I recently had the unique experience of “helping” a native friend with milking a cow in the cool tropical shadows of a forested mountainside.
It was a great experience.
First thing we did was gather a big bag of mangoes for the cow. Then my friend brought the cow up the hillside from the pasture below and tied her to a tree.
After she was secure, he brought up the calf and let her start the milk flowing by nursing for a minute or so.
Then it was time to get some milk. He had me start pouring out mangoes in front of the cow to keep her happy while he milked her.
She was quite happy.
The cow would take an entire mango in her mouth, chew it around, then spit out the pit… then do it again. She probably ate about 40lbs during the course of her morning milking.
After cleaning off the cow’s udder with clean water and a cloth, my friend held a small pitcher with hand while he milked with the other.
The reason he does it this way is to keep the milk clean and safe from the cow’s back hooves. They like kicking over buckets of milk.
After taking a gallon and a half, he let the calf nurse until mother was empty and baby was full.
I’ve never had much to do with cattle but I was quite impressed by the quantity of milk this small-to-middling cow delivers daily.
I don’t think I’ll go into the dairy business any time soon, however, as I have my hands full simply trying to keep up with my gardens and my book writing.
Where we live now, fortunately, healthy raw milk is available for us any time we want it… and there are no SWAT teams to raise hell over it.