Some fall snow came our way a few days ago! It settled while we were asleep, and we woke up in a veritable snow globe. That morning we took a drive down to the Amenia-Smithfield area to buy some hay and saw some incredible yellow-leaved trees with snow all around them, and blanket of the blinding yellow over the snow. That was some sight! The stuff is almost done melting, and I think the cows are thankful. They’re still munching away on the last few blades of grass that are still standing. They’re grazing mostly out of habit at this point. Their diet has been mostly hay for the last week.
Cows really like a routine. They prefer to be milked around the same time every morning. Miriam and I decided that our family dairy cow, June, wouldn’t understand the complexities of Daylight Savings Time, so we moved milking time an hour earlier. I suggested we might mime an explanation for June, charades style, and continue milking at 6:30am but Miriam vetoed. Because of the early milking time, and general lack of sun and warmth, cooling our milk down is much easier. The shelf life of our milk is now significantly better than in our first month of milking, before I had the bright idea to leave the bucket in cold water for awhile before placing it in the refrigerator. The quicker you chill the milk, the longer it lasts.
The building boom here at Full Circus Farm is still on. Our deer fence has its first strand of wire as of today. Our milking parlor (you might also call it a shed) has a luxurious stained plastic door covering its 12-foot doorway, complete with a very snazzy pulley to open it when milking time ends. We hope the extra bit of greenhouse plastic as a door will provide some comfort when the temperatures really dip, though June does a good job of warming the space up all by herself. And our chicken coop is in the works– a horse-drawn hen house on wheels. It will be red. We can’t wait to have fresh eggs in the spring! Until then, stay warm!
Here is a picture of Minnie and June, good cow friends. We had them pose together for this shot.