Gwen

This morning, I noted that her udder is really starting to improve. The scab that was once over the abscess is starting to slough off. I’ll be glad when it falls off for good because it makes milking that one rear quarter harder than normal. Yesterday afternoon I dropped by the dairy where she came from and confirmed with the owner that it was indeed an abscess (not a hematoma), that they do scab over like hers did and that I am treating it correctly.  In addition, her teats are slowing healing.

I was going to try to allow her calf to finish the milking twice a day, but when I was watching him nurse on her last night, I saw how rough he was to her.  He butts her so hard that he lifts her up off the ground.  Given that she’s lame on one leg, it makes it hard for her to keep her footing, especially in the snow and ice.  I don’t want to risk further injury to her so I am going to have to completely wean him.  That means milking twice a day.  As I expected, her milk production came up a bit from what it has been.  This morning, I made almost two gallons of yogurt with the milk.  I love making yogurt right out of the cow.

Gwen has represented a huge learning curve and I’m still learning.  I think sometimes that the goats were an easier learning experience, but I don’t think that’s true.  I haven’t even had Gwen for a year yet so it hasn’t been so bad.

Back to yogurt: I ordered Piima Culture from Moonwise HerbsPiima is a culture that originated when it was noticed that when cows grazed upon a wild herb called Butterwort at the peak of its growth, milk would clabber at room temperature.  It was then carefully cultured from this starter and fresh starter taken from each batch.  Piima is similar to buttermilk acidophilus and kefir.   It can be used to start cream fraiche, yogurt, buttermilk and butter.  I’m embarassed to say that I haven’t made butter yet.  Why?  Well, first of all, getting the cream off the milk has been a challenge (until now) and I like drinking whole milk.  Well, duh, getting the cream off the milk is simple if you use a spigot jar.  I also want to play around with cream fraiche in recipes.  I have Kefir grains in my freezer and I assume they are still viable, but I don’t care for the taste of Kefir.  The problem is going to be finding a place in the house warm enough for it to culture.  I culture my yogurt in the oven with the light on, but I believe that is going to be too hot to culture milk using piima.  I have a thermometer in the oven now to check the heat.  It may be okay this time of year given how cold it is in the house.

My stomach is growling, need to go and find something to eat.  I’m off today and wanted to do some baking, but that’s going to be out because I have yogurt in the oven.  Guess I can clean the house instead …

Until later …