|Molly, ready to milk|
|Karen, ready to milk|
I haven't yet come close to emptying Molly's expansive utter, but her heifer calf, Nellie, and her adopted steer calf, Jake, are happy to take over whenever I tire. Share milking, as it's called when the cow keeps her calves and also provides for the family, has been a great success for us. Not only do I only need to milk once a day, but I can comfortably vacation away from Molly, leaving the calves on duty. When I want to resume milking, I lure Molly into the barn with treats after her calves have had dinner, milk her in the morning, and turn her out for the hungry herd to finish the job. The only drawback? The calves get the richer, hind milk, while we were stuck with mostly skim. My few batches of pastured dairy butter? ... amazing.