Dad’s Story: Milk Cows

Grandpa on my Mom’s side with dairy cow hitched to cart

Milk Cows

We had five milk cows.  Two were Holsteins, two were Jerseys, and one Guernsey.

The Holsteins gave too much milk and were hard milkers for a boy.  The Guernsey, my favorite, was real quiet and easy to milk.  The two Jerseys, the older one was a nice cow, the younger one was her daughter.

She was a kicker.  You didn’t know when she was going to kick, today or maybe tomorrow, but she was going to kick the pail over.

The hired man milked in the morning.  When we boys got old enough, we milked in the evening.  

If we were in a hurry, we could milk with a boy on each side.  Eventually we aged out of the job and younger brothers took over.  Brother Carl will tell you that he milked for the longest time.

We turned the cows out to pasture during the green season.  We had to go out with a tractor, truck, horse, whatever was available to bring them in to the barn.  It was never a problem, as soon as the cows saw you they started for the barn.

We took the milk to the house and Mom would run it through the separator to get the cream for making butter.  The skim was fed to the pigs and chickens.

We sold cream on Saturday evenings in Grand Ridge to about five different customers, 45 cents a pint or 80 cents a quart.  Its funny, I can’t remember what I did this morning, but I can remember the price of cream from seventy years ago.

2 Responses to Dad’s Story: Milk Cows

  1. Mary Mussey says:

    Thanks for sharing more of the family history of farm life. So sweet!

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