Monday, June 30, 2008

June Milk & Egg Tally

Here it is:
  1. 19 eggs, 9.5 cups milk
  2. 22 eggs, 12 cups milk
  3. 28 eggs, 10 cups milk
  4. 28 eggs, 9 cups milk
  5. 26 eggs, 9 cups milk
  6. 22 eggs, 8.5 cups milk
  7. 15 eggs, 8.5 cups milk
  8. 21 eggs, 17 cups milk
  9. 13 eggs, 10 cups milk
  10. 12 eggs, 10 cups milk
  11. 17 eggs, 3 cups milk
  12. 14 eggs, 3.5 cups milk
  13. 17 eggs, 6.5 cups milk
  14. 15 eggs, 6.5 cups milk
  15. 24 eggs, 9 cups milk
  16. 25 eggs, 6.5 cups milk
  17. 14 eggs, 7 cups milk
  18. 19 eggs, 4 cups milk
  19. 16 eggs, 4 cups milk
  20. 18 eggs, 2.5 cups + some spilled milk
  21. 15 eggs, 5 cups milk
  22. 23 eggs, 5.5 cups milk
  23. 14 eggs, 5 cups milk
  24. 20 eggs, 2 cups milk
  25. 27 eggs, all the milk spilled
  26. 24 eggs, .5 cup milk
  27. 21 eggs, .5 cup milk
  28. 27 eggs, .5 cup milk
  29. 23 eggs, .5 cup milk
  30. 21 eggs, 11 cups milk
Totals: 600 eggs (50 dozen), 186.5 cups (11 gallons + 10.5 cups)
Eggs sold: 27 dozen

One of the books that we own says something to this effect: "If you try to fight your calf for milk, you WILL lose." It is that simple. We are losing. We are continuing to get less and less milk as Burt grows bigger and bigger. Our problem is that we want to continue to raise him on mama's milk, getting as much as he needs, for his own good. Also, we loved the idea that the pressure was sort of off us to completely drain her. If Burt was there, he could always take care of any inadequacies in our milking. However, as you can see, we are now getting hardly any milk at all from her. There have been miraculous times when I happen to get out there before Burt wakes up and so get a nice quantity. But those are rare times indeed. Something has to give. She's too expensive to be a lawn ornament.

We actually have fallen in love with the idea of a nurse cow. We are hoping to add another bred cow to our homestead early next spring who will calve at around the same time as Annabelle. Then, we would take both calves and put them on the nurse cow (whether Annabelle or the new cow would be the nurse cow would remain to be seen) and separate them off while we got to milk the other one exclusively. It seems to be the best of both worlds. You get strong, healthy, nursed calves while at the same time getting all the available milk from your milk cow. Now to find another cow. Oh, and get Annabelle re-bred.

On the upside, her mastitis is completely cleared up. Without medication. All I used was a homeopathic ointment when I milked her and tried to milk that quarter more often. Seems to have worked. We figured that we don't just off and give me a shot of antibiotics when I get mastitis, so why do that to our cow. I will admit that I was worried about the horror stories I had heard...including losing that quarter permanently. But Don held firm and I guess I have to admit that he was right. Don't tell him I said that, though.

Our egg production has been sufficient, but not probably where it should be. There have been lots of moulting hens, so that plays a role. We also could be losing some to random nests out in the grass...we have no idea if they are all laying in the coop. But, for the small bucket of grain each day, it is still a great return. I'm not complaining. We've been still able to eat a good dozen eggs a day, while selling extras. In fact, we've been selling enough now to keep my fridge with just a few dozen in it at a time. That is a nice change.


Lona said...

Gina, I haven't tried this myself, but I have read of others doing it. Lock the calf away from his mama overnight and milk her out in the morning. Then let him have all the milk all day long and lock him up at bedtime again.

So you're only milking once, and he's getting the rest.

Be prepared for an unholy racket, though when you separate them. LOTS of noise...all night long. I suppose you could reverse it and keep him away from her during the day and let him back with her in the evening after you've milked.

Good luck.

ourcrazyfarm said...

Hi Gina!
We do this with our goats, separate them at night and take the first milk in the morning. It works great! We get lots of milk, the mom learns to hold some back for the kids, if you don't drain them all the way that's okay. Everyone's happy! It does take a bit to get them used to the idea of being separated at night, but they do fine after a couple of days. It is best to separate them overnight, rather than during the day, as they sleep at night. The best part, if you will be gone and not able to milk, just don't separate them!
Good Luck! Terri

Gina said...

We did try this once actually.

The first morning, she was frantic. She was kicking and bawling the whole time I milked her. And I got about 4 cups before I gave up. For my own safety.

The next morning, she wasn't as crazed. I had tied the calf up near her head so she could see him. Wrestling him over to the stanchion was a chore and a half. Anyway, I still only got about as much as I had been getting before. She completely held back on me.

The third time, I went to separate them and found one teat completely full. I didn't want to leave her like that all night, and since it was waaayyy past bedtime already, I just gave up.

Okay, I know that wasn't exactly giving it a fair shot. I'll try again. I need to. We've not gotten more than a teaspoonful for the last 4 days!

Thanks for the inspiration!