Thursday, August 14, 2014

Catching Up: Cows

Part 2 in my catching up series is on the cows.

First, in case you missed it, Bridget is pregnant and due the first of November. Her belly swells daily, and I felt the calf move last week. It was a small rolling motion, and very awesome.

I have cut back to once-a-day milking since August. I will stop altogether and dry her off by Labor Day weekend. Hard to believe that my milking will come to an end. It's been a daily thing since February.

Cow selfie. Because, why not? Even with the oats all over her nose.....
I will miss milking toward mid-October, I'm sure, but I'm ready for a break.

It's not that I don't like to milk. I do. It's peaceful and meditative. But breaks/vacations/time off is healthy.

Plus, last weekend, she developed mastitis. That's been stressful. It just showed up one day, and as of this morning, i believe it's totally gone. I've milked out that quarter only every night since it happened, and I'll do it once more tonight to be sure. She's down from ~2 gallons a day to closer to 1.5. Without the mastitic quarter, it's been much less. I've just milked it to the ground.

So, September and October will be milk-less, and November will bring a new calf and a freshening. We'll be ready for it by then, as we're ready for a dry-off now.

Meanwhile, Brisket continues to grow.

Nom, nom, nom

Look at those horns.
When the two graze near to each other, Wife has a hard time telling them apart. He's getting that big.

We take him in for processing toward the end of November (near when the grass stops growing). I have no idea what to expect in terms of output, as I have no idea how much he weighs right now. But, we'll be able to get a lot of really good grass-fed beef for the freezer, and some BKH for the chooks.

It's been a wild 6 months of cow ownership. I'm very glad we took this plunge, and couldn't be happier with how things have turned out. And no - I haven't mowed the grass all year - but I shovel it daily.

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