The milking cows have been milked for the last time and …
– loaded up into the old trailer with its new tyre and driven over to the West Barn. We made a bit of a mess of the paths and pastures as the rain had come and the ground had thawed, and gone soggy very fast and with two thousand pounds of animal in the trailer it was touch and go a few times. Once more thank goodness for my big four wheel drive truck.
It is important when you dry up cows that they get them as far away from the milking routine as possible so their milk does not come down. Also they are on a very lean diet for a few weeks to help them dry up too so they are staying seperate from the others. They both have so little milk now that it will slowly dissipate and be reabsorbed. But because they both freshened (gave birth in cow talk) with a little mastitis I have injected an antibiotic up the canal of each quarter on both of them. This is a long term antibiotic and will help keep their udders clear of infection while they are drying up. They accept this without fuss at all so i am thinking it does not hurt. Though if someone tried to do that to me when I was weaning babies I would have slapped them silly.
Now that we are no longer milking I will take their milking collars off too. I forgot to do it yesterday evening, the wind was so loud and so destructive, roaring monster – rously around us as we worked, flinging things about, scaring the piglets with loud bangs, that I completely forgot. I will do that today.
Now there is no milk, no butter, no yoghurt, no icecream, no fresh cheeses, marscapone or cream sauces, no cream on cereal, or cream in my coffee or cakes. Now we enter the leaner times which are good for me. All bodies need a few months of the lean times. In fact eating seasonally and from the farm enables a more natural rhythm to the food.
Txiki was sad to see Lady Astor go. Lady loves babies and had licked her all over in the night, cleaning her up for adolescence.
The winds were so strong yesterday that they blew one of the big doors in. This was my fault as I had forgotten to attach the cross brace when I closed it for the evening.
It was an easy fix though, just took some well placed wacks with a mallet and it popped over the rim of the floor and back out into place. The trouble being the howling gale trying to blow it back IN before I had it popped out. So I had to work between gale force gusts. Now it is all braced into place until the storm is over.
It is quiet this morning. The high winds have moved on I think, though today will still be breezy and rainy and reaching 50F/10C – this is pretty warm for this time of year. But being so warm I can clean out the dairy cows waiting room thoroughly – now that it is empty but for two small heifers.
I just looked at the weather forecast and for the next ten days we are seldom below freezing with lots of clouds and some rain – it is like farming in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand but without the sun!
I hope you have a lovely day.
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