Saving the milk in the garage so Herbie has enough cream to make ice-cream.
Then I'll go back to making butter, build our supply up.
You'd think Buttercup would be hoarse already ! She has been bellowing for 2 days solid. She even bellows mid mouthful of hay ! It's rather irritating, will she never stop ? Daisy May has seemingly settled, she comes to the fence when we pass to and from milking, but doesn't really complain much. I give her and Milkshake a little grain in 2 buckets, so that they start associating me with yummy grain. The new plastic weaners arrived today, and if I can get them on these 2 girls, they should be able to pasture with their mums again, without being allowed to nurse.
Saving the milk in the garage so Herbie has enough cream to make ice-cream.
Then I'll go back to making butter, build our supply up.
Urgh, not a fan of Winter. Have to schlep water for all the beasties - 3 buggy loads for the cows tonight, they could have had 4 or 5. Stand in the cold filling the large containers with the hosepipe, drive to the fence, reverse so the back is against the fence, climb onto the back, drop the tailgate and tip the water into the trough, repeat with 2nd container, jump down, put up the tailgate, drive back to the tap, reverse, climb out and turn the water on, fill the containers, repeat as many times as necessary to fill the 2 cow troughs, 1 calf trough, sheep trough, fill the chicken waterers (5 of them) fill the duck pond, fill the outside dog bowl, the one in the lower barn, the one in the garage, and the cat water in the shed. Break the ice in all containers. Repeat tomorrow, etc etc. Need to move the one cow trough tomorrow, as cannot set up the defroster in it's current position, as the line cannot cross under or over the gate.
Think we have 4 defrosters, so the duck pond can't have one. They can drink out of the calf trough, and the ducks and geese already empty the chicken waterers daily. Only have 1 base to keep the chicken water from freezing, and it looks as if it was stood on sometime this past year - hope it still works !
Think we have a family doctor, if Herbie likes him tomorrow. Actually saw a real doctor, not an assistant of whatever sort, and he spent time talking to me to find out all about me. Hope Herbie has as good an experience with him, he has had bad luck with the medical profession so far !
Buttercup seems to have the routine down now, milking in the morning, then nursing Daisy May, and only feeding Daisy May in the evening. Dolly hasn't tried to enter the babies enclosure with Buttercup yet, she happily trots to the lower barn enclosure and the hay there, and then meets me down in the lower barn. Sometimes I have to call her, and ring the bell for her, but she usually comes down by herself. Is still a little skittish when Herbie is around, silly girl. Star doesn't even try to go down for milking anymore, and Milkshake is slowly getting used to me, she and Daisy May cuddle together, but she doesn't catterwaul with Daisy May, Buttercup and her mum, Dolly. They woke me at 4 am this morning, mooing and mooing, back and forth. Buttercup is having a rough time, first she missed Jnr Burger for nearly 10 days, calling for him, looking for him, and then we separated her baby from her, so now she is on a roll again. I don't understand why Dolly is being difficult, she and Milkshake were separated 3 months ago, but that hour they were together and Milkshake went back to nursing seems to have affected her, and now she calls for her girl-calf. The funny thing, is that although Dolly will eat the babies hay through the fence, she is not really interested in Milkshake, but Milkshake comes over and wants to touch her mum.
Bought some fruit, fresh, frozen, canned and jammed today for yoghurt. Herbie wants a change from my Vanilla and Honey yoghurt. Made a great (methinks) blueberry one, with pie filling blueberries, and then added cream cheese and frozen blueberries to make a yoghurt / cheesecake pie, with a graham cracker crust and a blueberry coulis, rather yummy, but not stiff enough, the yoghurt makes it soft, maybe I should freeze it ??
Think I'll go to bed early tonight. Need to get Herbie up for his 10:30 am drs appointment, so he needs to leave at 9:45 am. A bit of juggling going to be required on my side, maybe I can wake him after I've fed the dogs, cats, chickens and sheep, and collected the cows, but before I actually start milking. Yep, that should work.
Just eaten home-made chicken soup. Up-chucked last night, not feeling great today, so Herbie suggested some Jewish Penicilian.
Teri and Andy visited today, they are great. Brought me another catnip, will keep it indoors until Spring. Major was never interested in catnip, but I saw Bandit mauling that last one Teri brought, but then I also saw a chicken having a go at it.
Took 5 buggy loads of water to fill the cow waterers today, what the Winter brings with frozen hoses. It seems the ducks and geese empty the chicken waterers daily, all 5 of them.
Buttercup seems to be getting used to be separated from Daisy May, she nurses her twice a day, and Milkshake is good company for her. The 3 calves that were dehorned this week are keeping a very low profile, their heads probably still hurt.
Tried to get the alpacas to eat the hay that the calves had, but Elly didn't navigate the gate and was running on the other side of the fence, so they all came out again to be with her. The cows are funny, all then went to eat the 'new' hay, so much better than what they already had !
Well, bedtime for me, night.
Winter's arrived, our first snow, although only a dusting on the ground.
Herbie went to work today, first day since Monday. Sent him off with a massage first this morning :) after he cleaned the lower barn after milking this morning. He gets so sore sitting in that ugly truck all day !
I, on the other hand have been sort of lazy these past 3 days, but there is butter to make, eggs to collect, but with only 5 or 6 a day now, I'm not sure I should bother ! I should be out there with my chain saw cutting wood, finish cleaning out the garage, putting new straw down for the chickens, checking on the sheep and cows, closing the back pastures, washing out the 4th and final animal water tank, but baby, it's cold out there ! Shoulda, coulda, woulda !
Anni is preggers, she sort of waddles, although she is not huge, but her teats are enlarging. Hopefully Fletch is the daddy, then we will have puppies for sale after weaning. I was teaching her to jump up today, and then to sit down, and tried to teach her to shake hands, but she wasn't going for that one. After all, she's a working farm dog, not a television personality. Sargeant has been lying on the couch virtually all day, but I have to watch him, as he would rather piddle in the house than go out, naughty little bugger. Major has been scratching at the kitchen door to come in, but other than Mischka lying with me at night to get some attention, the other kitties aren't allowed in the house - it has helped our allergies somewhat.
Buttercup is still bellowing like crazy, as we separated Daisy May from her yesterday. Daisy May is nearly 6 months old, and Milkshake nearly 9 months, and they are together in the chicken enclosure. I take Buttercup in after milking to still nurse Daisy May a little, and Dolly was bellowing yesterday for Milkshake, as we put them together on Wednesday, and then had to separate them again as Milkshake went straight back to Dollys' teats.
Three sore-head calves tonight, as they had their horns popped off today. Doofus bled heavily from his nose, but sometimes that happens. Allowed the mums back with the calves today, after being separated for 2 1/2 months, and Milkshake was nursing from Dolly, who didn't have much milk tonight as a result. With bad weather expected on Friday, we need to sort out where which animals will Winter, and this was unexpected. Maybe put Milkshake and Daisy Mae in the chicken enclosure ? There is no cover for them there. Could I get them friendly enough to put the weaners in their noses ? Or separate their mums, who have previously escaped the lower barn enclosure ? They are in milk, so need daily access to large quantities of water.
I don't know. Star is nearly dry, so if the sore-heads, Pearl, Boytjie and Doofus nurse from her again, maybe she'll start producing more milk ?
Lunch went OK, but lots of leftovers. LOL it was our early Thanksgiving, so I suppose leftovers are part of it.
Tomorrow Randy and his uncle are coming over to dehorn 3 of our calves, Pearl, Boytjie and Doofus. Herbie has been treating them to grain every day inside the trailer so that we can catch them easier tomorrow. They are going to have headaches for a while, poor babies.
Buttercup still misses Jnr Burger, nearly a week and a half later. She bawls for him, and looks as if she's been off her food as she's looking a little gaunt. Maybe he is her babys' daddy.
Herbie thinks Milkshake is preggers. She surely has a belly on her, but she's only 9 months old, so I hope not. Another Jnr Burger baby ?
I have a rather large wood burning heating stove on the back of the truck. Herbie wanted me to collect it today, but now I have it, a blower, various pipes and vents, fire bricks, thermostat, another big blower-type thingy and ash pans in the back of the truck, but need to go buy petrol for my chainsaw. Will have to figure out how to off-load it. Ed loaded it with his front loader tractor in about 15 minutes, but it is going to take a lot of thought, maneuvering, muscle, and probably some blood, sweat and tears for me to get it off.
Sometimes I think Herbie thinks I'm Super Woman. Would probably like me to install it before he gets home from work as well ! Is that being sarcastic ? I remember those days of going to work, I had to figure out how to do things, but then instructed others to actually do it, then I just had to make sure everything was done correctly. This "Girl Friday" farm woman thing is about to get to me, methinks. I have more in my mouth than I can possibly chew.
Also have to clear the spot for it in the basement, and then take measurements as we are going to have to put in additional piping. It links up to the geyser so that we also get our water heated by the wood, which is pretty cool, but I'm going to have to re-think where I keep our squash, onions and other produce I used to keep down there because it was cool. It's going to get hot down there. Probably going to have to find a new home for my aromatherapy oils, soap making ingredients, seeds and the milk as well.
Had a surprise phone call this morning from Trevor, who was at school with me. Gave him this website address so that he, and some of my other friends in South Africa (ex FB friends) can see what is happening on the farm.
Must see what I need to fix the dog run line I brought down with the truck the other day, as I can't hang washing on it when it's lying on the ground.
Need to make butter today, and want to try my hand at baking bread again. Tomorrow, thinking about baking some melktert, couldn't today as I spilled the milk, wheew !
The chickens love sour milk, I don't even have to call them anymore, just walk outside with a bucket. Anni is there amongst them, guzzling as fast as she can. Sargeant was at another splotch on the grass, growling if any chickens came to close, cheeky bugger !
You can see how the season is progressing, although the grass is still greenish due to the late rains, the trees are leafless, while the butterfly bush still has leaves, as they are sort of protected under the roof overhang. Chilly start of 28 degrees F this morning, with a heavy frost, but clear and sunny.
Marmalade sitting in the sun outside the garage door. She is a true barn kitty, I don't think she has even been in the house. The others still make a bee-line for the kitchen door should I ever be foolish enough to leave it ajar, or the doggy door unlatched. In the beginning, it was funny to watch them bounce off the locked swing door, but they learn pretty quick.
Anni having her 3rd lot of milk today already, after I spilled it on the kitchen floor while filtering it for a herd-share customer. I monitor how much she has, as too much gives the dogs upset tummies, which I usually have to clean up. She had a little in the milk parlour as usual after milking, then had the sour milk on the back lawn with the chickens, and then lapped up the lot on the kitchen floor.
Earlier this morning in the milk parlour, one dog and 4 cats. Rosco had some a little later, and Sargeant declined to drink.
Mischka, the Siamese, seems to prefer drinking the milk from the ground, possibly as there is less competition there, although Cooper is a complete glutton when it comes to food and drink. Had to chuck her out of the shed this morning as she was eating the other cats' food.
Cooper sitting up on the fence post in the sunshine. She chases her tail up there, doing acrobatic leaps, all on top of the pole. Unfortunately I never have a phone available when she is doing it, so no footage.
Yippee ! Getting a new-to-us furnace which will make the house warmer this winter, and me twice as warm as I have to go out and cut wood !
Stopped by Betsis' to drop off a dozen eggs as she was hurting too much to drive yesterday. Watched one of her cats come out of the woods with a mouse.
My friend Jackie said I should have a wood party, invite all our friends and family to come and help cut wood for the new furnace. Funny, Herbies family is on the other side of the State, and mine on the other side of the world, or in Tennessee and California, which is just as far.
Anni and Sargeant in the truck while I was driving