Lady Astor has decided that she is going to have Aunty Del’s new baby. Just gently mind you. She is a big cow and does not want to frighten anyone.
Yesterday she leaned so far over an internal fence that she rode it to the ground and stepping over the battered wires into the big field with the babies. She is hard on fences is Lady Astor. Her udder is so long now that I feared injury but once agan she got away with it.
Things are very busy at the moment -I was pushed for time yesterday and had to prioritise. I fixed the fence and removed the ruined sharp wires, leaving the gap open until I buy a tall panel and left her and Alex with the others.
I am trying so hard to dry her up so John does not have to milk her while I am away in New Zealand for Christmas but I am losing hope of that happening. She just keeps on milking with her udder hanging so low, past her knees, you have to get right on the ground to get the cups on. The risk of her stepping on her udder is terrible.
I had her separate and on a harder lower protein hay, bringing down her production before she broke out.
And now we have Del milking once a day.
Though Del is really not giving much – her baby is getting around those quarters and her udder is lovely and high and small.
But I am thinking he will be milking for the three weeks I am gone. So much of farming is an equation. And so many of these equations have about three correct answers trying to make a plan going forward. We will wait and see.
Anyway, to cut a long story short- Yesterday was busy with many issues not related to the farm. (Which is why I forgot to take pictures). I did not have time to bring the whole herd into the yards and draft Lady and her handmaiden back out, with all those little calves chasing each other about, and not standing by their mothers, so I let her be. Things were calm. The babies were safe.
Last night when I went out in the dead of a cold, cold night – there she was: fast asleep, a big cow laying at a diagonal in the cows big pen with Del’s calf in the corner behind her. Del was sleeping close by. But Lady Astor was in the mother’s position, protecting the calf. The other calves were asleep in their creep and all was well.
Lady Astor loves babies.
Today I will watch the dynamics. If I can train Lady and Aunty to walk up for milking without bringing the whole herd (which has worked just fine in the past years) I will leave them be for a few weeks.
Yesterday everything was frozen solid all day. I put out all the water heaters and sighed over frozen hoses. Frozen hoses make my life so difficult. Half the hoses are thawing in the basement now and the others are hanging on the posts – their winter positions. As long as they are emptied of water after use and hung up the system still works. The milking paraphernalia had to come inside, the pump into the glasshouse too. I guess winter is here.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: Back above freezing.
Saturday 11/11 0% / 0 in
Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. High 41F/5C. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday Night 11/11 50% / 0.03 in
Considerable cloudiness. Occasional rain showers after midnight. Low 34F/1C. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.
6:35 am 4:37 pm
Last Quarter, 43% visible