Huh, I didn't get my bread started in time so I'm waiting until tomorrow. I don't want to be finishing up when Rich gets home and make him do the unloading by himself while I wait for the bread to be done. So I'm here instead!
Thanks for "Love Acres" farm report, Lannie
. Is that a take off on "Green Acres"?
No, actually, Rich started calling our place Love Achers (get it?) when we had our little place back in Oregon. It's because we end up with the cast-offs, the injured, the sick, you name it, and we never turn anyone away. Everyone is loved here. Anyway, he made a big sign that hung on our old barn that said "Love Acres" (so he wouldn't have to keep explaining it...) and we brought it with us when we moved. It's still Love Acres here, as you might have already gathered. All the cats and orphan calves and stray dogs (haven't had one of those recently), etc. We love everybody.
We learn stuff from your daily reports everyday about animals and farming.
I suspect, even our veteran farmer Ken
, might pickup a few tidbits, as well. Could be wrong, but I don't think Doc
has been making homemade cheese and butter recently?
See, but he's a crop farmer and I'm a hobby farmer. I do lots of little different things, and he does a few big things. If he had a milk cow, I'm sure he COULD make cheese and butter, though, because it's not hard, but you do need a cow. We get so much more than milk from the cows, though. We have calves to sell every year (usually) for hay money, we have more cow manure than any person has a right to (HA!) which we compost and make into the most beautiful garden soil you've ever seen. The cows can keep our chickens fed, too, if need be. In the winter, I often keep a bucket of clabber going for the chickens because it has everything they need, nutrition-wise, and they could live on nothing but that if they had to. And cows are just as smart as dogs, and just as trainable. You might not believe that (I didn't, at first), but it's 100% true. There are days that I must admit, I am not smarter than my cows.
And I probably shouldn't say this out loud, but when we need some melt-in-your-mouth-tender, grass-fed beef, it's walking around right out there. ===>
Lannie, you are an amazing person! I can tell. I want to come visit you. Everything you are doing, I love.
LOL! You might not love the dirty parts! But I bet you'd love going out in the morning and coming back in the house with a couple gallons of fresh milk and half a dozen eggs.
And watching a new calf being born, and the amazing tenderness that big cow has for her tiny baby. I'm still awed by that every time, even after all these years and all the calves that have been born here. Oh, and even though I'm starting to think of chickens as an "invasive species," (LOL!), there are not very many more adorable sights than a new mama hen with a passle of tiny fuzzballs that she just hatched, unless it's pile of fuzzy kittens (all those round blue eyes!) that one of the barn cats just had.
And all that is what make the dirty parts worth doing.
But you are more than welcome to visit any time, and if you do, I'll send you home with a dozen free chickens! (ROFL! Now she'll never come!)
Question about cow not letting down milk--I know in people that the extra pressure of excess milk production once baby in weaned makes the mom start to dry off--baby is no longer nursing so body gets the hint to stop producing. Your milking acts the same as a baby in terms of keeping milk production up, I imagine, but if a cow is purposely holding out on you, will she start to produce less?
Oh, yes, the law of supply and demand is universal. Usually, the cow will let down before anything is lost, however, Miss Bandit sometimes went down a noticeable amount after her two-week hiatus. Dairy cows will tend to keep milking, no matter what, and beef cows are more likely to dry up when you take their calf away, whether you milk them or not. One of my cows is 3/4 Angus and she'll only go a month, MAYBE, after her calf is weaned, then that's it, she's done. Cricket is 3/4 Jersey and she'll go for a very long time. She raised two calves this time, her own (6 months) and then Oliver (9 months), and she still has a good amount of milk. Which I still did not get this morning, by the way. Bad Cricket! She's pregnant now, and as she gets closer to her due date, hormones will dictate she reduce her milk supply to prepare for the new baby. I always dry them off at least 60 days before they're due so they can be in tip-top condition and have good colostrum when the baby comes.
When it's time to dry them off, I just stop milking. They're full for a few days, and sometimes so full they stream milk down their legs, but if I milk then, it just sets everything back to square one, so I have to just let them be. After a week, they're not quite so full, and usually after a month, there's no more milk in there.
Yikes, I waxed verbose, didn't I? Well, you asked! LOL!