In today's Pioneering Today podcast episode, I'm answering your burning livestock questions. We're mostly covering the topics of dairy cows and backyard chickens, along with a few other Q & As.
I can't believe we're actually on episode #370 of the Pioneering Today Podcast! If you've missed any of my previous episodes or want to search by topic, just click the podcast tab at the top of the page or use the search bar for specific questions.
If you're brand new to homesteading, be sure to check out my post (and video) on Keeping A Family Milk Cow – 8 Things You Need To Know, as well as Dairy Cow 101 – Everything You Need To Know. Or for chickens, see my post on Raising Backyard Chickens.
A few weeks ago, I went to social media and said to ask me anything. There were some great questions, and those that asked gardening questions can check out this Gardening Q&A podcast to see if your question was answered.
Again, for this post, we're focusing on chickens and milking cow questions… ready? Here we go!!
How Do You Deter Hawks Away From Your Chickens?
So let's break this down into two parts, protecting your chickens and then actually deterring predators. I think by separating the two topics, you will see that there is quite a bit you can do.
Protecting Your Chickens
If you keep your chickens in a chicken tractor, they will be protected from other animals, and they will stay contained for you. They can be out on the land while still being protected.
A chicken tractor is an enclosed protector and moveable coop. It also keeps your chickens on the pasture or grass you want them to eat. And then you can easily move the tractor every few days to help them have enough to eat.
To learn more about raising backyard chickens and how big of a coop they need, check out this blog post on everything you need to know about raising backyard chickens.
As for letting your chickens free-range, just be aware that chickens can be very detrimental to gardens. I don't just want them running freely. There is a smart way to use chickens in the garden.
I also have ducks. They are allowed to free-range because they stay out of my garden and are great for eating slugs and snails.
At night, they are put into poultry netting. This is an electrified netting from Premier 1 with a solar battery. This netting helps keep raccoons, coyotes, dogs, and other critters out.
We don't have a pond for the ducks. If you have a pond, the ducks usually go to the middle to stay protected on their own. Learn more about raising ducks for eggs here.
Pro Tip: Solar batteries work great even in the darker and more northern areas of the states that get less daily sunlight during the winter months.
Deterring Nuisance Predators
Hawks can be quite a nuisance for chickens. The tricky part about hawks is that they are federally protected by law. You can't just shoot them if they try to attack or take your chickens away.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects them. There are exceptions, but these require specific permits. So what do you do? Use a chicken tractor.
The one time we did have a hawk, we got rid of it by creating tons of loud noises. We also threw some things at it. It scared him away. But for others, this is probably only a short-term solution.
I have not had many problems with hawks, but this is because I have many crows near my chickens. Yes, they are loud and noisy and quite obnoxious, but crows are very territorial. If they move in, they will indeed chase off a hawk. So now I like crows. That is one bird I don't chase away.
American Blossom Linens
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How is My Milk Cow, Clover, Doing?
Clover is my very first milk cow. She is doing great and looks phenomenal now, as you can see from the second photo below.
We've recently dried her up because she's pregnant and due on December 20th. This will be our first time going through a birth with her.
She has by far been the most patient and excellent cow. She has been perfect for a first-time milker. I even say she trained me. She doesn't kick or make my job difficult at all.
If you're thinking about getting a milk cow, check out my post on eight things you need to know when raising a milk cow.
When I was growing up, my dad had many beef cows, but I always knew they would eventually be butchered. So I never let myself get attached to any of them.
My husband and I decided Clover would not be butchered even when she stopped producing milk. So bonding with her has been amazing for me!
I surprisingly found that milking Clover wasn't hard, but it changed my chores and life in a way I did not expect. The milking is not the most challenging part.
The prep before and the washing after is much harder than I had anticipated. The machine, the buckets, and the device parts must be prepped before milking a cow. And they all have to be cleaned and sanitized after. That's the most work.
And, of course, it must be done well because you are dealing with raw milk. Raw milk requires cleanliness. And I am getting three to four gallons daily at Clover's peak!
Then there is the debate surrounding using your hands versus only using a milking machine. I found it took me the same amount of time either way.
In my experience, hand milking versus machine milking, as far as the amount of time it took, ended up being about the same. I did my milking by hand until my carpal tunnel issue in my hand flared up.
Even though most say you only need a machine if you're milking multiple cows, in my case, one cow and one machine were perfect!
I am excited to see how calf-sharing will change the amount I have to milk daily compared to what I do now.
This brings us to our third and final question.
What Will You Do With All of Your Milk When Your Cow Has Its Calf?
When the calf is born, I will let her eat all she wants while still milking Clover for my milk needs. It is called partial calf share. The calf will milk, and then I will milk.
But this time, I will only milk her once a day. And it will depend on how much milk she produces.
In the meantime (or even when the calf comes, as I am still determining how much milk I will be getting), what do I do with all my raw milk?
Those three to four gallons a day I mentioned earlier are quite a bit of milk. Yes, my family enjoys it, but we are only a family of four. Here are some ways I use all of my raw milk.
- I use my raw milk to make cheese, homemade yogurt, cream cheese, cultured sour cream, real buttermilk (for my flaky buttermilk biscuits), and even ice cream. Sometimes I make hard-aged cheese and farmhouse cheddar. There is also lots of whey left.
- I share our raw milk with my mom, dad, and nearby family members.
- I even use some of the whey in my garden. The whey from older unused raw milk can be diluted, and then I can fertilize the garden with it. It's excellent for the soil.
- Then, there is my special surprise for my chickens. I soak my chicken feed in raw milk for one to three days. My chickens love it!
- In the spring, I will be getting pigs so they can have the extra milk too.
People also mention selling raw milk. I don't sell any of my raw milk because I am not certified to sell it. Unless you are certified, you can only sell raw milk as pet food.
I looked into doing it, but it is too hard in Washington state where I live. You even have to have two separate rooms, one for cooling it and one for bottling it. It's no wonder buying raw milk is so expensive.
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- Scottish Highland Cows: A Unique Cattle Breed
- Commonly Believed Homesteading Myths
- Signs To Watch For With An Expecting Cow
- Maximizing Your Homestead for Profit & Production (With Joel Salatin)
- 5 Tips for Raising Livestock
- Growing a Garden & Raising Livestock Without Acreage
- Planning Your Livestock for a Year's Worth of Meat Per Person
- Our Food Production Plan & How to Plan for Livestock
- How to Keep Animals Cool in Hot Weather
Hey pioneers. Welcome to episode number 370. On today's episode, we are going to be continuing our Q&A, this is going to be part two and this one is centering around livestock and specifically chickens and our milk cow, with the majority of it being questions about the milk cow. Today's podcast is sponsored by American Blossom Linens. American Blossom Linens Bedding is sustainable, ethical, made in America with 100% American organic cotton. It's also environmentally friendly, pure and chemical free softness. And what that means is they don't use formaldehyde. You guys, I had no idea that a lot of commercial, textile fabric clothing companies, use formaldehyde in order to create softness in the fabric. I am really pleased that they have come on to sponsor the podcast, but I actually was really impressed with the sheets.
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I wasn't soaking, I wasn't rubbing it back and forth to create friction. It literally rinsed out and it had been set for a number of days because it was a small section that I didn't notice. I was so impressed. And so of course, it rinsed out just like that, threw it in the washing machine, washed, it came out. I have never had sheets that have released a stain like that, so easily. I was very, very excited about that.
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If you miss the first part of this series, you can go back and catch episode number 369. I think we'll actually be going probably at least four parts within this series. And today's first question that we're going to answer is from Garden Joy, which is, "How do you detour hawks from your chickens?" This is a really interesting question because honestly I have never had to deal with hawks and the chickens, until a couple of months ago and it was actually with our ducks and not the chickens. We have been keeping chickens for, goodness, let me do some math here, well, at least over a decade, for the past 10 years. And normally what we do with our chickens is we keep them in a chicken tractor.
I have this up on my YouTube channel. We can put some resources in the blog post that accompanies this episode, which if you want to go and find any of these links or further resources that I'll be mentioning, you can find that at melissaknorris.com/370. And that's just the number 370, numerically for episode number 370. melissaknorris.com/370.
And so we keep our chickens in a chicken tractor, which means it's a totally enclosed, protected, movable coop. It's got chicken wire all around it so that they can't get out, but predators can't get in. It keeps them on pasture or grass. And then that gets moved every so many days. With most of our coops, we don't actually move daily because the chickens have not exhausted all of the fresh grass. And so usually we move it about every other day, sometimes every three days, depending on how many chickens we have in a tractor at a time.
If I only have three or four chickens in one of the larger tractors, I might not even move it. It might be a couple times a week, so every three to four days. If we've got more birds in there up to 13 in one of the larger tractors, then I'm probably moving it every other day, maybe every day, just depending on what the grass growing cycle is like. In the summertime, I should say in the spring, when the grass is growing really strong, I can move them every other day, with that many in there. If it's in the summer or the fall when grass is in dormancy or drought and therefore the grass is in dormancy too, then I usually am moving them every day with that amount of chickens in the tractor. But that keeps them protected, but it's the best of both worlds.
They're protected in a coop but they are on fresh pasture every single day and grass. It's like combining free range with a coop, if that makes any sense. Now we usually do that with the birds throughout the growing months because chickens are very detrimental to gardens. They scratch everything up and they will eat a lot of your produce for you, even when you don't want them to and they just tend to destroy a lot of the beds. I keep our chickens in the chicken tractor, pretty much from planting time and when I put the cool weather crops in, which is usually about sometimes end of March if we're lucky, usually first part of April. And then I let them actually free range where we open up the chicken tractors and they're truly free ranging, not until October, till I've gotten the majority of the gardens put to rest for the winter months and I'm just overwintering some crops and they'll pretty much stay out of those.
Sharing all of that because we don't necessarily have the chickens free ranging year round, where hawks can actually get to them. But my ducks, we allow to free range because the ducks eat slugs and snails and they don't tear up beds and crops like the chickens do. The ducks we have free ranging and at night I put them in poultry netting, which is an electrified, it has a solar battery that works wonderful, even here in the Pacific Northwest. And that will keep the raccoons, the coyotes, dogs, because we don't have a large pond. Normally in nature, a pond is what your ducks would go to for safety because most predators, obviously a hawk can fly, so not that, but most of your ground predators, if the ducks are in the middle of the pond, that's their safety part. Well we don't have a large body of water here, we just have a little kiddie pool, one of those little small kiddie pools filled with water for them so that they can still get wet, clean themselves.
But that is not going to detour a coyote or a raccoon, that's not going to keep them safe. We do the electrified poultry netting at night and that works really, really well, which I'll do a link to it because we are actually going to be getting another set of this poultry netting with the setup, when we move our second flock of laying hens down to our farm stay. If you missed any of those episodes where I've been talking about that, the farm stay is a 40 acre farm we bought a half mile down the road from our house, and we have a 1916 farmhouse that we just got done renovating, leaving as much of the historical charm as possible. But it is a short-term vacation rental, so people can come and rent it for a two night minimum up to four weeks, can come and stay and it's a working farm down there.
We've got Scottish Highlander cows on the pasture. We'll probably moving some of our Hereford Angus herd down there in the summer months, we'll be having our pigs down there. We'll be doing live farm workshops on the property during May through October. Those will be listed soon. But we'll also have a flock of laying hens down there so that the guests can go and get farm fresh chicken eggs, they can see the chickens, they'll be teaching aspects with them. But, that means I am not going to be down there because we don't live down there. Of course, I go down there every day to check on the animals, but I want to make sure that those chickens are in a chicken tractor, but then they have a larger perimeter area of the electrified poultry netting to keep them safe because we know that there are a lot of coyotes down on that 40 acre part.
And so I don't want them free ranging without our dog protecting them like we have at our house during the fall and winter months. I'll have a link because I really have been impressed with the premier products and the battery and the solar charge and how well it works. Detouring hawks from my chickens. I know I went off on a long tangent story there, filling in all those details. But this summer, my husband and I were outside, it was about nine o'clock in the morning, so not super early. And we looked over and the ducks were in the front yard right next to our house and a hawk actually swooped down, almost grabbed one, but he missed and then the ducks ran under a tree. And then the hawk went and sat up on one of our large marshmallow bales that we have the big haulage bales for the cows stacked on a portion of the property.
And he sat up there, he was maybe 10, 15 feet from where the ducks were hiding underneath the tree. And I'm like, "That hawk is going after my ducks." Hawks are protected. They are a federally protected bird, so you are not able to legally shoot, kill, mess with hawks. Now there are instances where I believe you'd have to check for your state and area because I did go and look it up when it happened, but there's instances where you can sometimes get special permits and different things like that. However, we didn't have any of those and I am like, "I am not about to stand here and watch this hawk kill my birds." We went and got stuff and threw at it, made really loud noises, went after it and scared the hawk, without obviously touching it or trying to shoot it or anything like that, to scare it away.
Now is that going to keep him away long term? That depends. One of the things I started looking at and we normally do have is a lot of crows and crows are very territorial. Crows will usually chase a hawk off if they consider that area, their territory. I used to not be very fond of the crows because the crows are great at pulling up young starts, garden vegetable starts out of the garden, they'll come and pull them up or they'll come and eat the corn. They could just be pains. They've not always been my favorite bird to have around, but I'm looking at them with a little bit new appreciation. Since then, we must have been successful in scaring off the hawk and he has not been back. But making sure that you've got an area obviously for the birds to go to, that the hawk can't get them, so some type of netting and/or a chicken tractor or the coop run where they can get there.
And then possibly thinking about being friendly to the crows or not chasing the crows off when you see them. But really for us, either a barrier method, like I said, with the netting or the chicken tractors, where you've got your chicken wire or hard cloth wire, et cetera, to keep predators out, or a guard dog. Those really have been the most foolproof things that we have found to be effective.
The next three questions are about our milk cow, Miss Clover. We got lover back in April of 2022, so not quite a year yet that we have had her and Kelly Burtek asked, "How is the cow?" Clover is doing great. She really settled into life here and looks phenomenal. Her coat has filled out and she's put on weight. She's pregnant right now. She is due December 20th, so give or take around there, right around Christmas is when she is due. And when we got her, she didn't have her calf. Her calf had long been gone. We were told that she had had a calf in October, so that would've been October of 2021. And then by the time we got her in April, the calf had already been weaned and was not on the property, was not anywhere, I never have seen the calf that she had. This'll be our first time going through birth with her, seeing how she does as a mom, what her calf's like, et cetera.
The milking experience when she has a calf versus... So we can do a calf share, which we didn't have the opportunity to do before, that'll be a whole new venture. It'll be really interesting to see how that changes the experience, how she reacts in comparison to just it being her and us just going and milking her and not dealing with the calf. However, she is the most patient, excellent cow. If I had gotten a milk cow that I had to train myself to milk and I have not had dairy cows, so it would be like someone not knowing what they were doing, trying to train a cow, even with watching and educating yourself, et cetera, it still would be my first time.
I feel like she trained me how to milk. She has always been extremely patient. She goes right in, she doesn't kick, just the most patient cow, put up with all of my blenders, has been just wonderful. Can you tell I'm gushing about Clover. I am so happy that she was my first milk cow because one of the questions from City Girl Loves the Farm is, "Are you still loving the milk cow and has it changed your chore as much?" And yes, I am still loving the milk cow, but it absolutely changed chores and changed life, getting a milk cow.
And I thought moving into it, that it would be the actual milking part. And yes, that is an everyday thing, you can't miss it. You have to milk them every day or you're going to be dealing with mastitis and a very upset cow, so it's a non-negotiable, you've got to milk every single day. But it wasn't actually the milking that was the time consuming part, it is all of the prep and the washing. We don't have a dishwasher except for our own two hands and the sink. And when you're dealing with raw milk, because our milk is raw, I'm not about to pasteurize that lovely beautiful goodness, but cleanliness is extremely important. And when she's putting out, on average, it was between about three and a half to four gallons a day at peak. And mind you, we got her in April, which was quite far away into her lactation period compared to just having the calf when it's the most.
I was dealing with four gallons of milk a day and then you've got the milking, the stainless steel milking bucket that has to be sanitized. And we did use a milking machine, that has to be sanitized and washed. It's just a lot of things that have to be washed, buckets that have to be filled with water for cleaning the machine, the parts of the machine, literally that was the most time consuming part was the beforehand and the after and it was just all the prepping and washing of the dishes. And I timed it with the milking machine and the time that it took to sanitize that versus just milking by hand. And it was the same amount of time. Regardless, I was going to be spending the same amount of time if I was milking by hand, but not cleaning the machine. But for me, having been a pharmacy tech for so many years, I already deal with carpal tunnel issues in my wrists and milking by hand, it flared up my wrists.
And it wasn't like where its sore muscles that once you build up strength and stamina, they're going to go away. It was a different type of inflammation and pain and it was not worth it to me. I will spend the same amount of time, but not have the pain in my wrist, and you're doing still a little bit of hand milking even with the machine, because you have to get them going and then you're stripping them out and she had one back quarter that was her most productive that I always would have to hand milk to finish stripping it, in comparison to the other three. I was still doing some hand milking, but in no way like you would if you're doing all of it. For me, it was worth it to use the milking machine, same amount of time, it's just how my time is being spent but not having the pain in my wrist.
Because I've heard a lot of people say, "Oh, if you're only milking one cow, then a milking machine's totally not worth it." Well those absolutes, I disagree. For me and my situation, it's totally worth it. And even the same for the kids. The kids, if they went out and had to milk for a time, if I couldn't be there for whatever reason on certain days, them being able to use the machine and knowing how to use it correctly, of course. But my kids are teens now, they were much more willing to help doing it that way, than they were if they had to milk all the way by hand. But it changed my chores just because of the amount of prep time and the amount of washing time.
But it's interesting though because I actually... I have to be honest, at times I looked forward to it. There were days when there was a lot of stuff going on that I can't say, I'm like, "Oh, I'm so glad I get to go milk the cow today," if I'm being completely honest. But most of the days, I was excited and because I really got to bond with Clover. Now I grew up on a cattle farm. I grew up on a cattle ranch basically. When I was little, my dad had about 130 head of cattle at the peak when I was between about 8 and 12 years old. And then he downsized the herd to 90, 80, but he's always ran a lot of cattle. And I suppose if you have a really large ranch, you're like, "That's not a large ranch." But to most people, 100 to 130 head of cattle, that's a lot of cows to deal with. And so I've always been around animals, always been around cattle, beef cattle, mind you, not dairy,
But you don't bond with beef cattle and a herd that size, the same way as you do with a singular animal. And I have never allowed myself to bond with our beef cattle, even though our herd is much smaller. We run about 10 head, because I know the nature of beef cows, they are going to be butchered, that's their purpose. And we do keep our cows that are good moms, throwing good stock, et cetera, easy keepers, we keep them for about 10 to 15 years, but sometimes we'll sell them off or get different stock in. And so I just have learned not to allow myself to get emotionally attached like you would a pet, with your livestock. But Clover is a different story because we are not butchering clover. Clover will not be butchered even when she is not able to produce milk anymore and retires and is too old to have calves.
My husband and I have already said she will live out her life on the farm and will be one of the only cows that is allowed to just live out on the farm, even though they're not producing something for the farm. And so I have been able to bond with her in a way I've never been able to bond with any of our cows before. And so I actually really enjoy, for most of the days, not all, my time when I'm milking her. And I stay out with her pretty much the whole time, even though she's hooked up to the machine for so many minutes, I'm usually out there the whole time talking to her, brushing her out, when it's cold out, snuggled up, because she is very warm in the milking barn. She's the warmest spot to be. And I really found myself looking forward to it.
Did it change my chores? A ton. And not only with the prepping part, that really was the most, not the milking, then it's what do you do with all of the milk? And this was a great question that came from Sarah Zarli and asked, "What will you do with all your milk when your cow calves?" With all of the milk that we had in the past, and I will have more, when she first has the calf, of course, she's going to be producing a lot of milk and we are going to be doing a calf share, but usually calf share, a calf can't drink all of the milk that a high producing milk cow can produce. And they have just been selectively bred like that. There's no GMO, weird, genetically modified stuff going on, it's just selective breeding throughout centuries, to keep the cows that produce milk and then that genetics goes.
That being said, we will be milking, even though we have the cow, and we'll be doing partial calf sharing with the cow, meaning the calf will be able to nurse some of the time, so I'll only have to milk once a day, instead of twice a day. If the calf wasn't on her at the beginning of her lactation period, I'd have to be milking twice a day, but I'll only have to milk once a day, which I'm very happy about. That's what we did. By the time we got her where she was last April, she was already trained to do once a day milking and in her production cycle that was fine. I'm happy that I'm not going to have to do twice a day milking and with the calf, I'll have to see how much she's producing, how much the calf can handle milk wise, et cetera.
But there probably will be some days where if I don't want to milk, I may be able to go every other day and the calf can take up the excess. I'll have to see, because I don't know how much she'll produce right at birth within the first few months of the calf. But all of the milk, it is a lot of milk. Imagine three and a half to four gallons a day of milk. And we don't currently have pigs to feed the excess to. And I have two kids, I have a 17-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter and it's my husband and I. A family of four, four gallons of milk, you're not going through a day in normal use. I'd already been doing some cheese making and of course yogurt, cultured dairy, I've been doing that for a long period of time, been making yogurt for over a decade.
But I now have a lot more milk, so I make and use more yogurt. Definitely doing things like cream cheese, cultured sour cream, using all of the cream, making ice cream, all of those things. But even that, you're still not going to go through that much milk. I am now having the opportunity, because I have so much milk to do hard aged cheese making, because that uses a lot larger volume of milk when you're making things like an aged cheddar, Gouda, I did some farmhouse cheddar, those types of things. I will be doing more cheese making, but even then, there's only so much cheese making that you can do. Where I live, you can only legally sell raw milk for pet food if you're not certified and I am not going to get certified for one cow. That would just be silly.
The amount of work that the state of Washington makes you jump through in order to be certified to sell raw milk, you would have to have multiple, multiple cows that you are milking every day and actually a decent volume of milk to sell, for it to ever be worth the hassle. Because it's not only the initial certification, you have to have two separate rooms, a room where the milk is chilled and then a separate room where you bottle the milk. Why on earth they can't be in the same room, I have no idea. I did look up the requirements and they were so beyond ridiculous, that I'm like, "Oh, forget it." That's of course selling the raw milk. My mom and dad live on the same road as me. My brother and his wife and their little kids live right next door to us.
We have family members that take the milk even though we're not selling it, so that's another option. In order to stay legal, you're not supposed to sell it, even if you're advertising it as a cash cow milk share program, that doesn't get around the legalities of being certified to sell raw milk, in Washington state. Because I hear a lot of people talk about like, "Well just do a cow share and then you'll be fine." But that is not actually a true statement. Should it be that way? No, I think I should be able to go buy milk from whoever I want to and whatever thing it wants to be. But that is not the actual current world that we live it.
Take that with a grain of salt. Take it with you however you will. But it is a lot of milk and so we are getting pigs this coming spring and so that way, I will be able to give them the excess if we have just too much that I'm not able to deal with. I would take the excess if I got too much and I thought I was going to make cheese and so I had saved so many gallons, then I didn't get around to making it, that did happen a couple of times. And I tell you what, I cannot throw out raw milk because I know how expensive it was when I had to buy raw milk and I couldn't afford it very often. Because here and I see why, when I looked at how much money was involved to be able to get certified, the infrastructure that has to be put in, the equipment that has to be bought for your certification, it's just silly.
I see why it is $15 a gallon for raw milk where I live, and I understand why after seeing everything they have to jump through in order to do that. But, there were times when I did not get through all of the milk and so I would ferment our chicken feed with it. With raw milk, it's got all of the good cultures in it, all of the loveliness and the benefits. I would soak the chicken feed in a five gallon bucket, I'd pour the raw milk in there and then I would add the chicken feed and let it soak for 24 to one to three days. And the chickens, oh my goodness, man, they loved the fermented feed. It takes my feed longer. It's really good for them, all of the things. That was one way that I was able to use some of the extra milk.
And then I had a gallon or two, same thing, it had been at the back of the fridge and by the time I got to it, we had so much other fresh milk, it was silly for me to try to do something with the milk that was getting very, very cultured. It was getting really sour. And so I diluted it and used it to fertilize the garden plants because raw milk especially has some really great nutrients, and can do some really good things for your soil. And I'll probably do some episodes on that later on upcoming in the spring, talking about soil measurements, the Bricks Method, a lot of really cool things. Anyhow, so that was some of the things that I did with the milk. But we are getting pigs this spring, and so we will also use some of the excess milk if we have it, to help feed the pigs.
And even from the cheese making, you get a lot of weight, especially when you're doing the larger batches. If I'm going to do a six or an eight gallon milk, hard aged cheese, there's a lot of whey that's going to get pressed out. And when the curds are forming, and then you've got the curds, then you've got the whey, there's a lot of whey left behind the cheese making. And yes, you can use whey in the garden, you can use whey in your cooking, but again, you really can only use so much whey. And so that will be something that we will feed to the pigs as well, which will be really nice because that is going to help cut down on our feed bill for the pigs. I'm actually looking forward to seeing how that changes our feed bill, how it changes the growth of the pigs and the flavor of the meat, the fat content, the marbling of the meat, et cetera, with the pork, when we add in the milk.
Well, I hope that you enjoyed this episode and this series where we're doing the Q&A. I've tried to do it by topic. Last week's was the gardening Q&A. This was obviously on livestock. And then I actually have some canning and preserving, and I think enough questions to do a full Q&A episode on that topic. And then I had quite a few that were just a little bit more general questions where there wasn't enough to really do a full episode on just that topic like these two have been. But some really fun and interesting questions. In fact, I was going to record them this week from the general, but I realized, I'm not sure I know the answer to some of these yet. They're requiring me to do some very deep thinking, before I can answer them.
And so I decided I'm going to take some time and really think about these questions before I record that episode. I'm really looking forward to those episodes as well. I hope that you're enjoying this format. Would love to know, you can leave me a review on whatever app that you are listening to this podcast on, or if you're on the website, leave it in the comments on the blog posts that accompanies this episode, would really just like to know what you guys are liking, what you're enjoying, and what you would like to see more of here on the podcast.
Don't forget to take advantage of that 22% off coupon from our sponsor, American Blossom Linens, by using PioneeringToday22, so that's the word, pioneering today altogether, and then just the number 2-2, 22. And that will get you 22% off through December 31st, 2022. Blessings and Mason jars for now my friends.
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