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Country Discussion Topics
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When we first started milkin
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farmall    Posted 10-08-2004 at 21:32:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]

talkin bout milk stools got me to thinking. Who ever thought when we were out there in the barn in Feb or so, that we would ever get to be this old, or what getting to be this old would feel like. Im way older than my dad was when I first started milking. He had a 41 B JD that fired off like a cannon when it was first started and a 40 Chevy pk. we milked a doz or so cows of every breed that dad could buy cheap that was a fair to good milker. The milk man came in a ice truck to pick up the 10 gal cans of milk and 5 gal can of cream. He was muscular and wore a leather apron. The truck seemed to set up high off the ground. you could buy ice or ice cream from him. my first job was in the house. Mom would start up the seperator cause I was too little to do that. After it was started and the bell quit ringing she gave it to me always telling me not to let that bell ring. grandpa and dad did all the milking. Later, my younger brother got the seperator and I got to bring the buckets into the house from the barn. Then, I went to milking when grandpa quit. dad bought a MW electric seperator with a flat belt drive motor and nobody cranked anymore unless the electric went out. Then we both milked with dad. Then in around 59 or 60, they told us they wouldnt buy any more milk that was hand milked, and dad quit dairying, and we went dfown to 2 or so cows


farmall    Posted 10-09-2004 at 18:25:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I dont know about any other muscles developing out of the ordinary other than the muscle between your thumb and first finger. Used to be when both were put together there would be a large bump between them, and hard. Mines all but gone now, of course like most of my other muscles lol


Les    Posted 10-09-2004 at 08:07:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
We were never in the business of selling milk but always milked 2 or 3 cows. I was always fascinated by that old De Laval separator. Same as you, dad would get it up to speed and I would maintain it under his watchful eye.
Once in a great while, something wouldn't be just right inside and the milk would go everywhere. I think there was a rubber gasket or "O" ring that had to be just so.
We used to skim off the foam from the separator milk and give it to the cats. That was a whole lot of lickin for not much reward.


Sid    Posted 10-09-2004 at 01:23:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I remember Dad milking in part of the old big baen until he had a grade A barn built. I can remember about eight years old when I started to help hand milk. seems like Dad would milk about three to my one for awhile. When I got to where I could milk two to his three he got a surge milking system with two milkers. At first we had a six can cooler that was a tank type we had to lift the cans into, then a twelve can slide in spray type cooler. Then we had to go to a bulk tank to stay on grade A. The pipe line milkers came after I left to go in the Army. Our feet would get so cold that when a cow messed in the barn we would shovel the warm stuff on those old gum boots we wore.I kinda enjoyed milking and dad let me buy some cows of my own for an FFA project. Those cows paid to get six of us kids clothed and fed and we were comfortable.


Steve from TN    Posted 10-09-2004 at 05:55:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I can remember having cold feet while milking, but I never put my feet under a fresh cow pile. I do remember leaning into the cow to stay warm(er) and getting up from the stool when finished to find that the cow was leaning against me. She would almost fall over if I got up too fast. I remember the hand-cranked separator and the milk cooler. It was the only refrigerator we had in our house until 1955. We would set food articles on top of the milk cans to keep 'em cool. We drank a whole lot of "raw" cow's milk. We made a really rich concoction with Hershey's cocoa, sugar and vanilla flavoring that was wonderful. That's usually all we had for supper(dinner)and was all that we wanted. We are having our annual family reunion today and tonight, my brothers and sisters will meet at our house to have a cocoa party. We still think it is wonderful. We drink it cold. Some of the more timid married-ins don't particularly care for our cocoa. We think they are crazy. Thanks for getting my memory flood stared.


Sid    Posted 10-09-2004 at 07:31:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
That homemade cocoa was sure good stuff you reminded me of something I hadn't thought of in years. Would come in from the milk barn to get ready for school and Mom would have it on the stove many cold morning. I would like to slipo a glass of it in the ice box to have for after school.


Old John    Posted 10-09-2004 at 06:51:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Hi Y'all,

We moved to the farm in SE IN, in '50.
I was 10 yrs old. We only had 2 cows that my brother & I milked. I got Belle, the old guernsey,
& my brother milked Cricket, the black jersey, 'cause he was younger & smaller.

Mom & Dad accumulated a few cows,in the next
year or so, maybe 6, and we got a used 3 or 4 can cooler, which was put in the corner of the tobacco barn.
We never shipped Grade A, always Grade B, to the
old Red-73. They picked it up every other day, at
4:00. We always had the cows milked by the time they picked it up.
Never got to use a Surge milker, 'til I went to work, milking for the neighbors, when I was 13.
I'd milk our few, by hand, at home. Then, I'd go down on my bike, to milk their 10 or 12, with a milker. That was a "treat".

I never even thought of putting my boots in a cow-pile. I sure snuggled up to those old cows though.

Long time ago, in a whole different world than we have now. Values? Heck, everybody had them then.
A man's word & a handshake was all it took.
Now? You Can't always even trust what a man means, when he swears to things. We can't go back, but....
Just a whole different world, hunnh.

'Til Later,
Old John


DD    Posted 10-09-2004 at 03:53:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Neat stories ya'll, Thanks for sharing them : )


deadcarp    Posted 10-09-2004 at 07:23:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
there's a few things about hand-milking. for one,you could pick out the hand-milkers fom the machine guys by looking at their elbows. when they bent their arm, there'd be a big knot of muscles right above the elbow. far as the process goes, i remember he smell of bag balm, wearing a cap to keep the cowlice out of my hair and of course ducking that weighted tail every so often. oh yeah, and squirting the kittens who lined up in the aisle for a treat. :)


Steve from TN    Posted 10-09-2004 at 07:29:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
And when you shook hands with a man that milked cows by hand, you knew it. They squeezed hard without even trying.


Grove r    Posted 10-09-2004 at 08:16:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Pretty well sums it all up...been there and done all that, except the milking machines....way too expensive for the few cows dad milked, so his little dairy faded into the sunset. Mixed "bag" of milk cows? yeah, thats what he had...one holstien that was the one I milked because she was so easy......there was one that I could not milk for the life of me...a roan cow...real hard milker, and she would not let her milk down for me, no way...would get about a quarter of what dad got, then, done! Noticed on the arm muscle issue....my dad, mom, my aunt and uncle were all very muscular in the forearms and wrists...perhaps a different style of milking?? memory lane to be sure....anyone use the smoke pot in front of the barn door to keep the mosquitoes away during milking?? The outside stock would gather 'round it too...sticking their heads right in the smoke to get some relief from the little blood suckers....good ole days??? makes me wonder....and on the handshake issue.... still believe most heartily in that...with the right people.....have a gooder, R.E.L.


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