I slept fitfully last night. The wind started around 3 am and the sound both woke me and kept me awake. I’m sure the wind has uprooted a few items and slung them around the farm. So as soon as it’s light, I’ll take an account. The animals are always fine. They are tucked in their night time animal places with closed tight doors. But there is always something that finds it’s way loose in the wind. So I’ll go collect the loose pieces in a bit.
I’ve decided to dry off Maisy. She was only giving 1/2 to a single gallon of milk in 24 hours. And Maggie is still nipping off her from time to time though less often I’ve noticed. We are all sad and will miss her good milk and cream.
Maisy is an older cow. She came to us from a sweet family who loved her and milked her for about 2 years. They purchased her from a small dairy. She’s actually a registered Jersey and her papers state that she is 8 years old. The practice for dairy cows is to be pulled from their mothers and bucket fed at an early age. And often fed milk replacer. I think the idea is to allow the calves to be accustomed to people and handling. Unfortunately, the milk replacer is a poor feed for growing calves. Kind of like fast food for growing children. Consequently, I’m not sure of Maisy’s long term health. (Of course if it’s all you have then the replacer will have to do. We raised two dairy steers (for meat) on milk replacer and they both put on weight and were otherwise happy and healthy. But neither of those steers reached an age of older than 2 and none of them had babies or produced milk.)
She looks thin, even for a milk cow, though she has all the food she could want. And, though we won’t know for sure until next month, I think she’s pregnant. She hasn’t come into heat for 3 cycles. She’s a tricky one for heat cycles. She’s very quiet and unassuming when she’s in heat (unlike her daughter who I can hear even now bellowing out her lust across the prairie). We will know for certain soon.
All that being said, she needs to get some conditioning back to her body before winter and her high milk production with the next calving in the spring.
Today we will dig potatoes and onions and leave them outside in the sun for a chance to cure. But just for today. Tonight we will collect the produce and put them under cover of the north porch to finish curing. The blowing wind will help toughen up the onion and potato skins needed for long term storage. Both the o’s and the p’s seemed to have produced a large supply of fruit even after the hail storm. A-mazing! I’ll know more tonight. I’ll take a collective weight and see how we did. We eat a lot of them so we need a lot.
The sun is coming up so I have to buzz…..
More, always more, later!
PS~ Willow says “hi!”
Today’s count: 0 milk,
0 28 eggs
What’s for supper: Grilled chicken thighs, Macaroni and Cheese, Veggie Platter w/Ranch dressing, Rice Krispie Treats (we’re eating a church)
Weather: Sunny, with a high near 71. Northeast wind 6 to 10 mph. Tonight partly cloudy, with a low around 42. North wind 3 to 6 mph.