More milking

Today the gang was back together for milking except for my kids. Here you see Spunky with her head in the bucket slurping up the crumbs. Again things got a little smoother and Spunky behaved a bit better. She is getting calmer each milking and I think a few more days and she will be settled into the routine. What I am looking forward to is when she is at the fence waiting for us, ready to go.

The ninja calf is still a pain in the rear. Bolting at any opportunity and leaving mom high and dry. He will stay on the farm as long as he is nursing. After that he is going to the sale barn I think.

We had a good haul yesterday from the different markets so the pigs got their fill and the cows received a truck load of produce as well. They were a bit lackluster eating because they had a belly full of grass but Benjamin must have eaten 20 tomatoes out of my hand. He really is a good bull.

Despite the warm days the grass really isn’t doing much. I think I have another week of grazing before we start on hay. I brought a load of 17 bales of hay home this weekend. Now I just need my tractor out of the shop so I can handle the bales. Right now it’s just a random pile of hay sitting in the barn yard. Once I have the tractor back, I can set up everything orderly and be ready to start hauling hay out to the paddocks. Last year we fed in a round ring. This year it’s going to be out in the pasture so that all that fertility can be out where it is needed.

Whew what a day

After milking this morning, Miguel and I went to remove a door from my work which needed to be seriously repaired. It was a very old metal door that was coming apart. We put in a bunch of work and about 5 hours later we had it as good as new.

We then left the farm to go to Carthage to pick up a tractor and a fuel tank, again for work. This was after unloading 17 round bales of hay from the trailer without the tractor which was in the shop. That was fun.

We loaded our wares in Carthage and trailered them back. Upon our return we swapped trucks and took of for three different pig food pickups. All in we probably picked up about 1000 pounds of food for the critters. We came back and unloaded it in the dark and fed the pigs a sample. Then it was off to dinner where I was already an hour late. This list skips about 40 other things that were done today. I think I will sleep good tonight.

The good news is Spunky did well today. She came to the barn easily and her yield was improved a bit. Her production should still be coming up so we should be on our way to 3 gallons in the next few months.

Milking update

No pics today. Today we began the day with milking again. Spunky and the Ninja calf made moves indicating that today was going to be another Benny Hill episode Then I shook the food bucket one more time and the light finally clicked on in her brain. After that she started coming along nicely. Not perfectly, but at least without a fight. Of course the Ninja calf took off again. He has only made it to the barn once so far. We have yet to name this calf. I have a feeling his name is going to be four letters.

We didn’t get a ton of milk. Spunky is holding back for the calf which will be the next issue to tackle. Hopefully tomorrow will go a little smoother and we can progress from being glad just to get through milking to tweaking how well things go. We aren’t to the point of having any surplus milk yet but at least we have milk again.

It gets worse before it gets better

Another happy picture of milking.

What you don’t see is the previous 30 minutes of chasing Spunky across the pasture like an episode of Benny Hill, but in the dark and in the rain. Spunky managed to get her new halter off yesterday so there was no leading her. She wouldn’t come to food this morning because she knew what was up. Her recalcitrant ninja cow offspring of course went the opposite direction of where any other cow would go every single time making matters worse. We eventually got Spunky to the parlor and milking. The happy looks you see here are more like relief. I think tomorrow is either going to go better or she is going to be put in solitary till she gets back in the habit of milking. We will see.

It should take about a week for her to get back in the habit so hopefully this was the worst day.



Today we started milking again. Everything went very well and Spunky behaved herself better than I could have hoped. It was great to have everyone together again at the barn. It really makes for a community feel on the farm. Soon we will be swapping days off and back in the normal routine but today was nice to get back to milking.

Here The Princess is getting in on the action, helping Spunky to let down her milk. Spork had just taken his turn.

And todays yield. A little over 1/2 gallon. It isn’t much and she had more to give but for the first day this was pretty good. Hopefully we will be up to a couple of gallons per milking shortly. We are keeping Spunky on the pasture with the other cows, and keeping her with her Ninja calf who immediately disappeared in a poof of smoke as soon as I went to get Spunky.

After walking Spunky back to the pasture, this was my sunrise walking back, it doesn’t get any better.