“We start milking around five in the morning, about two hours worth of milking. At seven o’clock we should be done, but then there’s another hour of cleaning up and feeding up, you know just normal chores, and we’ll run in the house real quick and catch some breakfast.”
Whether it’s working in the hayfields or patching fence, at the Kettler Dairy in Grimes County, there’s plenty of work to be down in between milkings.
“Your whole life is, revolves around the dairy. No matter who they are, all my grandkids, they’re all involved, they all come over, they all help, down to the littlest one.”
A dairy cow’s diet is important.
“We feed that cow every day, twice a day. It don’t matter if it’s wet, it don’t matter if it’s dry, that cow’s gotta eat. We try to grow corn when the weather cooperates. We try to make our own hay. We plant oats in the winter time for grazing and also for haylage. The better you feed her, the better quality milk you should get with your components of butter fat and protein.”
Cows are milked twice a day, every day, 365 days a year, and milk is picked up every other day.
“At three thirty we milk in the afternoon, about two hours and then six, six thirty, everything should be wrapping up. Any chores you still want to push today, you’ve got two more hours of sunlight, you can still push. Normally by seven o’clock you get tired of pushing, the wife’s calling and it’s time for supper, hopefully it’s a good enough day and you can go home, but if not, then you keep pushing until you get what you need to get done and five o’clock the next morning you’re going again.”
“That’s just life on a farm, you’re just raised that way. It’s a good wholesome way of life, I think.”
Obviously, life on a family dairy isn’t for sissies. I’m Kailey Karey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.