Sunday, February 26, 2006

stanchion for milking

nimue has been feisty lately--especially in the morning. this behavior is counter to quietly milking more than two gallons out of her each morning. tabitha finally gave in and admitted that we need a stanchion (the thingie that holds a cow by the neck). i had some scrap cedar poles left and decided that something that appears rustic was in order. besides the car is on the fritz and runs to the lumber yard weren't an option. i based the design on an old one that i saw in mikes barn--simple, effective and time tested. i used my chainsaw for all the cuts (ripping the poles, notching and mitering)--this added to the rustic effect. it turned out pretty cool and functions like i'd made dozens of them before.

the cow hates the stanchion. i hate it for her but who knows how she'll freak out when she has a calf.

being a frequent contributor to the participatory panopticon has thrown me for a spin. more on this later...

my completed list...
split, hauled and stacked a rick of wood from below the pasture up to the front barricade. tabitha and the kids helped, well the kids got wheelbarrow rides back down the hill and looked busy. tabitha stacked and loaded while i split.

built the stanchion.

cleaned up most of the last fell tree in nimues pasture.

i completed the first draft of my proposed job description.

i loaded the front porch (full) with wood.

i played with the kids tons, lots of pushing in swings and general funny business.

i worked a deal with a neighbor to trade a cord and half of wood for a slightly used rear tine roto-tiller--craftsman brand. i'm about 2/3 the way there (he requested 24" length and big splits if any). pretty easy. i didn't expect to trade but i had this over sized stack of wood from when the power company cut the front trees. he stopped and asked about it. i said "i'd sell it cheap." he was such a nice guy. he came back to visit and said he had this tiller and would trade. we shook on it.

one less thing to worry about roto-tiller for the garden. now if i could just get a table saw--i could finish the trim in the house.

oh and i almost forgot--i made another car appointment for tomorrow morning. i hate, hate, hate taking cars to the shop. it was just there, they allegedly checked it out and gave it passing marks. maybe they forgot to plug somthing back together. whatever... they were still very cool to me on friday and i appreciate what they did do and especially the price.

another waisted day driving to the dealer in springfield.


HomesteadHerbs said...

That's a pretty cool looking stanchion! Very resourceful too!

My neighbor's (who milk the Jersey's that pasture on my land) found that putting some hay/food in the bucket while they milk the cow in the stanchion keeps the her happy and peaceful!

Are you milking by hand?

BeanMama said...

My dad also put food in bucket while milking. He said he'd mix in some apples during apple season or some celery pieces for special treats amid the hay and his cow knew that they were hiding and would snorfle through the hay looking for the yummy bits. By the time she'd found them all, he was done milking.

Megan said...

I had no idea cows produced so much milk before giving birth.

Is it like humans in that its colostrum?

karl said...

yeah we just grain her now but plan to muddle the process as much as possible to prolong the standing in one place. mixing grain with hay, adding fruit and veggie scraps. are great ideas.
i didn't know that your father milked? how cool for you!
i'm sorry to give the impression that we are milking her right now. we aren't, we just practice with her every morning to get ready for the big day of her birth. we grain her, we groom her, and run our hands across her udder. this is to get her into the idea that we'll be doing a similar kind of thing in the near future. she will allegedly leak colostrum just before she births but nothing major happening yet. she has a little crusty dried milk there usually but that is also to be expected.

we are getting excited!!!

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