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Posts Tagged ‘Cows’

Dear Nosey Neighbor,

Thank you so much for your concerns that you expressed to my husband this morning when you dropped by to return my dog.  I understand that you are a self proclaimed animal lover.  I too enjoy animals of all kinds and would like to take this moment to address your concerns for the animals on my farm.

1)  My beagle, Pie, that you so kindly returned to us this morning has a collar as is required by the law in our county.  The law does not required an identifying tag but since you brought up the subject I would like to explain to you our reasoning behind not providing her with one.  You see, Pie, is a very sweet natured and playful dog.  She especially enjoys playing with one of the other neighboring dogs, Abby.  During this playtime, Pie has successfully removed several collars from herself.  We have bought several different kinds of collars with several different latches in an attempt to keep a collar on her.  If we were to have an new identification tag manufactured everytime  we need to replace her collar (3 times this year already) we would have to take out a second mortgage to cover the expense.  Also, it seems that every other neighbor in the subdivision, in which you reside, knows Pie and that she belongs to us.  They have all pet and loved on her.  They even throw her a treat on occasion.  I do not believe in tying my dog to a stake or run line and I would think that you, being an animal lover, would find that to be cruel.  I wouldn’t like living my life on the end of a chain.  Would you?  Pie knows her way home and is in no need of a car escort to get back home.

2)  It also has come to my attention that you are concerned that my family “milks” a cow.  I truly do not understand what problem you would have with this.  I know that some people who live a “vegan” lifestyle do not consume milk since it is derived from an animal.  Please let me assure you that no harm comes from the process of milking our cow.  If you need to be concerned for cows being milked, please take your concern to the commercial dairies and their cruel ways of extracting milk from their cows.  Our cow, Maisy, is a very happy and healthy cow.  She is fed a very healthy diet of alfalfa hay, hight protein grain, and fresh pasture grass.  She is not given hormones or any other chemicals to increase her milk production.  We hand milk her twice a day and she enjoys the process.

Once again, I thank you for your concerns but I must assure you that we care about all the animals on our farm and take great strides to ensure their health and happiness.

The Milk Maid

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The Walk

On Sunday, Thing 2 and I stayed home from church. I wasn’t feeling up to leaving the house since I spent the entire day before in Atlanta with my sister and niece. It was lots of fun but I was ready for some down time at home.

Thing 2 and I decided to journey out for a walk in our neighborhood. You must first understand that we don’t really live in a “neighborhood”. We live on 10 acres that borders a mountain subdivision on one side, and large homesteads on the other two sides. We live in the boonies or as a good friend of mine says “the wop wop” (Australian). So basically we headed down the road we live off of, which is not a major hwy or thoroughfare.

As we exited our drive way, we noted some flowers that were starting to bloom on the side of the road.

Once we were a little ways up the road we detoured into the woods and found an fort that was built by some neighbor boys when they were younger.

After our detour, we continued up the road.  Thing 2 kept stopping to admire the wild violets on the edges of the road.

We talked about how awesome God was to create all these plants and trees and animals that we were privileged to behold.

It was a long walk; probably about 3 miles total.  Thing 2 needed a couple of breaks and I was glad to give them to her. I needed them too.  Thing 2 and our dog, Miracle, kept up very well for such a long walk.

We stopped to say “HELLO” to our cows and enjoy the beautiful views from the top of our property.

I’m soaking up and enjoying these days when Thing 2 still wants to take time to be with me and talk with me.  She is such a precious child with a big heart.  She notices the little things and takes note of the big things.  Thank God for this child and giving her to me.  I will always cherish these walks.

Momma to Thing 2,

The Milk Maid

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The Milk Maid

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No Stink’in Way?!?!

This afternoon, while the girls and I were at our weekly home school co-op gathering, one of our cows escaped from her pasture.  The culprit cow was Tippy.  She is the calf of our milk cow.  Tippy was force weaned about 6 months ago.  She has since been residing in what we call the “weaned” pasture.  She bawled for the first week then seemed to settle into her new environment.  About 2 months ago, The Hubby enlarged the “weaned” pasture, and as a result, Tippy could see her mother from across the drive way.

The Hubby – looking for a quick fix to the problem of an escapee – stuck Tippy in the main pasture where her mother is located.  After 6 months of weaning, he felt it was safe for her to be placed in the same pasture.  Surely Maisy, our milk cow, would not let this nearly full grown heifer nurse……

The Hubby had a meeting this evening; so we went out to the barn later than usual for the night milking.  To our dismay, Maisy’s bag was completely empty.  Tippy had went right back to nursing after 6 months and Maisy let her.

I’m astonished.  I’m in shock. I can’t believe it! That little rascal!!!!! I do believe that calf  was smiling.  GGGRRR….

Lesson Learned:  “Out of sight, out of mind” does not apply to cows.

The Milk Maid

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With a cow’s udder…. 🙂

I shot this video a couple of days ago during our morning milking.  I was playing with videoing and was hoping to use it to experiment with video editing.  But much to my dismay, my videos are automatically converted into .MOV files (Quicktime) and my Windows Movie Maker doesn’t accept these files.  I have reported this problem to my computer technician (my brother) who is trying to help me figure out how to make it work.

In the video you can hear The Hubby and I having our morning chat about the weather and the day’s upcoming events from opposite sides of the cow.   Some mornings this is the only time we have to talk before he heads off to work.  Also, I took note that the video shows the actual milking process to be around 10 minutes.

And here is an interesting fact: It takes an average of 100 squirts to get a pint of milk.  That is 100 squeezes of the teat.  That’s an average of 800 for a gallon.  It sounds like a lot but as you watch the video you will see that it accumulates quickly.

So here it is.  Unedited, raw footage of the udderly amazing experience that we call Milking.  Enjoy!

The Milk Maid

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I woke up this morning all warm and snuggly in my bed.  As I roll out of bed, I choose my milking outfit as my first of the day.  This consists of 2 different pairs of socks layered atop of each other, 3 layers on my legs (long-johns and 2 pair of fleece pants) and 4 layers for my upper body (a T-shirt, a fleece pull-over, and 2 coats).  Then to complete the outfit I pull a warm cap over my hair and ears and slip my layered feet into wool lined boots.

Why so much clothing?  It is currently 9 degrees outside as I type this up.  Thankfully there is no wind to add to the chill.  It’s a beautiful morning.  The sun is shining over our property and it gives me hopes of warmer days.

So how does a person survive milking a cow in this weather?  Thankfully, we have milking down to a speedy art and it doesn’t take us more than 20 minutes from the exiting of our warm home to the re-entering of it.  Also, Maisy, our milk cow, is like all other bovines.  Their bodies are a very warm, very snuggly 104 degrees.  And unlike our protruding parts (fingers and toes), their teats are warm and the connecting milk bag is quite warm also.  So, as we get Maisy into the milking stall and fed, we snuggle up as closely as possible and start the process of emptying her bag.

This morning Maisy’s milk production is down a little so we make it back inside in less that our ritual 20 minutes.  When the weather drops to freezing and below (like today) her milk production is typically going to be lower because her water source is frozen. She needs water (and food) in order to produce milk.  The Hubby goes out every morning during these cold spells and breaks the ice in the water buckets, which is about 4 inches thick on days like this.  He then fills the buckets up so they can have some fresh water before it once again freezes over.  There are heat sources that you can purchase that help keep the water defrosted but we don’t currently have the funds in our farm budget for such.

Some may ask if it is really worth all the work, effort or hassle?  With some many modern conveniences and the ability to buy whatever you need at the nearest Wal-Mart, why would someone want to milk a cow?  For the love of butter, of course!

Once you have tasted the sweet creamy flavor of farm fresh butter, you will never again want to experience that store bought plasticy processed butter that has been dyed and preserved with who knows what.  It’s not only the butter.  It having fresh milk available at all times.  How many of you have had to make a “run” to the store to get milk?  Not I!  And how much do you spend for that milk?  As much as $5.00 for the “organic” stuff and as little as $1.50 for the store brand that makes me a little scared.  Let’s not forget all the dairy products that one can make with milk also.  My favorite would have to be the cream cheese or Neuchâtel.  Oh how my tummy growls at the thought of a pound cake made with fresh cream cheese and butter!  There is so many things you can do with fresh milk.

Yeah, I know that the farm life isn’t for everyone.  Many people could care less about the junk that goes into the processed foods you purchase at the grocery store.  Maybe the idea of having enough land for such is beyond your reach.  Maybe you are disgusted by the thought of handling a cows teats.  I don’t know everyone’s stand on the issue.  But for my family, it is the right choice.

So twice a day we make the trek to the barn to milk Maisy.  We take the time to strain the milk and make sure its clean.  We make our butter, sour cream, cheese, etc.  And you know what?  I feel a little healthier for it all.

The Milk Maid

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