When I was small my Dad used to squeeze my upper arms between his thumb and his forefinger and chant.. “and the muscles on her scrahwny arms stoock oot like spiders knees”. Always in a broad and deeply pretend Scottish accent. I would scream with laughter and wriggle away, long sunburnt arms pumping my skinny self along the beach. My spaghetti thin bendy legs flying up behind me. When I was little I knew I could fly actually I am sure I still could, I just choose not to right now, thank you very much. I am practicing being grounded.
Anyway back to my Dairy Maids arms. Yesterday at the feed store the woman at the check out asked if I needed help picking up a mineral block. I picked it up and smiled thank you, but I am a lot stronger than I look. She was gracious but disbelieving. I am not brawny much to my despair. But I am fast developing milkmaids arms.
Here is why. Every feed bag of oats weighs 50 pounds. Every bale of hay weighs between 60 and 70 pounds -some are heavier) Every morning I carry three buckets of water over to the barn from the house for the milking. Full, big buckets about 4 gallons of water in each. And we all know now that there is 8 pounds in a gallon. There is no running water in the barn remember.
After the milking I lift the milk bucket which has between 40 and 50 pounds of milk in it. (Imagine how much Daisy would give if she had four healthy quarters!) I then carefully divide this milk into six containers. One for Sheila and Poppy, one for the plonkers, one for the chickens, one for the peacocks, one for the cats and dogs, one for the bobby, one for the old dog and one for the house. Holding that amount of milk up and pouring carefully into containers works the muscles very well.
Then the water is used to clean the milking hoses and bucket. First clean water is pumped through, then an acid is added to the next bucket and pumped through, then a clorine solution to sterilise it all again ready for the next milking. Between each of these required washes I tighten the lid and bending my knees I pick up the milking bucket and shake it up and down to make absolutely sure both the bucket and the hose and the cups are cleared of any old milk.
(Look above: see how Daisy’s ear is close to her milking bells – top screen left – I ring these bells and open the gate when it is time for her to come in to be milked. If I take too long rinsing and cleaning before the milking she rings the bells with her ear! With HER EAR! Banging the bells with her ear saying ‘Come On, get a wriggle on!’. That cow is such a cow!
Anyway, that done I add the old rinse water to the pigs milk.
Then I carry each of these buckets to their recipients. The Bobby is now drinking out of a small bucket and Marcel is weaned (though sticks his wooyl head in the Bobby’s bucket of milk anyway) so there is no need to fill bottles as well now.
Later I carry buckets of water to anyone in a pen. After dragging hoses about to fill the big troughs (from my one outside tap) .
Yesterday I collected a full 5 gallon bucket of restaurant scraps. It was so heavy I could hardly get it high enough to swing it into the boot of the cooking oil car. Full of twice baked potatoes and noodles and cake. (No wonder Sheila has trouble with her weight). That will keep Poppy and Sheila going for few days.
You see what I mean? I like my milk maids arms.
And in the not so distant future I will be hauling two chicken tractors down the fields three times a day! No need for a gym membershop round here!
What shoe size is your pig?
Good morning. I hope you have a lovely day.
The kitchen pig! I am training her to stay on her cushion instead of standing in the middle of the kitchen moving to and from as I move to and fro. She is getting it too. Good little piggie.
I hope you have a lovely day.
Your friend on the farmy