Friday, January 29, 2010

A Busy Week

It must have been, if I hardly had time to write! Ask me what kept me so busy and I'm not sure I could give you a good answer. Learning to milk Elsie is taking up a little time. I checked today and was outside milking her for about an hour. There has to be a more effective way, and we're looking into a used milking machine. If my aching muscles have any say in the purchase, we'll be buying one! The odd position I find myself in to hold her still and get milk at the same time are showing up as dull aches. Right hand and wrist, right shoulder area and back, all of my lower back, and both knees. Not sure why, unless it's just from being kicked. Today she stepped on my shoe, missed my toes, thank God, but wouldn't move so I was kinda pinned there. The most milk I've managed to get is 2 quarts. I know there's more in there, but she gets to a point where she's not gonna cooperate any more. I did make a little progress today in that she let me use BOTH hands and I placed the bucket on the ground and she didn't kick it. That's GOT to be where the saying came from.

I learned that I can use that time to let the chickens have their COB (corn, oats, barley) mix. We don't want Elsie or Jasper eating any grain, and the goats will gobble it up before the chickens can get to it, so when I've got Elsie tied up for milking, the goats are tied up at their respective feed stands too. That leaves the chickens free to eat their COB. They were quite happy with that!

I haven't tried the cow milk yet. I have a little over a gallon in the fridge right now, but I use the oldest first and we're still on goat milk from 1-26. Started milking Elsie 1-27. If there's as much cream as it looks like, I'm going to make ice cream for Tony.

We had sunshine today-whoopie! The corral is drying out, except where the sun doesn't shine as much and of course that's where there's the most urine! I don't think I ever thought I'd be saying something like this, but the manure smell goes away shortly after reaching the ground, but the urine lingers. OK, I guess I'm learning what it takes to be a farmer!