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

If you aim to make cream by skimming it off the top of milk that has stood for a while, do go for a Channel Island cow.

At least until you become very skilled at it. You can see clearly the difference in colour where you have not collected all of the cream. A really skilled skimmer will leave the surface of skimmed milk totally free from grease. You can sell the cream in tubs labelled 'Channel Island Cream'. You cannot say double cream unless you have used a machine to take the cream and you can be certain that the fat level is sufficient. If you use a cream separator, it must work efficiently or you will not get all of the cream. You can regulate machines to produce different grades of cream. Unfortunately these useful gadgets are expensive. Almost everyone who buys a small one wishes instantly that they had bought a bigger size. The hand-operated ones tend to wear more quickly than the motor-driven ones. Even if you can buy a second-hand one you are likely to find it expensive. Of course, cream can be clotted. We produce most of our cream this way. Again if you want to use this method it helps if the cream is a dark colour.

The Ayrshire produces ideal milk for making a really good cheese. The fat globules are evenly distributed through the milk and therefore stay in the cheese more easily. To produce bulk milk, the traditional high yielder is the Friesian. Every farm in children's books has fields populated with contented black and white high yielders. They are big cows and their feet are also big. If your land tends to get waterlogged, beware of heavy cows.