Cynthia feeding Valentina
Buster and Andromeda
About Randall Milk
        While Randall cattle are legitimate triple purpose animals, the Randall farm was a dairy farm.  It has long been our belief at the Registry that it is on small, forage based farms where the cattle are milked that the Randalls will fulfill their highest purpose.  Over the years many people have asked us what the Randall's milk is like, and it is our hope to begin to answer those questions.
        Now, for the first time we are able to quantify our observations with actual component testing.  While the first results are modest, we plan to continue to test as seasons and available feed changes, and as cows freshen.  Feedback from breeders who are milking their animals shows us that, to get a realistic profile of what Randall owners can expect, we must test a fairly broad cross section of the breed, under different conditions.  To test a single animal would certainly not give a fair breed-wide assessment and could prove misleading.
        The data on this page is our preliminary effort, a work in progress.  It is listed farm by farm, animal by animal, and in the table below, by running averages updated as new test results become available.  We offer this for informational purposes only, since the data is limited at this time, the averages should not be considered to be representative of the entire Randall breed.
18 animals tested, 23 samples.  Latest results compiled 01/24/06
        
Randall Milk Characteristics and Components
Howland Homestead Farm
        At  Howland Homestead Farm, we have been hand milking Randalls for 12 years now, and have milked 25 individual animals.  Over the years, I have pulled up an upside down milk crate, sat down on it, and hand drawn milk out of a Randall cow upwards of 10,000 times.  We have used that milk to drink, skim cream, and make a variety of products such as butter, ice cream, yogurt, whipped cream and kefir.  We have not yet tried out the Randall milk for making cheese.
        We have observed that, just as the animals themselves are highly variable, so too is the milk.  Often the variability runs along family lines.  We have had milk with cream as thick as pudding, with the skim a blue color, and milk with the cream stratified from heavy to light, with the skim being yellow in color, and variations of both.  The quantity of milk also varies, with differences reflecting the quality of forage, whether milking is done once or twice a day, whether the cow is a first calver, time of year, and stage of lactation.
Phil Lang
        

        
Rock Cobble Farm
        
Last summer after arriving in Connecticut, Phil Lang of Howland Homestead Farm helped me wrangle "Pia" into a death grip and after a few days of flailing and kicking (my girls were all field cows, seldom handled), she was milked for awhile.  Then in January 2005 I started really learning and helping hand milk at the Langs' farm.  My "Freida" was brought unwillingly to, and cajoled into, the stanchion and with less flailing and kicking.  I milked her - test results below.  Freida was my first cow to really sit comfortably beside and milk with any confidence and we continued for several months.  As this is written on the 4th of July, 2005, Aster has just given me a heifer calf, Astilbe, and will be the third of my girls to be milked.  All of the cows being milked eat only hay, baleage and now grass.
        Now, I hand milk a couple of cows twice a day and it is as necessary for me as breathing. I just love doing it.  Sitting on a crate with my face against a cow, warming my nose in winter and setting me aflame now that it is summer, feels like second nature.  They each smell differently, the milk has different opacity, the skin on their teats has different textures, little lumps, or scratches and certainly different amounts of pressure required to extract milk.  Who knew milking the girls would be so wonderful.  Now that I am woven into this defining part of the Randalls, I feel like I have been waiting all of my life to milk them.     Rock Cobble Farm  --  Cynthia's Randall Cattle Pages, Milking Randalls
Cynthia Creech   
Winter Hill Farm
        We have been milking Randall cows here at  Winter Hill Farm  for two years in a stanchion barn with a milking machine/vacuum pump set up.  The cows come into the barn twice a day to be milked and spend the rest of their time either in a winter paddock with round baled hay or out to pasture during spring, summer and fall.  We sell raw, non-certified organic milk and dairy products to 33 customers, who come to the farm weekly to pick up their orders.  Our products include: whole raw milk, yogurt, and cream; soft cheeses:  Neufchatel (French cream cheese) and Ricotta; and a hard cheese on the style of Monterey Jack. 
        As our summer/fall project this year we are putting a 30'x52' addition on to the dairy barn to house 10 cows in stanchion stalls, with a pipe line and gutter cleaner (we're not getting any younger and help, as you know, is hard to come by).  Included in the addition will be a 12'x15' milk-room and a 12'x15' cheese-room.  We plan on milking no more than 10 cows and increasing our customer base so that most of our milk will be in liquid form and the balance will be made into cheeses and assorted dairy products.           Currently we have 7 Randall females and because of their beautiful markings, have had no trouble finding homes for our males.  We have sold all of our bull calves to
teamsters, who will train them in the yoke, and have recently sold  "Bud and Bart", our 4 year old pair of broke oxen, to Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for their village team.  The Randalls have been a joy to work with and we learn more and more about  them everyday.  For more about our dairy, check out  "The Dairy at Winter Hill Farm"
Jim Stampone
WitnessTree Land & Livestock Farm
         As of next month (June 2005) it will have been one year since I first sat down to milk a Randall cow, and I have been milking that same cow every day since. I have graduated from having to catch her in the field, put a halter on her head each time, tying her to a gate panel, then sitting on a makeshift stool on less-than-level ground, to simply calling her name and shaking a pail while she ambles up from wherever she is to put her head willingly into a proper (and level) stanchion. The makeshift stool has yielded to an upside-down 3-gallon bucket that happens to be just the right height for a comfortable "grab". And Diana and I have kept our morning appointment this way in all weather scenarios. She has been consistently giving us a gallon of milk at each session.
        I filter the milk as soon as it is drawn, and it goes straight into the refrigerator. We drink it raw and unpasteurized. Any extra milk we haven't already consumed is used to make ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft cheese, and kefir. I am planning to try making hard cheeses as well. The cream that settles is a pale yellow in color and varies from 2 to 3 inches per gallon in depth. It can be quite thick, or thinner like coffee cream, depending on pasture, hay, and/or weather. I make whipped cream and butter regularly and we use the buttermilk that is left over for baking.  As our other cows freshen I am looking forward to seeing the similarities or differences in the milk and cream from each individual.      WitnessTree Land and Livestock Farm
Gail Cross
The Randall Cattle Registry, Inc.
        The Official Website of Randall Cattle
Back To Top, The Randall Cattle Registry.
Catherine and Sadie milking Dora
Pail of Randall milk
Cynthia milking Kerryberry
Catherine Gund and Sadie milking "Dora"
Fresh from the cow
Cynthia milking
 "Kerryberry"
Belinda getting a drink
"Belinda" getting a drink after milking
"Annette"
Annette
Gail Cross milking "Diana"
Gail Cross milking "Diana"
Milk bottles
Ready to enjoy
Fresh Randall yogurt
Freshly made yogurt
from Randall milk
Columbia and Montgomery
"Columbia" and
"Montgomery"
Jim Stampone filling milk jugs
Jim Stampone filling milk jugs
Winter Hill Farm's milk bottle label
Winter Hill Farm's milk bottle label
Jim Stampone
milking "Lilac"
Jim Stampone milking Lilac
Duchess and calf
"Duchess" and her new calf in MO
Cynthia milking
"Freida"
Cynthia milking Freida
Aster and newborn calf Astilbe
"Aster" with her just-born calf, "Astilbe"
Rachel Davey milking Missy at Howland Homestead Farm
Rachel Davey
milking "Missy"
The Randall Cattle Registry, Inc., The Official Website of the Rare Randall (Lineback) Cattle Breed.
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 Randall Cattle history and information
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