Monday, January 24, 2011

All bedded in for the night...

Well Calf #102, another heifer was born last week in the frigid temperatures.  Today (~20-30 degrees) is what I would define as "cold".  Cold are the temperatures at which you can handle working outside for 2-3 hours with enough layers, and if you work hard enough (as in creating the wonderful bedding layer seen in the picture below), you'll actually sweat through the bottom layer or two of clothes.  However, last Friday reached frigid cold.  The high didn't hit double digits, it is hard to breathe outside, and washing milking machines is a dreaded task.  It was one of those days where you question why you went to college to spend your time working outside with animals. (I'm also thankful that I had lots of computer work to do for work, so could stay inside most of the day)!
It takes lots of work & bedding to keep cows and calves warm and dry in temperatures like this.  We take extra care to keep our maternity pen bedded so that when a new calf is born, it is born into a clean, dry environment.

Daisy Mae is due to be our next new mother on the dairy

 I'm especially happy that Calf #102 (we're still working on a name) is here, as it is a sign of hard work and a little bit of luck.  Her mother, Ribbon, was born a month premature, nearly 4 years ago!  That is just as big of a deal in cows as it is in people.  Through some good babying (thanks to Brent's mom), Ribbon not only survived, but she also lived to have 3 calves on our farm, and she shows no signs of slowing down.  We'll be testing milk in the next week or two, and so we should see how well Ribbon is milking by that time, as well as the rest of our cows.

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