And POOF, just like that our lives changed again! Seriously though. Those who think that farmers and farming life is all glamorous do not know the ins and outs of a farmers life at all. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. Just stating the facts. We are up at 6:30AM each day whether we want to be or not. Full udders wont wait, nor should they have to.
Eric is the milk maid here at Erilyn Farms, I am simply his helper. You can see the plumbing on the wall to the left of him - yeh he is a plumber as well. Oh, did I mention he rewired the whole barn and installed new lights where none were before - yeh he is an electrician as well. Oh... that table behind him made from reclaimed barnwood... yeh he is a carpenter as too. The truth is I have a dear husband with MANY talents and gifts, he can pretty much do anything.
The little calf is still with Fiona (the momma) during the day hours on pasture, but is sleeping in his own stall in the barn each night. With this routine, he is no longer nursing after 7PM each night. From 7PM until 7AM she is nurse free, leaving a full udder each morning. Next Thursday (June 9th) he will be 4 weeks old and at that time he will no longer be on pasture with Fiona at all. This change will take us to a morning milking and an evening milking. The baby calf will still get nourishment from his beautiful momma, but through being bottle fed as well as forage in his own pasture. On our morning milking we are collecting a little over a gallon of milk each day, and the baby calf cleans her up afterwards milking her out completely. That amount will likely double once we take the calf off of her.
Little Man waiting in the stall for his sweet momma!
Our daily routine for milking only consist of : sanitizing the milker, rinsing the milker, wiping Fiona's udder down as well as each teat, dipping her teats before putting her on the machine, preparing her food that she will eat as she is getting milked, getting her in the shoot and setting her teats up on the machine for milking, THEN clean her stall out while she is being milked, clean and sanitize the stainless steel pail for transferring milk to the house for bottling, filling her hay baskets up, replenishing her water buckets, getting little man ready to nurser her out after we have completed the milking. FINALLY - transfer milk from milker, milker has to be cleaned and set aside for next milking.
Then we tend to our other farm animals. I would like for this to be done on a quicker time scale, but for now it takes us a little over an hour and a half. We are so blessed!