Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Morning From The Frozen Tundra!!!

First I want to say thank you for all of your support. I feel bad that there are readers that I have disapointed because I value all of you and dont want anyones feelings to be hurt. That being said - here is my post for today.

It is -21 in town so its about -31 out here in the country. When I say its cold, I am not kidding. Dandelionmom - how dare you insinuate that this is bragging about how tough we are! LOL

*BIG GRIN* Even if it IS the truth!!! LOL To be honest, I would rather be freezing than sweating - I hate sweating, it makes me well, sweat more..... Did I mention I hate sweating? I can honestly say, there is NO sweating going on today. It is dangerously cold, so prayers for our animals and family members that must be out in it would be appreciated. The milking cows will NOT be let out of the barn today because of the cold. Extra corn stalks will be put into the loafing barns so that there is ample bedding to snuggle into for the cattle that live outside. We are not able to 'clean out' the loafing barns on really cold days because the shit is frozen like ice hunks, even with ample bedding. The manure spreader also has the HUGE challenge of trying to throw the frozen crap without breaking the 'beaters' on the back. The really bad part about not letting the cows out when it is this cold is this - the barn will be cleaned, but the cows will not be able to get out of the stall they are standing in for 24 more hours - UNLESS it warms up past -10 today which its NOT supose to. We hate to make them stand or lay in the confinement for that amount of time BUT if we let them out for even a short amount of time - seriously even 10 minutes - their exposed titty's will freeze. There is NO way for this to not happen. If this cold snap lasts longer than a couple of days, I have seen it last up to 11, we often clean the barn with the cows in it and when we are done cleaning it we untie them all, let them walk out of the barn to the bunk feeder and turn around and make them come right back in. This is done with in about 5 minutes so that they can at least stretch their legs and breath some fresh, non germ filled air. They can move around in thier stalls - stand up lay down shift thier weight but who wants to look at a wall all day long - I am sure not even a cow does. SO thats the life of a dairy cow in the great north! The beefers are a differant story - they stand out in the cold even when they have warm bedding. They have heavy coats of hair right now that resemble that of a muskox...seriously. They have ice sickles that form on thier nose whiskers! And the hair on their bags - udders - bags is farmer slang for their 'udder'..... have LONG hair that grows from the top and hangs to just above their tittys. They have a bit tougher skin on their 'bags' because they are not 'milked' and are not housed in a barn. If they were housed in a shed/barn, they would not grow as much hair because it would not be as needed as when they are out in the cold. They have loafing sheds where they can get out of the rain and wind - we bed those heavily for them and often, at night when its cold they stand bunched together - calves to the inside of the group useing body heat to keep warm. BUT, during the day when the sun is out even when its frigid - They stand outside in the sun. They have enough body heat that you can see steam come off of their backs! Anyway - I better get going. The Milk Man told me last night to take a picture of the barn cloths in the winter - this was just from the Milk Man, Palmer and Dale - Lispy and Big Son stayed in the farm house with Granny Farmer eating popcorn and drinking chocolate milk, rough life huh. Milk Man told me to stay home with the baby and 'get somthing done' he says with a grin. I love his grin and his eyes always have a sparkle in them, unless I have backed the truck into somthing - then not so much. So after all that rambleing here is the picture of the barn cloths from ONE DAY!









This is Palmer holding Milk Dud....


And this is Palmers coat full of feed 'gunk'.

This stuff coats the inside of the silo that is filled with high moisture corn. When its cold it has to be chisled off of the walls because the silo unloader cant get it off with the ice in it. The reason there is ice in it is because 'high moisture' has, well - high moisture content..make sense? I hope so, not sure if I can explain it any better than that! It can be hard to get the cloths clean at times and now I am down to one washing machine. The one that is less than a couple of years old died - we have fixed that bugger 3 times and it still wont work right. I will NEVER buy a Maytag EVER again. If they ever give me one to try, I will take it though! LOL We cant afford to buy a new one so the one washer I have left is taking the brunt of the work for me. It makes it a lot harder, especially in the winter with all the extra cloths.

I also have to post later today about a special lady that gave me an award and a gal that gave me an award that I need to get to know better! The kids are hungry so I had better get them fed. NO SCHOOL TODAY!!!! *bangs head on the desk*

18 comments:

COFFEE MAN said...

again , i am glad you are doing well , and i talked to MilkMan , he is going to be taking pics of you to get posted as well . he agrees that you should be on here . As for the work around the farm , better you than me lil sis . its waaaaaaaaaay to cold for this fat boy to be shovelin ice sh**t have great day kiddo

Sarah said...

Hope you all are staying warm! That is crazy weather you all are having. I am so thankful that we have farmers like you all who get out and work hard in this weather! Have a great day!

Peggy said...

I remember well my life on the dairy farm. We milked 150 cows twice a day. Well the electric milkers did.LOL When it was super cold we had to do like you. And God forbid the ice and snow took down a power line and we had no power to milk! Its super cold here but like you I love winter and hate hot humid weather. I have extra straw bedding down for all the animals and keeping moms and babies closed in their stalls. Giving all the goats warm water twice a day to help keep them warm. With all the running around I don't have time to feel the cold. Have a fun day!!

Dandelionmom said...

You know what I love most about this post?? The fact that you ARRANGED the laundry to it's best advantage!--even giving us a shot from 2 angles! LOL Why do I love it--it shows that MY barn laundry is the same as a REAL farmers!-one cow,her calf, and her chores get just as many clothes dirty as your herd!--makes me feel more legit! My girls take 2 pairs of mittens out-one to change into after the first pair gets wet. 10 YO feeds and waters cows and all 4 sheep :D while 14 and 16 milk (one per side)-8 feeds chickens and 6 does the bushels of dog food and cat food. How do you keep your entry area from smelling like a cow anyway???

Joanna said...

I'm learning a lot about the dairy cow business from you. Sounds like tough conditions right now though.

ellie k said...

I love your posts, I lived on a small dairy farm when I was a little girl. We milked by hand for years and then got electric milkers, oh happy day for us. This was in Ohio so I know cold and keeping the cows in all day. The barn was a mess and had to be cleaned a number of times a day. You are a credit to farm wives and all the hard work you can do. How is the milkman doing? Is coffee man you brother, he calls you sis? Try to keep warm and give the little boys a hug.

Heidi said...

Dandilionmom - arranged?? Dont yours take their cloths off in a trail? LOL I was trying to show how they leave a 'trail' of cloths - they NEVER end up in the basket ya know!!! LOL The Milk Man is the husband of a persons dreams. he built me a 'mud/shit room' down in the basement - we had a walk out basement that was unfishined when we moved it. SO the entry in the basement is where all the stink goes. Milk Man put a 'vent' and a ceiling fan to keep the smell at bay and the floor is swept and washed daily!! Spic and span baby is the ONLY way to get cow stink out of the house!

Willow Witch said...

Hey, Girl you have had your hands full... and what is this crap about you not blogging? Standing ovation to Coffee Man's comments by the way!!!! Stay warm, one thing at a time, take care of your guy's. I have to tell ya, that smelly barn laundry, is one thing that I dont miss, clumps of crap and straw then the clothes we were wearing delivering calves, ugh! Nothing like jeans smeared in afterbirth...

Karen Deborah said...

ok I am definitely getting the picture that farm life is HARD and endless, not to mention smelly. Does frozen sh*t stink? Keeping everybody in and avoiding frostbite takes precidence over blogging any day, don't apologize hunny bun.

Heidi said...

I should not have said Sh*t - its not a swear word around here - its real life.. LOL sorry!! I will try to say ma-nu-r LOL manure! LOL

Suzanne said...

You've got us beat again. It's only -10 degrees here in northern Illinois. The wind chill is another thing. I was wondering if you could buy a commercial washing machine.... maybe even used. I can't imagine that one day's barn clothes from the Milk Man alone would even fit my washer. How many loads to do just those clothes on the floor?

Don't worry about disappointing anyone. I'm never disappointed in your posts. They are so interesting, seeing as how we do not keep livestock. It's quite a responsibility because your livestock is a very big investment!!!

- Suzanne

Big Hair Envy said...

I promise that I will not complain about how much laundry I have to do....ever again.

Missed you! Looks like you had a little issue with a "delightful" person who wanted you to post when it was convenient for her. Um.K. Yeah.

STAY WARM! And snuggle that little Mild Dud for me:)

Heidi said...

I have a front loading maytag neptune that has been pretty reliable, however I only used it for our good/regular cloths, sheets and towels. We do about 3-4 loads of barn cloths daily. The reason it would be 4 is if they are cleaning heifer pens/calf pens/bull pens etc. they get more crap on their cloths. I then fill the washer according to how dirty stuff is - the dirter the lighter the load is. The more average it is the heavier the load.
BTW - its only up to 28 below.. with a 37 below wind chill.... tomorow is going to be colder.... They are talking about 30 below for tonight - remember that is in the city so it will be closer to 40 below out here... I dont know if I can live through another day of no school.... *hunts for chocolate*

Heide said...

If you really cared about the happiness and well-being of your cows then you would install treadmills, widescreen televisions and hot tubs in the barns for their enjoyment ;). Frozen titties are never a good thing. I'm sending warm thoughts to all of you back there. Stay safe, warm and sane.

St. Fairsted Farm said...

Heidi, I've only been visiting your blog for a couple weeks. I enjoy it immensely and never thought twice about your infrequency of posting other than the fact you are busy running a farm.

The laundry pictured in this post along with the challenge of weather is testimonial to the fact. I wish more individuals would realize our days do not consist of 9-5 but 24/7.

You take of yourself, stay warm and get some rest. Hugs! Ang.

spanki said...

did you get it?? i mailed it all by myself!!! let me know!!

COFFEE MAN said...

wondered if you get out in the cold and your tookis gets cold , is THAT frozen Tundra too?????



roflmao

Nancy said...

I love it!!! You tell it like it is!!! LOL Bless your heart! I can tell you're a good woman!!! And a wonderful wife and mother!!! You certainly have your hands full, and I, for one, do appreciate it as I can't go a day without my milk! It is my drink of choice over all others!!! And you care about your cows, too! So nice that they are kept clean and walked like that. I learned to milk our neighbor's cow when I was just 6 years old. We had more fun milking that dear old cow...her name was "Star." I will never forget those childhood days!

((( HUGS )))