my bovine ilk
- In the warmer weather the cows need to be brought in from the pasture across the street. This can be interesting if any of the old girls is feeling feisty. Usually they are ready to be milked and cross right into the pasture which leads into the Dairy Barn.
- First thing is to feed the cows grain and nutrient supplements.
- After putting together the milking equipment (udder wash bucket, milk collecting cans, measuring pail) the pumps are turned on.
- Before milking each cow all the teats must be washed and dried and then each checked for infection or somatic buildup. This is done by squeezing out milk from each teat and checking it for discoloration or chunked milk.
- After the cow is checked and all is clear, the teats are connected to the "spider": fingerlike pumps which cover each teat and pump the milk through a tube into the collecting can. (Bigger dairy farms have the milk go straight from the cow to the holding milk tank--we're not quite there yet.)
- When each cow is finished the "spider is unhooked from that cow and the milk gathered is weighed and poured into the holding tank.
- Since the weather is so nice now we turn the cows back out into the pasture for the night.
- And just like in the Kitchen, the last thing we do before calling it a night is do the milking dishes.
Milking this number of cows usually takes me about an hour and a half to an hour and forty minutes...not too bad...and I like spending the time with the cows.
It's funny how smells grow on you and become, like a memory, an association of things familiar. Whenever I smell cows I think of the Farm and the longing desire to be in the country, away from traffic and congested cities and the stink that is the belching of industry. I think it is funny that people are offended by the animal smells on a farm. I am more offended by the smells of the city.
Our cows and the the pounds of milk which they produced this Monday (milk produced by each cow varies each day) ran as such:
Josephine: 19lbs (a.m.) 14 lbs (p.m.) Total: 33lbs
Bobbie 33lbs (a.m.) 14lbs (p.m.) Total: 47lbs
Sasha: 26 lbs (a.m.) 22lbs (p.m.) Total: 48lbs
Sushi: 33lbs (a.m.) 25lbs (p.m.) Total: 58lbs
Beasley: 29lbs (a.m.) 23lbs (p.m.) Total: 52lbs
Sylvia: 30lbs (a.m.) 21lbs (p.m.) Total: 51lbs
Jasmine: 44lbs (a.m.) 38lbs (p.m.) Total: 82lbs
Emily: 30lbs (a.m.) 24lbs (p.m.) Total: 54lbs
Stella: 24lbs (a.m.) 18lbs (p.m.) Total: 42lbs
Cory, Asha and Theresa are nurse cows for the calves.