Wow, just wow.

So, I was WIDE awake last night from approximately midnight until 3 a.m.

I don’t know why.

It could have been Hubby’s snoring or the fact that the dog was being generous and giving me 5-inches of the bed. Every time I moved the dog would grumble.

I mean, really?

I decided to get up and fold laundry, go outside to push up feed and check on the cows.

It was all rather boring. I didn’t match the corners on the towels, it’s really quiet at that time of the morning and none of the cows looked ready to have a baby calf.

I played several games of Solitaire and didn’t win a single one.

I finally fell asleep a few hours before it was time to get my butt out of bed – 6:30 a.m.

Steve was going to a meeting and I wanted to send him off.

Surprisingly, I feel really good today.

I thought my day was moving along just fine – and it’s already 8 a.m.

That was until I decided to get ready to run into town to visit the accountant and banker.

I carefully put a quarter-sized dollop of hair gel into my left hand.

I then proceeded to rub it all over my face.

All the while thinking, “Hmm, that smells different this morning.”

Eee gad!

I may need a nap later, but at least my facial skin will hold it’s shape! (Yes, I did wash it off, but it feel like there may be a residual affect.)

Does my skin looked toned?
It should!

Testing for pathogens

mastitis samplingWe are still working on getting our somatic cell count lower.

Somatic cells are indicators of an infection in the udder.

 Each time a cow contracts mastitis, I take a sample of her milk and put it in the incubator.

If I did it correctly, I will get a result in 12 – 24 hours.

Then I know which medication to use for treatment.

I will post my results later.

Just call me Scientist Kerry!

It’s a Debbie-Downer kind of day

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This is me immediately after milking the cows this morning. It’s not always fun and games being a dairy farmer. Today I am frustrated. Continue reading to see what’s up in my world.

If you recall, last week (Well, I think it was last week.) Steve and I had placed a bet in the milking parlor regarding the quality of our milk.

He switched the teat dip we use on the cow before and after they are milked. Remember, the post dip smells like a Dreamsicle.

It still does and that color of orange that it is, well that’s enough to make a person smile every morning.

Well, it appears to me that I am winning the bet. I haven’t started counting my money jars and loose change at the bottom of my purse.

Even though I am ahead in the contest, I couldn’t be more frustrated.

I am the kind of girl that says, “Well, that’s not working. Let’s move on. Can we switch back to the iodine dips now?”

“No. I want information. We are waiting until the milk tester comes in 10 days to see what is going on,” Steve said. “If there are a bunch of new infections in cows, we will switch.”

That’s what I find so frustrating.

We’ve been through teat-dip experiments before and they all end up the same way.

To me, it’s blatantly obvious the foaming pre-dip and popsicle-like post dip are not working. The filter that keeps all the gobledy-gook out of the bulk tank was full of infection indicators. Those little indicators look like curdled milk.

Icky!

Through a piece of paper in front of me that contains a bunch of numbers and other information and it’s like my mind freezes up.

I don’t have time to analyze all that info.

We have tested the milking equipment and that has been adjusted accordingly. Apparently, the vacuum, which is needed to collect the milk from the cow and send it through the pipeline, was set a bit low for the speed at which our cows were letting their milk down.

Oh, they have little computers they can hook up to individual units that measure all the intricacies of a milking unit.

If you thought milking was just about putting a unit on the cow and chatting or discussing the low down on politicians, children and supper, think again.

That was the old days; back when Steve and I were young. Now we are old and there is no time for standing around in the milking parlor.

So, here it is mid-experiment, I have to deal with 10 more days of cows getting mastitis.

And that directly affects my personal goal of keeping the quality of our milk well ahead of where it is right now.

You see, it’s not all fun and laughter out here on the farm.

It’s hard working with your spouse, especially when two people have such different personalities.

Every day I find myself trying my hardest not to get into a full-blown “discussion” with my favorite man in the whole wide world.

So this morning, he went his way.

And I am going mine.

Steve, Russell, our herdsman Zachery, my father and several others are working on cleaning out the compost barn. This involves two full days of moving compost out of the barn and spreading it on the field.

Our compost is amazing. Not only does it have a ton of food for this next year’s crops, it doesn’t smell all that much either.

Oh, living on the farm place allows one to totally appreciate the smell of organic fertilizer.

Those that live around the field where that fertilizer is spread can hardly smell anything.

Believe me, that is a relief to Steve and I. We don’t need to upset our neighbors.

We do our best to keep them all happy.

(I know I promised a story on my construction project here at home – still working on it. Will share soon. Patience is a virtue and is one that i don’t possess!)

It really is winter out there!

Once again the farm is getting blanketed with the soft-white-fluffy-stuff.

I have always thought snow made the world a beautiful place.

Not that I like working in it all that much, but it sure changes the scenery.

That is one of the best aspects of living here on a dairy farm. Every day I get to look out one of my many windows and see all different types of things.

The other day a pheasant was just outside my kitchen window looking for corn to eat. This is highly unusual as we have to Rat Terriers, Eddie and Digger, that think chasing a pheasant is an Olympic sport. Because it was cold, both dogs were curled up on their bed in the milk house. That’s a no-no by the way, it’s against our inspector’s wishes, but hey, it’s really cold outside.

I have also seen evidence of a bunny taking up space in our calving barn. At this time there are four momma cows waiting in there to have their babies. What’s the big deal if a bunny stops in occasionally to fill its belly with a bit of dry hay.

He needs to eat too.

Speaking of eating. Our cows manage fairly well in the cold weather. They do drop off in milk production, but that’s only because they have to use more energy to keep their body temperature in line. Seriously, I can walk into the barn to bring them down to the parlor for morning milking and they look like they are as content as content can be – even if they are covered in frost.

One nice thing about the cold weather – as soon as they cows step outside the barn and realize how cold it is, they run to the milking parlor and I don’t have to struggle to get them into the holding area. They know it will be about 10 degrees warmer in the buildings than it is outside.

Working in these winter conditions toughens a person’s soul. Sure I like to get dressed up and looking like a woman, but working in negative weather conditions makes me feel like I could handle anything. I can even handle looking like a frump in my tan Carhart coveralls.

 

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