New Things Excite Me

It’s been such an exciting Wednesday!

I love new things and Wednesday morning 12 brand-spanking new items installed in our milking parlor.

New milking units. Glorious. Blue. Sparkling clean! I love working in a clean parlor. Throw in 12 new super-clean milking units and there was no way possible I was going to be in a bad mood.

All I can say is this, “It’s about time.”

It has always been a huge goal of mine to produce the highest quality milk that we can on the farm. I probably write about it more than you care to read about it.

When I married Steve, I can honestly say, “Our milk quality was less than stellar.”

We had a somatic cell count that hovered around the 600,000 parts per milliliter. From what I have gleaned off the Internet, and the Internet is always true, one teaspoon equals 4 milliliters and one cup is almost 237 milliliters. One milliliter is one weensy-teensy quarter of a teaspoon.

When I put it like that it makes me think our old cell counts should have been in milk as thick as Mod Podge. Thick and gooey.

Rest assured, it never was.

We have successfully lowered that number to an average of 140,000 parts per mil.

I have been hounding Steve for years that we need to replace our milking units in the barn. I thought our cows would milk out better, which would improve milk production and quality.

The actual milking units are 10-years old, as of this past summer. It hardly seems that long ago that we built the milking parlor. It’s like the stove I can see as I stand here at my standing desk. It seems like just yesterday we purchased that stove, a dishwasher and a refrigerator with the money we received when we sold our trailer home.

That was 20-years ago. The stove is the only appliance that hasn’t worn out. The kids will say, “Well, duh, Mother. That’s because you never use it!”

That’s a lie.

So back to the uneven milk out of our cows. One quarter would still have milk coming out of it and the remaining three would be getting pulled inside out. (That doesn’t really happen.)

That’s bad when that happens. The three teat ends on the quarters which are done milking will get damaged.

It’s called keratosis. Quiz later. In a facility such as ours, teat ends are a high priority.

When they are damaged we get many devastating cases of mastitis.

Been there. Done that. Don’t want to go back.

As of late, we have had many cases of mastitis in just the left-rear quarters on many of our cows.

It was odd and we had a heck of a time trying to find the reason. One milking unit was to blame because it had a hairline fracture that I could barely see. The people we hired to come analyze our parlor setup and procedures found it.

Maddening.

While the dudes from Bou-Matic were here helping us find our issues, we were given a sales pitch on the new and improved milking units.

Every sales pitch involves new-and-improved product. Tractors, seed, computers, cameras, etc.

Steve bucked a little bit at the thought of spending several thousand dollars on new milking unit. But I know how to win him over. I gave him my best puppy-eyes and argued my point.

So now we have brand-new, cobalt-blue milking units being used in the parlor. We will spend the next few weeks fine tuning the vacuum settings on the units. (It can only be adjusted a little bit at a time.)

It’s going to be fun to see how this goes.

(P.S. It’s Steve’s birthday today! Wish him a happy birthday if you see him out and about!)

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