:15!

Some human being like to milk simply once every day, the calf handles the milk the remainder of the day. The will absolutely work, as long as you keep to a routine.

Cows produce milk based on demand. As soon as you miss milking time, she body thinks the the demand for milk has decreased so she provides less.

Having an erratic milking schedule method you will acquire less milk from your cow.

Feed your milk cow an ext high power food

You can give your cow a little bit of grain or a flake of yes, really nice hay (not the totality bale!) and also see if that bumps up her production.

Don’t walk crazy here, present high power feeds a little at a time come make sure her cradle system has actually time to adjust.

Be sure your milk cow has actually easy access to water

Your cow demands a most water and she needs to be able to get to it easily. Your cow need to never be quick on water.

Limited water=lowered milk production

Your cow should confidently walk come the location where she it s okay water.

Slippery footing, slick or wet concrete, stairs. Etc. Are all points cows perform not like and will protect against walking over if castle can.

Cow friendly water placement boosts milk production.

Your milk cow needs a comfortable place to hang out

Once your cow is full, she desires a comfortable location to put down and chew she cud.

It should be well bedded and also at a comfortable temperature because that her, cows like it chillier than girlfriend do.

If you space in shorts and a T-shirt, she is gaining hot. If you are in a sweatshirt and jeans, she is happy.

Keep her cow’s udder soft, monitor skin condition

Our cow, Aleene, generally has soft skin, so she doesn’t normally need udder cream or moisturizing teat dip.

Occasionally, like if she gets muddy or lays down in poo, the skin of her udder can acquire irritated.

I notification the dryness an initial at the top of the teat, where it starts to widen the end to the udder floor.

I just take part bag enjoyment or petroleum jelly out with me the following milking and rub it in together I milk.

Ideally, take some with you as soon as you go to milk her, so there is no hold-up in moisturizing the skin.

The dryness/irritation walk not straight lower milk production, that makes relocating the skin hurt, like as soon as your skin cracks or you have actually a cut.

Save you yourself the potential kicking and keep the skin supple.

Your milk cow can milk an ext than friend need

Aleene always produces more milk in a day than we have the right to use. Ns skim cream off of the gallons that get ahead that us, then we dump the rest.

Hard to hear i know, yet we would quite dump milk than danger lowering production. She doesn’t acquire grain, for this reason this is she normal.

This is a good problem come have!

Sometimes you simply don’t need quite that much milk, so fairly than dumping it you can just readjust your management a small and minimize milk manufacturing slightly. (Emphasis on a small and slightly!)

Remove the serial from her milk cow’s diet

If your cow is a genuine go getter milk wise and also you are swimming in milk, yet still feeding grain, cut ago the grain.

Or even get rid of the grain completely. This is only for a cow in good body condition, if her cow is thin execute not lower her calorie intake!

Cattle do not need grain, her cow is the same. Serial is a fast, easy source of supplemental energy. Her gal plainly doesn’t require it.

Cut it earlier slowly and see exactly how she deals with the change. As long as she stays full and also keeps a slick hair cloak she is fine.

If she has a difficult time adjusting, increase the high quality of the forage she’s eating.

Be aware, for some cows this fall in milk production is no reversible (this lactation).

Some cows will not go earlier up in milk production if you decision to add back in an ext energy to shot to increase milk after you have actually tried to reduced it.

Some cows will hop ago up in production, some will not.

Breed that cow matters because that milk production

Yes, the breed the cow go matter as far as milk production and personality characteristics. That’s the quick answer.

The much longer answer is that all people will vary off that the common for a group.

An easy means to think the this is if you have siblings, you and also your brothers and also sisters room not carbon duplicates of one another.

Sometimes siblings deserve to be fairly different, also with the same parents and same environment farming up. It’s the very same thing will all animals, consisting of cows.

The breed descriptions the dairy cattle will provide you generalizations that will certainly be true across the breed, specifically when to compare a breed as a group to another breed as a group.

Once you relocate to the individual level, the differences between cows of the exact same breed really begin to show.

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Specifically, the is all about the separation, personal, instance cow that you have or space considering buying.

Don’t be as concerned about breed. Think about more important points like attitude (super important!) and teat length.

I have an article on picking a family cow, including a checklist of things to look at for and deal breakers to watch out for!