Cows and chickens

Oh, the cow and chicken business is getting to me.  Gwen is giving milk, not a lot and she’s not being terribly cooperative about it; some of her lack of cooperation may be due to the damned flies which have come back with a vengeance.  I brought Spot (the Jersey steer) up to stay with her last night which seemed to make her happy, but sometime during the night he went through the non-electrified fence and we found him this morning up near my squash plant … luckily he didn’t eat the squash. I probably would have killed him then and there if he did.  Gwen isn’t eating her grain all that well (which is why I brought Spot up), probably because she has so much grass to eat, so her milk production is not so great.  I got just a little over a gallon last night and I should be happy with that given it’s pretty much grass fed milk.  I could be happy with a gallon a day from her … especially after the goats dry up, but there’s still the looming question of whether we can get her bred or not, whether she’ll continue to give milk and dealing with a less-than-happy cow during milking is not pleasant.

I’d love to buy another cow, but I guess we’ll have to wait until the spring to see if Gwen gets bred.  Surely in a couple of months when the bull calf reaches sexual maturity if she cycles he’ll let us know.  We still have a couple more months before the bull calf is big enough so I’ll just have to go day by day until then.  I so love her milk.  I told Wally this morning that I’d get rid of the goats to have a couple of Jersey cows for their milk.  Really the only thing I like the goats for is the cheese, but I can make a nice soft cheese from cow milk.  Wally would rather not have the cow, but he isn’t doing the milking.

So as soon as it gets light, I’m going to need to separate Spot from Gwen and put Spot back in the lower pasture.  That isn’t going to be fun.  Gwen can be loose in the yard and stay out of trouble.  Spot cannot.

The chickens: even though I saw a lot of chickens in the nest boxes, we still only got six eggs.  That’s unacceptable given the number of chickens, ducks and guineas we are feeding.  I am not looking forward to killing and processing those hens.  I do have a woman who is going to come out to help me so maybe it won’t be so bad.  I really like this woman so it will be nice to spend time with her.  I am going to give them through the middle of October to shape up before the culling begins.

All we need to do now is get the cover on the ShelterLogic hay house and it’s done.  Wally got the doors on last night.  Yea!  Now we can start to get hay and straw up for the winter.

Lincolnton is getting nailed by horrible storms; luckily the storms have stayed south of us.  While our address is Lincolnton, we are in Catawba County, right over the Maiden line.  Iredell and Gaston Counties got bad storms both last night and this morning.  We got a little bit of rain, thunder and lightening this morning, but no damage.  It looks like putting a tarp over the ShelterLogic structures is going to help preserve the covers; fingers crossed on that matter.

Off to milk, separate cows oh, and assist with rabbit rape … more on that later.

Until later …

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