Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring fever

Here's the kittles, wishing they had earned such a wonderful breakfast before chores.
Stella & Doug, in a mother and son sprint down paddock 2.
And a couple of video clips of mom & baby.

Milking log:

Stella has been giving about 2 quarts after being apart from Doug 3-5 hours. I notice she lets down again for him maybe 10 minutes after I'm done. A more experienced friend says I may be too slow to get everything. I didn't realize that the window of time a cow lets her milk down could be as short as 10 minutes, so my next efforts will be to speed up milking a bit.
Today, 3/18, I tried milking a bit faster, and got 3 quarts! I think I could have gotten more if I tried a little longer, but I wanted to end on a positive note.
Stella is getting better about the whole routine, though she still doesn't like being herded/pulled into her stall. She also knows when I ask "want apple?" that it means a treat is coming.


Oldnovice said...

I'm appreciating the education. I'd always assumed that "milk" cows were milked AFTER the calves had been weaned. It never occurred to me that they could be milked while nursing calves, even though *I* nursed TWO while also pumping off milk in the wonderfullness of the "supply/demand" system. If Stella follows my lead, you might expect her to be very tired from all that milk production.

Seven Trees said...

What a lot of people do is train the calf to drink from a bottle. Then they take all the milk and feed some to the calf, usually weaning the calf earlier than would happen in nature. With calf sharing, we take advantage of the neat trick that cows will keep producing to their full potential, as long as you're milking that much. If we slack off, so will she. The important part is to make sure Doug gets all he needs, and Stella gets good hay & a little grain for extra protein.

The best thing about sharing with the calf is that we can take a night off here & there without causing her grief, or losing out on production.