Swamped in milk but no jersey for me

The lovely Josie has gone home today, but by the time she left she was rapidly drowning us in her yummy milk.  Because I am greedy and don’t want to share it with the dogs or chickens, I’m planning on making some clabber and using it as a cheese starter (not sure which one I’m still looking, but Lannies method on the family cow board sounds easy enough).  So I had a go at making cream cheese today (its draining as I type), but I suspect I’ve done something wrong as the whey seems fairly thick and is a yellowish white. The only cheese I have made before was a lemon soft cheese and the whey was quite clear and greenish.

I did adjust the recipe to suit the volume I had (3litres of whole milk, 2 cups of cream, half a 100ml or so of sour cream for culture (store bought with live culture), powdered Junket Rennet and a bit of salt.  I’m not sure if this is just normal coloured whey from a jersey cow (she gives at least 1/3 cream, sometimes more) or if I have just made a weird science experiment that my chickens will enjoy in the morning.  Note to self: follow recipe exactly next time!

Unfortunately we won’t be getting the jersey could I looked at last week.  We did go to pick her up (with her mother and half brother that my friend was going to buy), but despite our best efforts (and my friends lifetime experience with cattle), we could not get the older cow into the horse – as soon as she stepped onto the ramp she threw herself down on her side and refused to move. Nothing short of a front end loader would have got her up and in the float. Her calf was an absolute little monster and of course the people selling them did not have any facilities suitable for cattle, so we were trying to work with small sections of ringlock fencing which cows just have no respect for (and no possibility of getting a proper cow truck into the paddock or ramp to get them in the truck either).

In hindsight the only thing we could have done different was tried to load the cow I was interested in first before she got to witness her mothers theatrical performance…but in the same token, we learnt a few things that the owners let slip in frustration that strongly suggest we are better off without any of them. It also appears that the beautiful behaviour we saw last week was related more to lack of food (ie starvation) as they have been fed up all week on good groceries after our comments on their poor condition last week, and so today there were very, very flighty and non-compliant.

So I am disappointed but have learnt, once again that if something seems to good to be true (the price was an absolute bargain for a calm, friendly pure bred jersey with handmilking experience), then it probably is.

The other lesson was don’t buy a milk cow from a person who would have trouble training a toy poodle.

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