Sunday, January 25, 2009

Milking a Cow

This picture was taken in 1902, and shows a little girl milking a cow. An old man is standing nearby. I can honestly say that I have never milked a cow. I grew up in the country, but most people did not have milk cows around where I lived. I wonder if anyone who follows this blog has ever milked a cow? I wonder if some still do?


  1. You can probably milk a cow at your state fair. If you want to learn how.

    I milked cows several times as a child but it'd been decades before we found the Ag exhibit at the fair.


  2. PJM, I love these old pics. I've never milked a cow either. We do have a small herd of dairy goats which I milk twice a day, every day.

    We drink the milk, make cheese, butter and soap.

    Dent, Ohio

  3. Feed the horses, feed & milk the cow, walk a half mile back to the house, put the milk in the refrigerator, shower & dress, eat breakfast, and catch the school bus at 6:45 am… every @#$%&* morning. Get home at 4:15 pm and do it again.

    OK, in truth that was only the winter routine… no school in the summer.
    The cow would “dry off” (stop giving milk) for a short time before the next calf was born, but still had to be fed. Constant Critter Care is a way of life. On the up side, after those years of milking, I never met a jar I couldn’t open. ;o)

  4. While serving a pastorate in the Magic Valley of southern Idaho (Wendell, ID), I had numerous opportunities to visit with church members who were dairy farmers. On several occasions, I even got the chance to milk some of their holsteins. Naturally, it was by machine and not by hand. Dairy farmers are a tough lot. They have to milk every 12 hours and rarely (if ever) get a vacation. Hardy lot. My hats off to 'em.

  5. Great photo.

    I've never milked a cow, either, but I've seen it done at many 4H Fairs and County Fairs.

    Believe it or not, we still have a fair amount of farmland in Rhode Island. And some local dairies, too.

    The farms are located mostly in the southwestern part of the state, down near the University of Rhode Island, which was founded as an agricultural school and still offers those programs.

    Also, there is a lot of farmland across the bay, way out in Portsmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton. The Sakonnet Vineyards are out there, too.

    RI is the smallest state in the US (it's only about 1,045 square miles of land and 500 water); and you can drive through the ENTIRE mainland part of the state from north to south on Route 95 in 45 minutes!!

    So,in Rhode Island we consider it "too far" if we have to drive more than 15 minutes to get anywhere!!!

    People from other states often find this hilarious, but it's a RI idiosyncrasy, along with our coveted, low-numbered license plates!!

  6. I milked a cow the one time in my life that an opportunity presented itself. It's a lot harder than it looks, but it was worth it. Best bowl of cereal I ever had!

  7. Ive milked goats before i babysit a family who owns goats and they drink goat milk and eat goat cheese i dont think there would be much difference in goats and cows

  8. I've not only milked,, but have had my own cow and even had a milk cow named for me,-----Belle, making my sister jealous. I also rode horses to school.

  9. I've not only milked,, but have had my own cow and even had a milk cow named for me,-----Belle, making my sister jealous. I also rode horses to school.

  10. My Gram taught me to milk when I was around 8 or so. Then they got an early design milking machine (one only) that had to be moved from cow to cow. After machine milking each cow had to be "stripped" by hand to get the milk the machine missed. We always had the best milk, cream, butter and scratch made buttemilk biscuits and pancakes imaginable.
    It will give you a good grip!

  11. Yep, I have milked cows many times and have been swatted upside the head with a tailful of cockleburrs almost as many times. When I was a mere lad we had three Jersey milk cows, but we frequently kept other people's cow and milked them twice a day, also.

    My father used the old Tom Sawyer trick of making it seem very desirable and difficult to attain, which made me want to milk even more. The first thing I knew it was my job to milk while he took it easy.

    Anyway, I would love to have a big glass of WHOLE milk (strained) directly from the cow.Nothing like a big slab of hot cornbread in a glass of fresh milk!

  12. I milk cows, but not by hand.

  13. I've never milked a cow, but I spent many summers in Hineston, Louisiana with my great-grandmother. She had no indoor plumbing. We bathed on the back porch in a number two (or three) wash tub from well water. Sometimes she allowed me to watch her milking their cow...I was about the same age as the little girl in the picture. Thank you for bringing back those good memories.

  14. Old gold prospector is back :D
    "Thar's gold in them there cows!"


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