Tonight, Herbie was rather amused at Maddie and I trying to catch each other. She was on the North side of the lounge when I went to fetch her bottle of milk that was warming in the kitchen. I called her from the garage, but was wearing socks so I didn't step outside so she didn't see me. Back to the step where my boots were, pull them on and walk outside on the North side of the house, calling for her. No Maddie. Damnit, she's fast ! Once outside the lounge windows, Herbie pointed to the South side, so I made my way around there. No Maddie. Look in at Herbie, he's beckoning to the North windows. Called her and there she came around the West side of the house. Let her drink a litte, realised I was freezing, so walked back to the garage after detouring to the chicken house to switch off the light I'd forgotten. Back inside Herbie told me that she took off around the West side of the house after she perked up, so had probably heard me calling. When I wasn't on the South side, she took off again towards the garage while I was looking for her on the opposite side. He had front row seats of our little run-around :).
Checked the beehives today. The one that had the bees that I bought about 2 years ago was empty, but the one that I'd prepared when the bees swarmed last year had bees. The 3rd one by the path down to the hunting blinds by the river had had mice in it. They make an awful mess, eating through the foundations. So I tipped that one over and pulled it apart so that they couldn't nest there again. Had to go get my hive tool to pry the original occupied hive open as they had glued it shut very tightly. Once open, I saw there weren't any bees, but it was full of honey. Loaded it onto the back of the buggy as I don't want mice and other vermin getting the honey. Thought about adding the deep box to the hive with the bees, but it already has 2 deeps and one shallow, so I brought it up to the garage. It's too cold to spin the honey, so am thinking about taking it to the basement for the rest if the Winter, wrapped in plastic so the mice won't get in, and then spinning it in the Spring. It was incredibly heavy with honey and I struggled to lift it, getting honey and wax all down my front. I wonder why they left the original hive.
Was Pizza Friday on the farm. Wasn't sure what toppings I was going to use, found the grilled chicken strips from our own chickens in the chest freezer, so got the mozzarella, blue cheese and chicken out, added diced onion from the house freezer, chopped a green pepper, defrosted the 1/2 jar of pizza sauce, added sliced American black olives (think we're out of the Calamata ones) and whipped up lunch. The dough rose beautifully, the toppings were perfect.
Daisy May has gotten over her distrust of the milk parlour and has come in by herself the last 2 milkings. Not sure what scared her, probably was the Gila monster, so I've turn it off before opening the lower door for them. Didn't see Manda collect her milk today. I wanted to tell her about the new co-op Jackie has started in Belding. Must remember for next week. I checked outside when I heard Rosco barking, but there wasn't a car in the driveway. Was probably downstairs washing the milk buckets when she came.
Herbie talked about only keeping the 2 milk Jerseys and JuneBug, the Jersey heifer, and Oliver, the Jersey bull. Then butchering both Taxes and IRS when there is freezer space, and selling all the others in the Spring after all their babies are born. Then we'll be out of the Scottish Highland business. I thought about it, and want to take Gabriel to auction next week. Property taxes are due mid February, so the timing is right. We don't need him anymore as the girls are all pregnant, and he is wasting expensive hay every day and slowly destroying the metal bale feeder. Today it was chucked on top of the shit spreader. On top !!! Wish I'd seen him do that. Must have been pretty spectacular. Need to talk to Mike about taking him. People are cautious with his 4 ft plus horn span, but besides attacking the metal bale feeder rings, he's a sweetheart. Will miss them in the pastures, but I haven't managed to get a reliable outlet for their meat, so it makes sense. With only the 4 cows plus hopefully 2 Spring calves, we should be able to get through next Winter with our own hay, and not have to buy $1 or 2,000 worth from Mike. We will then have Jersey meat again like we did originally. Keep or sell the girl calves, eat the boys :).