3 Shifts of Milking

On the third day of Christmas, the Dairy Man gave to me
3: Three shifts of milking


2: Two orange tractors
1: And a twinkly-light-laden faux tree

On our dairy, we milk the bovine ladies three times a day: 8 a.m., 4 p.m., and 12 midnight. Each shift runs for approximately 3-4 hours and each cow spends an average of 15 minutes in the parlor.

While the cows are hanging out in the parlor, we are fluffing up their sand beds, cleaning their stalls, and piling up some food for a post-milking snack. The Dairy Man milks three times a day–or 3X as the experts say–because it increases overall milk production and keeps our cows more comfortable (less milk to carry around in those udders).

And did I mention that occasionally they even get to wear Christmas hats in the parlor?

Moo-ry Christmas!


17 thoughts on “3 Shifts of Milking

  1. What a clever way to tie in the holidays while providing a snippet of info about the farm each day. Love the photo — my husband and I have taken many dairy-related Christmas photos throughout our marriage too. πŸ™‚

    I just love your blog. Check out our blog too: http://hansendairy.wordpress.com/

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you, Jordan! Sometimes little dairy snippets are all you need.

      I will be sure to check out your blog. First impressions? I think I want a set of Hansen’s drinking glasses. Awesome. πŸ™‚

  2. Jessica, a week ago I rode 300miles on a push bike…don’t ask. It involved massive hills and talking 14 year olds up and over them. We rode through the dairy heartland of our state on one day, with a particularly difficult student, and I talked all about the differences between dairying in Austrlia and the USA. The young woman knows far more about farms than she ever needed to know(!!!) but as a distraction, it worked a treat and we got another 25kilometres down the road! Thanks for the knowl edge. Bet you didn’t ever think it would be used like that!
    Fiona x

    1. Ha! Fiona, I love this comment. People in my sphere of influence (family and friends) often find themselves explaining farm things to friends, coworkers, and strangers as well! It’s amazing how swiftly we internalize all of this farming/dairy trivia, eh? Did I ever think I’d be the one explaining cow gestational periods at a dinner party? CERTAINLY not. πŸ™‚

      Kuddos on the 300 miles as well!

  3. You are sooooo clever, Jessica! I love the Christmas flavor to the dairy operation. I grew up on a horse and beef farm, much different than yours, and on a lot smaller scale! I wish my Dad had technology skills, but at 85 he’s not apt to acquire them. He would get a huge kick out of the Santa hat on Ruthie, the holstein cow!!


  4. Hi Jessica,
    I have had a read through your blog, its great! I am a dairy farmers wife on the other side of the world! I just had to ask as I am blown away by the fact that you milk 3 times a day!
    How many cows do you milk? and does the dairy man have to do all 3 milkings and work during the day also?! Makes total sense production wise but man you guys must get tired! We have a 36 aside herringbone shed and we milk 800 cows through that twice a day but we do shift work so we only have to do one milking a day and do a normal days work if that makes sense.
    I have just started a blog about our adventures…
    I found yours on pinterest and It is so interesting how things are so different yet also very similar!


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