Saturday, May 26, 2012

and now I don't sit down

It's never ending.
It's exhausting.
It's overwhelming.
It's awesome.


Shadow (above) is milked twice daily, usually by hand. It takes about 10 minutes, maybe 15 to actually milk. Another 5-10 minutes to get a rag ready to clean her teats, walk out to wherever she is in the pasture, hook her collar to a chain connected to something sturdy to keep her in about the same place during milking, wash her off - and then milking starts. My arms and hands are tired, tired during milking. I think I'm milking out one full quarter and another half of a quarter - Ren Man does the rest. He can even do all four if I'm not around - something I have to get better at because he's going to be going away for a night to defend his dissertation. Oh, I'm sorry - you might be shocked too. Sit down. Ren Man is going to defend his dissertation on June 18th. So I need to be ready to milk solo for two milkings, at least. Hope, the other girl, is slated to calf at the end of June. I'm crossing my fingers that that calf stays put until after Ren Man comes back. I'm not nervous about the calving - just the milking two cows part.


We picked up two piglets recently - tiny tiny piglets. That's me holding the biggest of the three. We got them at a week old. The sow attacked the babies on sight and the farmer rescued the three surviving (there were five). The farmer, however, had a 3 year old and a four month old so felt she couldn't raise these three too. They had spent the week in her kitchen. We put them right outside our back door in a room that is the size of a garage but has no garage doors or anything (on the listing they called it a shed) for a week. Then they got too stinky for that. They are now in the barn and are wrestling with each other and running around - now that they have more room. They are very very young. I would generally not feel comfortable buying piglets from someone who was weaning less than 8 weeks, or possibly 6. Given these piglets situation, it felt slightly like a rescue operation. I named them Cedar, Poplar, and Aspen. Now we're just waiting for them to grow big and strong (on milk) so we can have them outside rooting around. In the meantime we may borrow some pigs from a farmer who raises pigs in our town to till some land and clear the woods of brush.


We raised about 30 egg-laying-to-be chicks soon after we moved in. They are now in our side yard with electric netting around them growing big enough for me to feel comfortable to move them (and their netting!) out of the yard. In the meantime we're enjoying their antics. The chick pictured above is from our meat set. They are now about 2 weeks old and I can't wait to get them outside! As a rule we wait for them to be 3 weeks old. There are probably 65 of these guys. They were acting like "normal" (egg-laying-to-be) chicks until a few days ago when they suddenly gained a passion for their feed.


Last year I had a lag in blogging because it was all so complicated and disheartening. This year the poor blog suffers because I'm outside constantly (I've self-diagnosed myself with a mild sun allergy. Between that and the black flies ... well, you know) and we've been out and about with new friends, inviting new and not so new friends over for dinner/visits ... I usually am out of bed by 7:30am and fall into bed by 11pm ... and sitting in between doesn't really happen.


Lppick said...

A farmer's work is never done, but you are right. It is an awesome life! My daughter's schedule sounds much like yours only she is milking goats, not cows. My contribution to her farm life is watching her three children at times so she can get in the garden.
My husband helps them out a lot with farm chores and loves it. He also cares for our two ponies and our kids' two belgian horses. The horses are used for hauling firewood and maple sugaring .  By the time you hit your bed Im sure you have no trouble sleeping!!! Question: have you fiished your living room? Do we get to see a reveal??

lovermont said...

No trouble sleeping at all!
I want horses - but they are a hard sell around here. Someone suggested boarding horses - then I could get more horse fix without the financial responsibility.
The living room! I took the after pictures but forgot to post them. I'll get on that.