Sunday, May 11, 2008

How am I supposed to get anything done around here?

When I have this...
out my window?
Just take a look at those eyes and tell me how I'm supposed to do something other than gaze at him. When he runs in the field, my heart just melts. Those spindly little legs are just too much.

We've decided on the names Annabelle and Burt. Annabelle is a southern lady, though her accent is a little questionable. Burt, though he insists his name is Bret, is playful yet determined. Go ahead and try to guess which movie the names came from. The name Annabelle came up more than once and my first thought was "Annabelle Bradsford" (oh, another hint!) so we latched onto Burt. Annabelle is a great cow name and Burt just seems to work for a soon-to-be steer. (We had also contemplated the names Buttercup and Westley, but in the end, went with Annabelle. Maybe our next Jersey...)

Annabelle was a trooper today for her first-ever milking. She did decide to put her foot in the pail once, but after that, and after I felt more confident that she wasn't going to kick me flat on my back, I got up really close and stuck my forehead into that spot between her back leg and her belly. That seemed to help keep her in one place and it also allowed me to more easily sense when she was about to move.
I think she is still giving some colostrum in her milk. It was exceptionally yellow. I know that Jerseys do give yellowish milk, but this was much more than I've seen before. It also tasted a little salty. Of course, we drank it still warm, so we'll see if the taste is any different after sitting for a few hours in the fridge. I'm also anxious to see how much cream is there after it has a chance to separate a little. Cows have the ability to hold back their cream, so I'm curious as to whether she let me have it or not. It sure does look creamy.

We hope to eventually build a stanchion, but for now, we just tied her to a pole and went to work. My plan is a stanchion built on runners so that we can move it around where it is needed. The thought is this: rather than having to clean out the milking area, just move it! It should keep things much more sanitary.
I felt like a real live farmgirl out there milking her in the sunny afternoon.

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