Life in the country is filled with strange and wonderful things. Animal things.
That’s right. That’s Moon Pie letting two calves suck on her at the same time. And only one of them is hers.
That’s Gingersnap, her real baby, on the left, and Pumpkin, Glory Bee’s baby, on the right! Sucking on Moon Pie!
Moon Pie had just been milked, by the way! And she could still nurse two babies at the same time, immediately after milking! Pumpkin is still nursing on Glory Bee, by the way. She’s just double dipping…..
Cows LOVE babies!!!
P.S. What about Dumplin? I HAVE NO CLUE. She hasn’t had a calf so far.
Training Moon Pie has been quite the little adventure. Every day, she’s a little bit better at it. She’s got the memo now, she just has to stop and study it every couple of minutes so she can remember what she’s supposed to do.
Every evening, we separate baby Gingersnap and put her in the alleyway in the barn. In the morning, a temporary gate is tied to a bar in the barn to confine her to the back of the alleyway so that I can bring in Moon Pie. Moon Pie is gently encouraged to enter the milking parlor (after saying good morning to her baby through the gate) and hooked up to the milking machine. She’s the messiest eater in the milk stand I’ve ever seen, flinging food everywhere out of her food tray. Baby goat Cherry loves to sneak in and hide out under the milk stand to eat her leavings.
After milking, I bring Moon Pie out of the milking parlor, release the baby, and they go out into the world (or the barn yard) for the day. Gingersnap gets to suck on mommy all day, hang out with the other cows, play with the other calf, frolic around, enjoy the sunshine, and learn how to be a cow. Then it all starts over again when she’s separated again in the evening.
Valentina is milked after Moon Pie, then I take all the milk up to the studio. Moon Pie is giving about 3/4 gallon per day. This is from one milking per day, and she’s holding up some milk for her baby, too. Cows are good at holding up milk for their babies, and especially good at holding up their cream. But Moon Pie is looking to be a pretty good little dairy girl. She’s half Jersey/Brown Swiss (with Glory Bee as her mama) and half some kind mixed mutt beef from her daddy. (This is what happens when you let your cows hang out in bars. Glory Bee brought home a biker that night!)
I’ve always thought Moon Pie looked like she had some good dairy characteristics, favoring her mama more than her papa, and even with holding her cream up for the baby, I can tell she’s got some good cream in there.
If you can’t see the cream line in the above picture, the below picture points to the cream line with the top of the spoon.
Not bad, Moon Pie, not bad!
There’s even a little heavy cream on the top, but heavy cream is the hardest thing to get out of a new mother.
With this gallon of Moon Pie milk, I skimmed off two pints of cream, which will be used for ice cream this weekend, and made a batch of yogurt with the rest.
With milking Moon Pie once a day, and Valentina twice a day, my days are centered around milking. Sometimes it seems like a chore and I procrastinate getting started. But once I get out there, there’s a rhythmic flow to handling the animals and milking them and taking care of the milk, checking for eggs, feeding Roman his bottle, and getting it all done of a morning, then repeating it all again in the afternoon. It’s satisfying when I tuck those eggs and bottles of milk and cream away, and when I make cheese and yogurt and other things. We made that–my animals and I!
Two strainer pots of chevre draining in my fridge.
Can’t wait. I love goat cheese. I’m really enjoying having dairy goats again, especially better behaved dairy goats. And just as important as the cheese, the goats are filling a gap while Glory Bee is dried off awaiting her next calf. I like being able to provide my own dairy, and don’t like it when I … Continued…
We really didn’t have winter here until around the end of January when we got that foot and a half of snow. Snow always sounds so magical. Until it snows.
It’s been snowing again this week, but at least it’s not that quantity. Just daily dustings, enough to keep the roads slick and make repeat daily trips to the barn an uncomfortable and non-magical experience. … Continued…
This addictive problem has become so evilly entrenched in my life that I attended a WWE live event at the Charleston Civic Center last weekend.
Wrestling (or “wrasslin'” as it’s better known in redneck terms) is perhaps the most ridiculous pseudo sport on the face of the earth. After all, watching grown men in tights, capes, superhero masks, and other … Continued…
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"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die."Keep reading our story....
Take a tiny dab of the soap from the pot. I'm talking like a quarter teaspoon is sufficient. I just use a plastic knife, usually, to get a dab from the pot. I smear the dab on a paper plate. Then just one drop of the solution is enough. Drop the one drop of solution onto the dab of soap. If it turns purplish-pink, it's not done. Any kind of pink AT ALL and it's not done. When you test and it does nothing, the soap remains the same color, you know the soap is done. Just play with it next time you make soap--once you see it for yourself, you'll understand! ANY PINK at all, not okay, that's all you have to remember. Suzanne McMinn on Easy Homemade Liquid Soap Shampoo
Could you please explain how you do the safety test with 1% phenolphthalein solution? I found where to buy it, just not sure how to use it. Thank you! vtx_chic on Easy Homemade Liquid Soap Shampoo
Such sweet babies. Sounds like I need to make another trip to West Virginia and play with the goats. Louise on Valentina's Turn
So cute! Love their black n white markings! And their ears too, no matter which way they go. Always happy to see your new babies. brookdale on Valentina's Turn
I have been trying to boil and egg that will peel. This is the first recipe that works. Thanks so much, I will no longer hold back from boiling eggs. Robert on Making Perfect Deviled Eggs
Bo Peep is beautiful, love her colors! How sad for Aranel. I hope she feels better soon. beforethedawn on Little Bo Peep
Such a beautiful baby. So sorry about about Aranel's babies. Give her some extra love from us. Thank you for the update. Louise on Little Bo Peep
Bo Peep is pretty little thing. Great grandma would be pleased, I think. Thanks for sharing spring on the farm, with highs and even lows. It's always a good day when we see pictures of the farm residents. Happy spring! Pat on Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep is so cute. You have some beautiful color combinations in all the babies born on your farm. So sad for Aranel. I have heard of Animal Mom's that have lost their babies becoming surrogate Mom's to babies who have lost their Mom's. Any farms near you that goat babies need a Mom? Otherwise give Aranel a hug for me. DeniseS on Little Bo Peep