Remember how I told you it got really cold the night before last but that was OK as i was all preparde for the cold? Well, I completely forgot that the milking pump and the pulsator hate cold and I left them out in the milking room, the pump sitting on its stand and the pulsator on top of the bucket, all clean and hung on the hook.
I got all ready for milking, filled buckets with dry pig feed ready for the hot milk, took the shiny milk cans from the house to the barn, carried three full buckets of hot water to the milking room, replenished the piles of clean rags, chopped up the pumpkin for the cows, got everything ready, rinsed and cleaned the cups in the hot water, turned on the music and brought in Aunty Del, I washed her udder and dried it, turned on the pump, picked up the cups, put them on and nothing, they fell straight back off. The pump turned on but there was no pressure. The pulsator was not clicking. Horrors! Aunty Del did not care, she kept munching while John and I flew through all the checks trying to work out why we had not pressure.
It stayed very cold yesterday and the pulsator was still frozen. Major error. I had to run it or ages, cupping it with my panicked hot hands before it warmed up and the pump got up a good head of ‘steam’. Aunty ate the whole pumpkn herself waiting. And after I milked her – she finished well – I had to chop up another pumpkin for Lady. Who we milked just fine. It was cold yesterday and this morning we are at 27F – not as bad! but still way below freezing.
The cows and I all got a fright so after the milking I dragged the pump on its handy wheels, across the quad, up the garden path, through the trees and stowed it in the glass house. Then carried the bucket and pulsator in theere as well. The whole apparatus is now in the glass house where it will be warm. This will be a frequent trip until I finish milking noth cows.
I had a new reader comment a few days ago that she had never seen a blog where the photos had nothing whatsoever to do with the text, she found it fascinating.
I hope she is reading today because her comment made me smile. It is not done on purpose, the images are a collection of what I saw yesterday. And the text is a recollection of only a tiny part of yesterday that comes to my mind when i have my first coffee with you. A bit like wandering about the farm looking at stuff while we talk of other stuff.
Anyway, i digress because I made another error that fist night – yesterday morning I went to feed the pigs and their food was frozen solid too – it usually sits overnight in the barn. That nice warm porridge froze overnight. I had to take out buckets of boiling water to thaw their breakfast. So now there are three big buckets of milk and grain sitting in the kitchen.
I also forgot to plug the cows water heater in so they were all standing staring at a frozen tub of water yesterday morning (and this morning too as i need to find their tank heater! I will do that today.
Of course you cannot run hoses when it is that cold as the water freezes in them unless you drain the water out and coil the hoses up on the fence.
I forgot that to0! I am laughing at myself. Here was me being all smug thinking I was so organised and I forgot to get the waters organised. Everyones water was frozen solid. You cannot fill a bowl that is already full of frozen water.
In the old days, in the winter, I would take Sheila a bucket of warm water a few times a day, now her head is too fat to fit in the bucket. But thats ok because she is trained to stand back. That is the command “Stand Back Sheila. Stand back.” This means take a step back, get your head out of the bowl I am going to fill it. And she does, she waits patiently until I fill her bowl with food or water then tucks in. You can’t muck around though she will not wait long!
I wil be carrying a lot of buckets of warm water this winter – we have more pigs than ever!
Good morning. Off I go to work,
Hope your day is lovely!