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.

Love celi

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



34 Comments on “LADY LOVES BABIES

  1. Mother Nature seems to have other ideas about you not milking through this winter … or otherwise known as – Man makes plans and the gods smile 🙂 Laura

  2. Lady’s udder is a real worry. This must be a common problem yet no one has come up with a solution.
    Yes frozen hoses are the pits. And draining them is worse. I hang mine on the fence then lay it on the driveway that has a gentle pitch. I hate this job. It’s always freezing out the hose is filthy muddy and my hands raw. Never think of wearing gloves. Duh.

  3. I had wondered about you yesterday. Looks like your part of the country is getting winter before the rest of us. Was very happy to see you here this morning.

  4. We use a collapsable hose in winter. It comes in sections, it’s light weight and is small enough to wrap into a 5 gal bucket to bring inside for thawing over night when not in use. The draw back is that it’s fairly expensive and not as rugged as a regular hose so we end up only getting about two winter’s out of a section before it springs a leak. We use them about 4- 5 months a year and they are very convenient for our cold winters.

    • I have tried them and the thing they bothered me was that they are always under tension- so I can’t just dump the end in a tank to fill. They are always wanting to flip back into collapsed mode. Do you have this problem?

      • Yup but I rigged up a system where the end is tied or looped a couple of times to something so the water pressure doesn’t spit the hose out of the tank. Also the end that goes into the water tank has a toggle on it so I can control the pressure of the water coming out. If I crank the toggle down, the water pressure is diminished. It takes a little longer to fill the tank so I start to water first while I go about other chores.

        • Here’s an image of a hose like I have. The toggle on the end controls the water pressure. You can get this on Amazon for cheaper than I can purchase it at our feed store. AND it comes right to the door! Yippee!

            • Why ‘sorry’? I may not have looked at the link, but shall surely trot along to Amazon to have a closer look at the hose – like it!! In Australia we legally have to have a toggle such as this on our hoses because of oft time water shortages.

  5. It’s hard to argue with a big, determined cow. How possessive is Aunty Del? Is this stressing her, or is she quite calm about the whole deal? Only, could you dry up Aunty Del and leave Lady A with the calves rather than milking her? Could they keep up with her output so she doesn’t need to be milked too? I wish there was a cow-bra thing she could wear, to support the droop and protect her udder, but which still lets you milk her…

  6. So cold. You’ll be looking forward to our summer. Things are looking up weatherwise and the forecasters are predicting a warm, fine summer. Hope to see you when you are here.

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