Keeping everything spotless and sanitized isn’t helping your kids, it’s hurting them. Selling Clorox wipes is a big business and it’s sold to parents with a marketing fueled fear of bacteria. Kids need to be grimy and develop their immune systems if they are to be healthy.
I note that they specifically mentioned dairy farms. I wonder if they will see if the kids drink their milk raw or pasteurized. I’ve yet to meet a dairy farmer that pasteurizes their own milk for consumption.
Normally a birth on the farm is a blessing but not a big deal. However with Dottie we had a lot of concern as she carried her baby to term. A few weeks ago we had the vet out to check all of our cows. Dottie was pregnant we knew but why not check her anyway and make sure things are progressing well. The vet checks, and says that the baby is dead and Dottie has to have emergency surgery to remove the dead fetus or Dottie will die as well. Yikes!
We finish our other cows and rush Dottie to the vet hospital to have surgery. Dottie is our only milk cow, and is the replacement for Maggie who we had to put down due to a broken back. Loosing her baby is pretty much a death sentence for Dottie as well so this whole event wasn’t one of our better days. So I get Dottie to the vet and he checks her one more time to make sure everything is the same and low and behold, the baby is now fine. The vet says she’s due any day, take her home and keep an eye on her. Talk about mixed emotions.
Well some weeks go by and no baby. Dottie’s bag swells to humongous proportions and still no baby. I woke up Saturday thinking I may have to take her back to the vet to find out what is going on. What if the baby really is dead. What if she can’t have the baby. Her bag is huge, that has to be hurting her. I walk out to the paddock to move the cows and see Dottie off away from the other cows in the distance, with a little calf circling her. This is what I saw.
The baby was only hours old, maybe hour old, just getting her feet under her and still wet from birth. She was very friendly, wobbly, and hungry. I checked on her all I could without interfering, and make arrangements to come back and bottle feed the calf that afternoon if she wasn’t able to nurse because for the time I was there, she wasn’t able to latch on. Like I said, Dottie’s bag was huge and it was tough for the little calf to lean down so low to nurse. Thankfully when I got home that afternoon, the little calf was nursing just fine and was dry and healthy. She was cavorting around the pasture and having a large time.
The Princess and I talked about the new calf and worked out a name. You see, the night the calf was born, we had a major thunderstorm here on the farm. Lightning knocked out our internet (as in burnt to a crisp components) and blew up our fence charger. The Princess decided that this little girl calf was to be named Lightning in honor of the storm on her birthday.
Darling Wifey sent me an article on Fox News about raw milk and how some states are pushing to ease regulations. At $13 a gallon in Florida, seems to me we’re causing people to pay black market prices for something that shouldn’t be regulated in the first place.
If I didn’t have my own milk cow, I’d be worried about all the quotes from the different alphabet groups listed in the article that raw milk will kill you. Funny how it’s not killing people where it’s normal, like California and Europe. Unclean milk will get you sick in my opinion, no matter where it’s from. However the less handling between you and the cow, the better off you’ll be.
Today begins the last period of milking Dottie for this lactation. Sunday morning will be our last milking. Then we will dry her off and give her two months to eat and put some weight on. When we received her she was way down on her body condition and it’s the nature of Jerseys that the more food you throw at them, the more milk they make. We have to take advantage of this two month window while she isn’t milking to put some meat on her bones. And to grow the baby she’s carrying in preparation for birth.
Not milking is also a time off for the milkers. To sleep in, or to get going earlier not waiting for milking depending on your sleep schedule. This morning I could have slept a bit more myself.
Spring is coming. Hopefully during these two months off Dottie and the milking crew will have a good time of it.
I figured everyone is putting up pictures of beautiful snowy scenes, with the world washed in white and made anew. So for our farm, how about a snow covered milk cow, glad to be in the barn scarfing up some food.
This is the heater in the milking parlor. Now before you think we have lounge chairs and hot toddys in our plush parlor, this heater was in response to the frozen pipes of a few weeks ago. At 15 degrees this morning, the heater has managed to keep the pipes thawed, barely. It’s still mighty cold for milking but we do have water for wash down so mission accomplished.