A lot has been going on and I wish I could have taken the time to write about it because I’m sure I’ve forgotten things, but I’ve been extremely busy. The weekend before last we got the chicken-proof fence around the garden and I got quite a bit planted. So far, so good, no chickens have been able to get in the garden. This past weekend, we got most of the extension off the milk parlor completed. Wally is off today (using the rest of his vacation time) so he’ll, hopefully, finish it. This extension should make milking a lot more streamlined. The hitching area set-up worked when I was milking four or five goats, but with the eight I am milking now, I need more of a sorting system. We put another milk stand in the parlor so now I bring in three at a time.
Last week, MM kicked my butt. It was busy because of spring break and they didn’t put additional staff on. On Monday, I started with symptoms of a stomach flu-thing. I was sick pretty much the whole week which didn’t help given how much work I had to get done each day. Luckily, I felt pretty good on Friday because we were as busy that day as we were during our opening weeks. I was incredibly glad to get out of there for the weekend.
On Wednesday, Gwen started to exhibit signs of what I thought was a heat cycle coming on. That afternoon, we packed her up in the stock trailer and brought her over to a pasture about a quarter mile from the house to visit with an Angus bull that was residing there. In addition to the bull was five cows that he was there to breed. Immediately he showed great interest in her. Unfortunately, that meant I had to go over there to milk her and the Traveling Milk Mobile wasn’t an option given that I had to milk her in the pasture with the bull and cows. Wally had to go with me which I know he didn’t think much of. On Thursday, we noticed mud marks on her sides and the bull stopped showing interest in her on Friday so we brought her home that afternoon. She bellowed all day on Saturday and in the evening when I was milking her, I noticed a clear discharge so we packed her up and brought her back over there again, but this time, the bull did not show any interest in her so we brought her back home Sunday morning. Research indicates that the discharge may be indicative of ovulation. Hopefully, this time, she’s bred. Unfortunately, this means she’ll calve in January which isn’t ideal, but at this point in time, we just need her bred. I think the first bull we put her in with may not have been big enough to do the job. This bull is a little bit older and bigger and he has bred cows before. I tell you though, it was not cool milking with a bull staring you in the back.
Gwen is still pouring the milk and I hope she continues to give at least a decent amount of milk so I don’t have to carry a dry cow too long. I’m going to fill the back pasture with Jersey bulls of varying ages so next year we won’t have to deal with this cow breeding business. Yes, I know the reputation of Jersey bulls.
I was able to get up a bit earlier this morning so maybe I’m on a roll and can start to get my butt in gear earlier so I’ll have time to write … and do other things. I guess this is simply a busy time of year.
Until later …