|My horse face|
|My cow face|
She had a habit of doing this.
Fortunately she hit the broom, breaking it cleanly in half, instead of me. I announced my resignation to Keith, giving no notice, and buried myself in other outside and inside chores. Keith didn't object, I'm sure he was relieved he would only have to deal with one surly cow in the barn from then on. She died not so long after, hmmmm, can't recall the exact circumstances, but I do know I had an iron clad alibi. I kept her skull on a pole in my garden, all Lord of the Flies like, for several years after that.
What can I say? She had a nice set of horns.
Now, the bovine world is a pleasant one. We milk just one cow on The Poor Farm and she is so lovely I am thinking of putting her in my will. We moved Lis up from our old farm a few months ago and she has been amazing whether Keith is milking her or I am. All three of us are one happy Ménage à Trois. Don't judge me, it works.
Where we once had a four stanchion milk parlor on a concrete floor, we now milk out of a three sided earth floored shed. Our vacuum system is old and loud but very effective and it operates our single can milker.
Lis willingly comes in the shed where fresh hay awaits her. She does not requiring any tie downs or a stall of any kind, she just stands and eats while I fumble around with the milker.
Teats are washed before milking and dipped in iodine after. It only takes about 10 minutes to milk all four quarters, then she is disconnected, machines shut down and I'm off to share the milk with her calf who resides on the other side of our farm. He'll be weaned in about a month and we'll have even more milk for our use.
What is leftover now goes to the broilers (milk fed chicken is fantastic!) and into our frig after straining through a filter. We drink it just like that, raw, as millions of farmers have always done. I also make yogurt and cheese with our milk. Raw milk is so much better for you than the dead milk sold in the grocery stores collected from who knows what farm, feeding who knows what kind of junk. Once pasteurized, all the good bacteria is killed in conventional milk, so you might as well drink chalk colored water.
Cleanup of all the equipment takes another ten minutes and since we cannot yet afford to build a small milk house for cleanup and washing, all our milk equipment is stored in our bathroom. The whole process, milk equipment set up, feeding Lis, milking, stall cleaning, equipment cleaning and milk storage, takes about 45 minutes twice a day.
In a future post I'll address those maroons at IDPH who felt the need to regulate raw milk production in Illinois this past year, and what it has done to destroy the small dairies of our state, but for today just wanted you to see how we'll doing the raw milk thing here, just for ourselves.
|The Awesome Lis (short for Lisdoonvarna)|