Watered the sheep as well, although just switching the tap on with the heated hose is a lot easier than schlepping water in 18 gallon buckets on the buggy ! It's remembering to switch the tap off that is the bugger.
This morning did not go so great. Last night the water / milk mix in the bottom vacuum hose froze overnight, (Buttercup kicked the bucket over) so I couldn't raise a vacuum. Not a big problem, I just disconnected it, carried the pipes and the hose into the house basement, put them in the sink, ran hot water through the hose and hung it up to drip dry, reconnected the milking bucket directly to the pump and milked. This morning I took the pipe and hose to reconnect them as I was to milk both Dolly and Buttercup, therefore needed the piping so that they could be in both the stalls at the same time. I thought I had secured the piping and moved the chair to attach to hose, when the piping fell, breaking the nozzle off. OK, so would just have to milk them one at a time in the same stall. Fired up the salamander to defrost the lines, brought Buttercup in to milk, went OK, didn't strip her as I'm in the process of drying her up, shooed her out, called Dolly, in she came, washed her and attached the milker. So far so good. Then she backed up and tipped the milk bucket over, the hose directly to the vacuum is shorter, a smaller diameter and is stiffer than the usual hose and therefore not much give. I was on her other side, and struggled to get around her and over the salamander to reach the pump, and by the time I got there it was spewing milk over my head ! Damn. I switched it off, it didn't short out, took the cows back, the milk into the house for the herd-share owner, but couldn't clean the equipment as I didn't dare switch the pump back on. Had tea while waiting for Herbie to wake, he only arrived home at 4am this morning from work. When he came downstairs, I waited for him to get his coffee, and then told him what had happened, asking him to show me how to strip the vacuum pump down to clean it out. He sent me to buy some Form-a-gasket, and when I got back he was already down in the milking parlour having disassembled the pump. It being Sunday, the local hardware shop was closed, so I had to go to Menards in Ionia. Herbie handed me all the parts to clean and dry so that it works. Had to use the compressor to blow air through some of the pieces, re-assembled it, and it works ! So together we fixed it, and without any fighting. Cleaned the milking equipment, washed the floors that were covered in milk, and now just ready to go and milk again, but only Dolly tonight.
Need to put in a different system that they can't tip the bucket over, so that liquid doesn't get into the vacuum line. Unfortunately it is just a 3/4 horsepower pump, so we can't milk 2 cows at the same time. If I knew that when I bought it, I would have gone for a bigger pump. Also need to get a milk tank, as can't milk 2 cows into the same bucket as it is too much milk, and we currently have 5 pregnant cows, so a lot more milking is in my future !
It seems that some of the newbie chickens are starting to lay ! Found 2 eggs in the chicken house today, together with a dead chicken that wasn't there this morning when I fed them. 2 chickens lay their eggs on the chair in the lower barn as usual, so 4 eggs in one day - things are looking up. They must have heard us talking yesterday about butchering them !