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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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........ Milk
...In the dairy
...Dealing with milk

The cow, once you have decided to cope with her bulk, is a very nice creature.

At least almost all of them are. If you do come across an awkward dairy cow, it may be a nervous heifer that has just dropped her first calf. If she should kick you when you milk her, you can at least afford her some sympathy. She has a long milking life ahead of her. If the cow is an established kicker you either have to become adept at avoiding her or get rid of her. The whole point about dealing with cows is that you do not argue with them. They are too heavy.

You can choose the type of cow for the enterprise you have in mind. Choosing one of the Channel Island breeds is quite traditional for an enterprise with only a few animals. Although their yields are lower, the fat content is higher - you get extra per pint. They are also less wear on the land as they are light and, of course, they eat less than the bigger breeds. They tend to prefer milder . climates so if you live in a cold and windy spot you may have to keep them in for a fair part of the year or even consider putting rugs on them. The milk from the Guernsey is a really deep yellow, the cream rises beautifully. We find the whole milk too rich and only use skimmed milk in tea and coffee. The cream is fantastic for making butter although if you compare the cost of the butter you make to the butter you buy, you will head straight back to the supermarket. This is because the butter we buy is made from subsidised milk. It is therefore most profitable to sell the milk or cream and buy your butter. We confess to enjoying our own home-made stuff.