I am endorsing American Milking Short Horns for homesteads. Forget Dexter's. However, they are great, but for a high dairy use family, Short horns are the way to go. Irish Dexter's are on the recovery list. Unfortunately my Long Legged Kerry's are still endangered, as are the Milking Short horns.
Murrial isn't as high strung as my ladies are. She is very laid back about everything. It does cause issue when we are trying to get her and not the Ladies through to the stanchion, but it is a great thing to have when we are actually milking. Just need to get her to spread those legs a bit wider.
The biggest problem I am having is getting her and Courage separated. So milking isn't happening on a daily basis. Murrial is super protective of her calf, good mommy, so roping Courage isn't an option. If I am quick, I can get Murrial standing just inside the gate, then I can sneak through beside her, causing her to move into the corral, and Courage to back away from me. But it doesn't happen like that every time.
And these two bellow. After about 6 hours, the bellowing begins. It isn't as bad as Undies bellowing, but Murial's seems to carry easier. I am sure the neighbors are getting annoyed with them. I did warn my immediate neighbors that we where beginning to separate them, and that there would be some commotion over it. So far no one has said anything. A neighbor that lives further away said that if she didn't want to hear cows, she wouldn't have moved into the country. But not every one I have encountered feel that way. They think country living is quiet. hahaha! ok sure. My friend Killi, an Irish homesteader that named a breed of chickens after me, has a story about a neighbor that would call the police on her and her noisy animals.
Which is another fear, uneducated police. Not every cop has spent time around cattle, and dairy cows compared to beef cattle look under fed. Their hips protrude, making it look like they are starving. I worry that some one that doesn't know the difference will show up here, then get more people involved over it, even though I have plenty of fresh greens and green wheat out for them, some one will want to investigate. I have heard horror stories about animals being removed and destroyed because of overzealous, under educate, animal welfare aficionados. There is probably no rational reason to worry, but my horse neighbors vet told me that it happens. He sees it a lot with his older horses. The ones that just don't seem to keep weight on, but aren't to a point that they have to be put down, get called in very often.
I also must say that I am glad not to have placed anything warm thriving out in my garden yet. This cold has stunted my neighbors tomatoes growth. If they make it through this next cold front, he will be waiting a lot longer to get tomatoes from those plants.