Friday, January 29, 2010

Beef teaters will have to wait....

Sorry everyone, I have to work this morning so the post about beef teaters will have to wait till later...

But I did find somthing interesting in my milk glass this morning.....

see the floater?

ice pick?

Thanks Lispy....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frozen teater's.....

OH it is EVER so cold today!! This morning it is -12 here with a minus 25 windchill. I have frost on the inside of the windows this morning and that is never a good thing. Cold weather is here for sure! Uffda... The Milk Man is already in the barn and I am getting Big Son through his homework. Lispy is with his dad and Milk Dud is still tucked in under warm blankets with snuggly jammies on....I go kiss him every few minutes, I love babies....does everyone know that I love babies... I mean is it totally obvious or what? I love baby toes almost as much as their little hinders - pronounced hind-er with a long i.. as in kite...get it? got it?? GOOD... but this is a post about frozen teaters... as in cow tittie's... or cow titters.... no, I am not being vulger - its what we call them. Well, to be honest we call them...... tits. There, I said it and I feel SO much better now that I am no longer in the closet about using the word tit. In the winter around here, we need to be careful with our dairy herd because of frostbite on such things as the teaters.

This is a picture of a cow that is close to 'freshening'. Her 'bag' (udder if your not up on your farm slang) is engourged with colostrum.... I used this picture for 2 reasons. First to show you that there is NO hair on a cow's tittie and that the skin is very tender and soft. Dairy cows are the Diva Princess's of the bovine world... in other words - they are a bunch of pansies...

They need constant care if you are going to maintain a good, healthy, productive herd - you MUST take care of your cattle.

This next cow is a half breed. She is part Angus and part Holstien... personaly, these are my favorite cows. They are hardy because of the beef blood, yet produce a bit more milk than a beef does because of the holstien blood. This cow is is named.... Mamma Jugs. You can see by her back end and 'bag' that she is a half breed.

These are Mamma Jugs - jugs.. If you look really close, you can see that she has more hair on her 'bag' AND her titties are not as tender skinned as a holstien. The hair on her bag lays against it and really keeps it warm. Tomorow I will do a post on a beef cows udder so that you can all know your stuff when it comes to cow teaters. I know you all want to pass the quiz on Monday.... **snort**

To prevent frost bitten teaters we do 2 things. At times when it is bitterly cold, like today - the cows are left in the barn. This is harder on us because it requires more cleaning and feeding, but it way better for them, at least for a couple of days. We dont leave them in more than 1 full day before we have to let them out for some exercise. Can you imagine being tied for 24 hours only being able to stand or lay.....There are times when its is cold for a week with below freezing temps. Those days we have to let them out for 15 min - just to move around and they go right back in the barn. Cold weather on a dairy/beef operation requires lots of animal manegment. We are fortunate to have RARE occurances of frost bitten teaters... These next pictures are from the web, not our farm.

Nasty huh... there is more wrong with this cows bag and teats than frost bite though...she looks like she is on a 'big operation'.... Her teats are in more trouble than just being frozen, but I dont want to go into all of that now. Just know that large farms - with lots of hired help, dont do well with cattle care.

SO - I have to get going and get to work. Thanks you guys for sticking with me - smoochs to you all and eskimo kiss's!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Summer time and my 'rig'....

OH, how I am missing summer. Mowing, gardening, picnics, mud, blood sucking vermon, nights around our fire pit - blood sucking vermon - and the best of all the smell of fresh cut hay and freshly plowed earth and watching the boys play in the water... Summer is more work in ways, but so enjoyable to. Any season on a farm is busy - but the work trades off. In the Winter its to get all the cattle fed, cleaned and watered and keeping the snow at bay, plowing and shoveling pens etc - in the spring the fieldwork, plowing, discing, planting, fencing, planting etc. Summer haying, dehorning, castraiting, fencing, building upkeep, painting and just maintanance that cant be done in the winter. We try to give each piece of machinery a good 'going over' in the summer so that its less in the fall when its put away for the winter. Fall - is a swear word.... harvesting, harvesting, harvesting, harvesting, harvesting.... for weeks on end - day after day - hour after hour. Corn, oats, hay, barly, rye and corn stalk bails for bedding, straw for bedding and the list goes on. The things that I mentioned above are things that we have to do on top of milking morning and night, feeding morning and night, cleaning for all the cattle one time a day. Also, any vet needs that we have to take care of. We do all the things, other than surgury's, ourselves. The Milk Man is ver proficent in 'veining' a cow to give her IV meds, foot care on a dairy herd is a MAJOR nessecity and not to mention breeding programs. We have a bull for our beef herd and our dairy herd, but we look for 'heat cycles' in our cattle to make sure the bull gets a good chance at her... *wink wink nudge nudge* When a dairy cow is bred, the date that she is bred needs to be kept track of. This is done because she needs to 'dry up' at about 7.5 months. The gestation for a cow is the same as a human - 40 weeks. Drying a cow up before freshing (giving birth) is done so that she is in the best possible shape when she calves. (gives birth)There are several steps to a dairy cow 'drying off'. She has to have a gradual change in her feed intake - what she eats and how much of it - and how 'dry' you get her when she is milked. Its a science really - not for the faint of heart. SO - thats it for the that lesson.. I started this post wanting to show you my 'rig'... what I drive in the summer when I have to haul stuff.

This is what I drive when I need to haul 'stuff' - like mulch, rocks etc. Yes, I can back it up and 'run' it.. it is really a feather in my hat when the guys at the lumber yard where I get mulch - tell me to 'move over so I can back it up' - and I smile and answer them 'Where do you want it'.... and back it up - myself... **giggle** Last year when I went to get mulch, I had all 3 kids with me, the guy that told me to back up asked if I was single!!! LOL He is a guy that we know and he was TOTALY kidding, but did mention that its hard to find 'a gal like that'.... SO - I had better get going. Here is a couple of pictures of summer that make me feel good... enjoy!

This is a cutting job we had to do that was on the edge of one of our fields. You have to keep the edges of the fields clean or they get so overgrown and when you drive the tractor close to it the branchs hit the cabs and scratch them up or chip the glass in the windows. Also, we use the wood for our stove in the winter - waste not, want not. Beautiful view isnt it.
My best friend, Lispy in the corn. This picture was taken in early July - knee high by the fourth of July is the rule in our area. That means if your corn is knee high at that time, it will make it to maturity before the first frost.
AND - our Beloved Schnitzel and The Trout. Those 2 are SO special to us and we hope they will be able (and willing *giggle*) to stop by for a visit again this summer. We love having them and let me tell you they are the MOST special couple. They are like a second set of parents - I just LOVE THEM!

Ok, time to get going - love you all!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I owe, I owe so off to work I go...

Well friends - its happened. I am working 3 jobs, all part time hours and trying to keep the Nut House running.... I am the head nut - any questions? Things are going - but money is always a problem on a farm. Let me rephrase that - a family farm. I have to work off of the farm to be able to afford the needs of our family, small as I try to keep them - we still need toilet paper..dang it. SO - I am at it needless to say. I work part time for the ag dept doing farm surveys, but they dont always have work for me so I must supplament that. I have been working doing some dog grooming, but I am only getting a couple of dogs a day and that is NOT enough to supplement - SO I am also trying to take care of an elderly lady 3 days a week for 4 hours per day. That should help - that and I am going to stop eating, that should be about half of our food budget. The Milk Man is doing well, but his fibromyalgia is really hitting him hard this time of year. We have had such funny weather..cold, damp, rainy and he suffers terribly when the weather changes. The boys are good, naughty but good....what do you all expect from my spawn... **naughty grin** Big Son is doing good with school and karate. He LOVES karate. Milk Dud is going to be 18 months old you guys!! WHERE did my baby go..... he says Mamma, please, thank you and shut up...nice huh... Lispy, well - what can I say about him. He told his grandpa the other day that if he didnt start being nicer to one of the calves..(his words) "Grampa - if you dont sthart being nicer to that calf I am gonna kick your asth... you hear me grampa? You listhening? GRAMPA!! dammit listhen" My father in law heard every word, but was bent over the calf pen laughing his head off and trying not to let Lispy see him....such is life on the funny farm.

So how are you all? How is the new year treating you? I miss you all so much, whenever I think of my blog my heart breaks because I dont have contact with some of the most wonderful people that I used too... Sue The Farmers Wife, Karen from Fresh Fixins.. Sadie...and so many others...Mrs. M, Mikey, Train Wreck, Spanky and I could go on forever... so ladies - and big brother, of course I didnt forget you... :) LOVE YOU please drop me a note and tell me how you all are, or leave a comment. Talk to you all soon!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Honey corn bread....

Hope you are all warm and well fed this fine morning.. I have a question for all of my southern readers. A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with a black gentlman that was an WONDERFUL cook. He laughed at my northern naievty when it came to southern cooking. One night we were at work and he brought in greens with ham hocks, red beans, dirty rice and the most amazing honey corn bread - the only honey corn bread - I have ever tasted.... I drool at the thought of it right now!!! SO - I was wondering if anyone has a great recipe - I dont want an internet recipe I would like something that was a family recipe. I promise not make a cook book.. :)but I want a recipe that is special because those are the best taisting!

Talk to you all a bit later today!