Friday, July 27, 2012

Why Buy the Cow When You Can Get the Milk for Free

Ok, milk isn't free.  At all, ever, even if you own a cow.  You have to pay for the cow and the feed, the vet, the fence, the time invested in being a cow owner, milking the cow, doing stuff with the milk.  Hopefully that would be cream, butter, and cheese.

I buy, weekly:
1-2 gallons of milk
a thing of buttermilk (what is that a liter? it's a weird size)
1-2 quarts of cream, dang or is that pints? see this would be easier if we lived in a metric-system-using society (just sayin)
a pound of butter (maybe every other week on the butter)
1/2-3/4 pound of sliced deli cheese
1/4+ pound really delicious cheese like chevre, feta, blue cheese, or something I don't know how to pronounce
a gallon of ice cream about once a month

I think that might be it.  THAT'S A LOT OF DAIRY.
I drank even more when I was pregnant.  I chugged chocolate milk every morning.

I have been dreaming of getting some milking goats for some time.  B has some fencing and I'm not really sure why we've been waiting.  Oh yeah, because there's another factor to getting an animal that has to be milked everyday - said animal will have offspring.  And it has to keep having offspring to continue to lactate.  What are we going to do with all these baby goats that are now running around?

Why don't we get a cow?  I like cow milk much better than goat's milk anyways.  I'd like to have a milk cow.  I envision baby O and I walking down to the cow with our milk buckets every morning to milk our cow, then coming back in and churning butter with our bonnets on and yada yada yada Little House on the Prairie, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I call my dad, he's my first go-to person when I have farm questions.
"Dad, why not a cow?"
"Well, why not?" he says
"Ok, so do I have to get this cow pregnant every so often to get milk?"
"Yes, honey, just like you, a cow or goat, or any other mammal has to have been pregnant and have offspring to produce milk."
"Oh, ok, that makes sense, huh huh. So what am I going to do with all these cows running around now?"
"Eat them."
"Oh, ok, that's cool!"

Today I start looking online for state laws or ordinances for livestock ownership. I find out you have to have specific fence dimensions, but indeed I need to know more and don't know who to call. We live in a pretty small town. I call Town Hall, I get connected with the man I need to speak to about this exact thing.

The man on the other end of the phone asks where I live, I tell him, I tell him the family name of the folks who lived here before us and he know exactly where we are located. He knows the neighbors and the number of rattlesnakes that crossed the road last summer.

Oops, we are in the city limits and we can't have livestock. BUT...I can appeal to some Board or Committee. We start talking about cows, chickens, goats, gardening, raised planters, Heirloom seeds, canning, dehydrating, preserving, Monsanto, GMOs, cancer, the government, our families, our goals, our homesteads, babies, and before you know it, we have been talking for 45 minutes. He tells me how to appeal, all the info I need to gather, I have to find out all of our adjacent property owners' infomation and of course, pay a fee.

Ok, this is happening, I'm excited. He also convinces me that my original plan of milking goats is going to be easier than a cow. He even tells me where he got his goats, the lady who sells them, all about her and her farm, and so on. I can learn so much from this self proclaimed "prepper." I can't wait to meet him and get the ball rolling.

Shortly after I get off the phone with him, he calls me back and tells me that if I can get the appeal application in by 6:00 he can take it to the committee tonight. If not, it'll be another month. Yay! I'm thankful we have a fax machine at home and we just fax, fax, done. Appeal application has been officially turned in and he will call me tomorrow with the goat lady's name and number.

I think he's on my side. What a great person to talk to and present my appeal to the board. Yay! Stay tuned to more goat news.

SOMEWHERE I have a picture I cut out of a magazine of a little girl milking a goat.  I just spent 20 minutes looking for it, I didn't find it, but I did find a $20 bill between some magazines, so that's pretty cool.  I want to put the picture on my vision board.  It's actually time to make a new vision board, I have 2 that are pretty full.
I could have easily googled images of girls milking goats, in fact I did.  I think that would be some sort of ripping off pictures from some one else, I'm not sure if that is cool to do so sorry there's no pictures on this post, sorry.  Someday I'll have actual pictures of our goats =)


  1. There are other benefits of having goats, they will eat your underbrush so that will keep your land looking nice. You can get one of those fences you move around every so often to let them graze in other areas. And, another thought is that you could loan/rent/barter your goats out to friends to help them with their underbrush problems.

  2. That's awesome - my mom and step-dad were thinking about cows and I think over the last few months i've gotten them convinced on goats and a couple of alpaca's. If you are going all out with goats, look into alpacas as well. their wool is sooooooo awesome. And if you have coyote problems down there. get a donkey. they will bay when the coyotes get close and some folks have told me they will even defend the herd... think donkey punch.... I MEAN KICK!! hahaha

    1. haha, yeah we do have coyotes around here and I see donkeys in other people's cows fields Heee Haw KICK!

  3. Holy cow! You are really becoming a farmer! That is pretty amazing. Looking forward to reading about all the adventures :).

  4. Way cool! I'm enjoying your are living the good life!

  5. So goldie I thought I better share some things I learned a few years back. Goats can and will get out of anywhere. Thus the term scapegoat. They are also very very loud and the males pee or urinate on there beards (face). really gross and stinks bad. There was a man in Ga. that was called the goat man. One day one of the goats got mad at him and butted him, he fell off his porch and died. So the moral of this story is don't get a goat. LOL!!!!!