Happy Groundhog Day

It feels like Spring out there.  I keep thinking that we are going to get slammed this month, with snow and ice and below zero temps.  But this week they are forecasting numbers in the upper 40s and low 50s!  Dare we hope for an easy winter?  I just don’t know.

Twins investigating the contraption
Twins investigating the contraption

On Sunday Sam and I took the milkstand out into the large girl’s paddock.  Put it down in a flat area so that they could investigate and jump onto and off of it.  It was time for trimming some hooves, and in the past the twins (SnowPea’s girls) have had  a terrible fear of the stand.  I use this piece of equipment for more than just milking; we use it for hoof trimming and other medical procedures as well, if it’s something where we need them to stand for more than a few minutes.

So they all need to get used to it.  I know we are not that close to kidding yet, but usually I will get my mamas up on the stand a lot before the babies come so that they are not freaked out.  And always, way before their due dates, we check the way their bellies are hanging, as well as their udder development.  (They need to get used to me coming up behind them and having an udder feel.  It’s very revealing!).  I don’t want any of this to be new to them right before kidding.

I am also beginning to add some alfalfa pellets into the feed for the girls who may be having their kids the soonest.  It’s a nice source of calcium, and I want to prevent any issues that might arise before kidding with toxemia.  The pre-birth visage of milk fever.  Ugh.  Ugly!

And so it goes.  Battie is the first doe up for kidding, end of February/beginning of March.  And so we shall see,

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2 thoughts on “Happy Groundhog Day”

  1. yes, milk stand. I have one here. The year i milked, used it in the
    Albatros, the big corregated metal shed/barn thing, and milked
    with one hand while replacing pellets in the bowl with the other.
    I was a mild to moderate success. I wish i could make myself
    work on getting them all on it. You are right, for so many things…
    for the Vet too….but with there being so many does here 13, it’s
    crazy….i really need to separate off a space with cattle panel,
    like a litle room, to get them in individually…oh, eeeeee, always
    one more thing

  2. Yes, I am constantly changing up the way I do things. Last summer I milked outside, it was such a dry summer. I only pulled the milk stand into the greenhouse if it was raining. It’s always something. I would love to have “legal” milk and cheese rooms. Sigh. Maybe someday!

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