Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Cows

I am so excited to let you all know that I am about to add new breeds to the herd. I did some shopping at the neighbors for Jerseys, Brown Swiss, and Ayrshire's. Glenn fell in love with the little Jersey girls. I am a fan of Brown Swiss. I can hardly wait to see them out on my pastures! I will post pictures of them as soon as I get them home.

Monday, November 14, 2011

American Made Boots!!

I love the Internet for finding just what you want.  I needed to buy my kids new winter boots, they keep outgrowing them.  I am one picky shopper when it comes to boots.  Most kids boots are a joke to me, we go out and play for hours in the freezing cold so we need a real winter boot.  Most boots are just thin on the bottom or the liner is sewn in so you can't get it dry between play times.

I found boots that every kid should have.  They are MADE IN AMERICA and they are good for -40 degrees.  That means you can play for hours and not get cold feet.  The boot company is actually Canadian owned, and family owned.  Check them out for yourself  at Kamik boots.  And they have some cute boots for all seasons.

Please help me put Americans to work.  I am happy the Chinese people are being pulled out of poverty, but I think the scale has tipped to a point that we are trading them economies by over purchasing their goods.  I am really reading labels before I buy.  You should do the same.

Friday, November 11, 2011

So NOT ready!!!!

I am just not ready for the snow.  Oh, I love the snow, it gives the landscape such a fresh clean look and makes me feel like baking yummy stuff, but I am not ready.  I have moved our calves out of little confinements stalls and their water is delivered by garden hose.   That is not a good mix with freezing temperatures.  I have got to get a move on, quick.

I did however get my older heifers set up with nice new shelters and a long stretch of feed space. I had a pad poured so they don't have to stand in the mud to eat. I added a fence line feeder that will allow all the girls to eat at the same time without over crowding. Nobody wants to be the one shoved from their dinner plate.

I have put together a nice design for a covered holding pen for my lovely milking girls.  I love the planning, it's so much cheaper than the doing.  I hope it can get done next summer.  It would provide the girls with shelter from the hot sun, rain, and this wet snow.  And as an added bonus, it would provide the same for me and my employees.

The kinda down side to my plan is that it involves an old barn that I want to restore into a nice cow share building.  That means I have to do them both at once, increasing that always inhibiting cost!  But I have a really cute idea for my cow share milk house.  Again, the planning is fun and cheap.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Better milk law fails!

Europe is pushing for higher standards for our milk.  That ever so safe pasteurized crud you get at the store couldn't pass the test so the new law was shot down!!  How does that make you, the consumer feel?

Here's an explanation.  When they pick up my milk they take a small sample to the lab and test it for P.I.C., Bacteria, and somatic cell count.  Somatic cell count is related to environment cleanliness, cows stress level, and her health.

Right now every farm must remain below 600,000 parts somatic cell per million in the milk.  Europe changed theirs to 400,000 and says they want us, as an exporter to set the same standard.  It appears that that new standard would put so many farmers out of business (of all sizes) that the law did not pass.

First, trust me, I have been meeting that challenge for as long as the cows have been mine.  For one thing, I have good employees who benefit financially to take good care of my milk and cows.  I drink it straight from the tank myself.

Next, ask yourself if you would rather drink healthy, clean raw milk, or nasty manure filled milk that has been cooked to make it safe?  It's just like meat, why not handle it properly in the first place instead of cooking the flavor and bacteria out of it later?

One last question, why didn't you, the consumer get a say in this?  Oh, that's right, our government knows better than you what you should want to consume.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One little slip of a needle!

Back in April we had a cow that had taken a turn for the worse.  We dried her up and put her out to pasture until her calf was due.  When the time came for her delivery, the calf was dead and she was weak.  I was really strugling to gty the calf out so I gave her a labor boost shot.  When I tried to replace the needle cover, I pricked my left index finger.  It hurt a bit, but I was busy trying to save the cow.

Two days later the cow had also died and my finger was huge!  I went to the emergency room and was given antibiotics.   When the pills were gone the swelling was almost gone, then came back a bit.  I waited a week or so and went back to my doctor.  She ordered an x-ray, said the knuckle itself was fine and to give it some time to heal.

Another month went by and it was still swollen.  I was showing the vet my funcky finger to see if she had ever experienced anything like it as a vet.  She was not at all amused with my finger and begged me to go right to a med. station.  I did as she asked, they gave me steroids and told me to see a hand specialist.  The steroids were like the antibiotic, they worked pretty good, but when they were gone the swelling came back.  The specialist was busy so I had to wait a couple months to get in.

Once the specialist saw my hand and heard the story it seemed to become quite urgent.  That very day he tried to draw fluid out for testing (no he did not numb it..ouch) and sent me straight to an infectious disease doctor.  That doctor set me up with an MRI the next day and surgery 2 days after that.  It has turned out to be a crazy couple days for me.

At this point they have cut open the finger, flusher out the infection and cut out a chunk of bone that was infected!  They also said my knuckle joint has started to close up.   I never dreamed that so much was going on in there!  Now I am waiting to find out what the lab says was in my finger.