Rambling: I Do It Well

1.Let me just start by saying that I don’t have any delusions of passing any more clothing from size 2T and up on to future children or cute cousins. Ok, maybe I’ll let my future spawn wear them, but only because said kids will end up just as filthy as my current one at the end of the day. There’s enough dirt in my tub to start a small garden after each of Peanut’s baths.

2. I’m addicted to Fig Newton Fruit Thins. The blueberry-brown sugar variety. Only 150 calories for 3 good-sized cookies. The only problem is I can’t stop at 3. It’s more like 6. And then a mug of milk. I justify it by telling myself, “You can’t ever get too much of a good thing.” Am I right or am I right?

3. No matter how much I clean, I can’t seem to make any progress. This might possibly be the reason I don’t have any kitchen pictures for you yet. Because I can’t stop eating cookies and dirtying up mugs. I knew there was a correlation somewhere in here.

4. It. Is. HOT. in. Missouri. Or Misery. Whatever you want to call it. Right now, Missouri = Misery. The thermometer said 111 on the barn today. The minute you walk outside, you break out in a sweat. I’m pretty sure the humidity is 106%.

5. I rescued my daughter from a crazed heifer yesterday. The bovine type. (I feel the need to make that a little more specific.) I was in the lot where we keep the weaned calves. They’re big enough to knock a girl my size down if they got a good, strong start. And if I had my back turned, completely unaware. I was keeping my eye on a certain one. Number 216, to be exact. Her number will forever be engrained in my head because I now have a personal vendetta. I could tell she wasn’t really diggin’ the fact that Peanut was in the lot with me. Cattle do NOT like small, moving creatures. Number 216 lowered her head, said, “Meeeeeeewwwwww,” and charged my toddler! So naturally, I lowered my head, ran at her, bulldogged her to the ground, and karate-chopped her right on the ol’ forehead.

Had ya’ goin’ there for a minute, didn’t I?

No, what I really did was get between the two of them, yell “Hey, hey, hey!!” and kick at the heifer. It worked. Afterwards, I realized my heart was beating 90 to nothing and that I had just basically saved my daughter’s life. It was a good moment.

So, I finished watering and that stupid heifer decided to bring reinforcements while I was trying to carry Peanut out of the lot. I said, “Go on, girls!” as they stared me down, but they weren’t moving. Just giving me that bovine “I-shall-ram-you” look. You know exactly what look I’m talking about if you have cattle. I tell ya, they see Peanut as a huge threat. I’m not kidding.

So, I stood there for a second, starting to feel a little nervous. One I can handle. Four? Not so much. That’s when it came to me. Whenever I’m in certain situations, I ask myself, “What would the farmer do?”  This is one of the things I’ve learned while being immersed in dairy farming. Cows don’t like farting noises. Stick your tongue between your lips, blow, and they will flat move. I’ve seen the farmer do it several times if our ladies are taking their sweet, merry time and I can’t help giggling because it’s so funny. So, that’s what I did. The heifers scattered and I walked confidently out of the lot.

It was another good moment.

A picture I took this morning. See, she’s still eyeballin’ me!

6. Peanut has started licking us. She’s a really weird kid. She’ll just walk up to you and lick your arm, knee, jeans, whatever. I think she’s been spending a little too much time around this calf.

I’ve dubbed her Frenchie. She can’t keep her tongue in her mouth and can always be found chewing/licking on the paneling. This might also be the explanation of why the farmer found Peanut outside licking one of  our gates yesterday morning.The only solution I have for Peanut’s latest issue is to get her a mineral block. She obviously has a deficiency.

Whew! I needed that.

I’m so glad we had this talk.

Sale Barn Bound with Number 216,

The Dairymaid

P.S. I’m just kidding. She better milk good. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Our Cows (Silly and Serious)

If you follow along with my posts, I’m sure you’re well aware that we milk Jerseys at our farm. But, I’ve yet to introduce you to some of them. Most of them have names and they picketed outside the dairy barn the other day because they were tired of being just a number. (The farmer likes to just number them and move on. I like to give them names based on what they look like to me as a calf. Or their Sun sign. Or how the weather was that day. Or famous people. Then I have the farmer write their names on their ear tags because otherwise I would have no idea who they are. If they’re not spotted, all Jerseys look the same to me. If they don’t have a name, I can’t connect.)

But, first, let me get this out.

“Is my deodorant still working??”

I just can’t help myself….

You saw this dude yesterday. He’s the studmuffin around our farm. His name is Woodee. That is his registered name…that he was given before we owned him. (The farmer and I exchanged looks and had to bite our lips.) He comes from a very good bull (Gannon, if you’re familiar with AI bulls) and his mom’s name was Dee. The dairy farmer’s wife that we got him from liked his mom so much that she wanted to incorporate his mom’s name into his. So: Woodee. I personally think he needs something more fierce because his name is cutesy…

and it makes me think he’s nice…

and then I want to hug him.

And that’s not really a good idea.

He’s very good at what he does. One thing that I learned when the farmer started milking is that there is a need for a “clean up” bull. You would have thought this topic would come up in everyday conversation as we were going out to dinner, right? A “clean up” bull saves the day (hopefully) when the farmer is having a hard time getting a cow to “settle” (impregnated) with artificial insemination. We use AI a lot at our farm because we can pick and choose what genetics we want for a certain cow.

For instance, say a cow has a floppy utter and you want cows with utters that are high and tight. (Bear with me. I have no idea what the correct terminology for this is.) The right bull can help improve that by lending his genetic makeup to that cow’s calf. That’s just one way. There are soooo many others.

However, AI just doesn’t work sometimes on a few, so we sick Woodee on ’em.

The speed at which he undertakes this duty always amazes me. As soon as you let him loose with the cows, he immediately zeroes in on his target.

See what I mean! He’s in hot pursuit. If that’s not a look of purpose, I don’t know what is. And she’s completely oblivious.

This is Barbie.

Barbie apparently thinks her best look is with her tongue sticking out because she does it all the time. She’s not panting or anything. She just randomly lets her tongue hang out and waggle around every once in a while. I’ve tried to tell her that it’s not very lady-like but it doesn’t seem to be sticking.

This is Cheerio.

Cheerio is a lot smarter than she looks. This cow is notorious for pulling her own feed rope in the barn. The cows all get a set amount when they come in. The farmer pulls ropes on each feed bin that lets however much he’s rationed for them to have fall into their respective feed bin. Well, Cheerio has realized that the rope is what makes feed fall. So, she just tugs on it with her teeth and gets however much she wants. Needless to say, she’s a butterball. The farmer has tried everything he can think of to make it hard for her to do this, but to no avail. She’s the only cow that has figured this out. However, I found out last weekend that she is educating an apprentice. It would be comical if feed wasn’t so expensive.

Here’s a close-up of Cheerio. I think it’s kinda cute. I might have this one put on canvas and hang it in the house. Not because it’s Cheerio; just because it’s a Jersey.

This is my favorite cow. Ready?

Her name is Artist and I think she’s just gorgeous. She’s one of the nice ones, too.

She definitely stands out and she’s always so pretty and white.

Well, Woodee’s giving me the evil eye.

See, look, he’s getting very irritated.

Apparently, me being in my front yard still means he’s gotta keep an eye on me. It’s a good thing I have a zoom lens.

He appears to have it all under control.

Until next time,

The Dairymaid

Copyright. Breauna Krider. 03/30/2012.