Clara Calved Early
On November 29, Clara had a little Jersey heifer calf we are calling Chloe. After we got her all collected for her first milking at the dairy shed, Clara escaped and ran off for a few hours to see what the winter pastures had to offer. She was not interested in nursing her new calf. When that happens, it shifts the care to Theo the calf nanny. I had a jar of Sadie's colostrum from a few days ago, so I kick-started Chloe with some warm Sadie colostrum, then I licked her all off until she was dry.
You can see the results in the above picture. Chloe was walking around when Clara finally showed up. Clara sniffed her and cood at her like she was a good mama, but kicked at her when she tried to nurse. So Chloe will be strictly bottle fed, which is fine. Clara is happily back in the stanchion and when she's not being milked, she's clobbering the other cows in the milking line. She is second in the line of calving that will triple our milk production, from the November levels, by January. The next cow looks like it will be Cindy, who may calve tonight.
While the weather has been mild, I've been leaving the cows out to calve in the cleaner field above the house rather than in the unfinished dairy barn or the old mucky barn to calve. We will be setting up a calving area under the new barn roof before the rains return en force. The weather makers have lined up a week of sunshine next week, perfect for more outdoor calving.
Milk Production Up
With each new fresh cow, after a couple days of milking out colostrum, we are catching up on milk production and will be able to keep consistent delivery days. If you want some colostrum, now is the time to make the request. We distribute very little, mostly the light colostrum that is from the second or third day. The first day's cow colostrum is very valuable for kick starting mammal life and immunity on the farm, so we freeze it and keep it around.
Also, if you want more holiday milk delivered to make up for lost deliveries in your farm share, let us know and we will work to accommodate.
Here's our current guess at a delivery schedule as we catch up:
Saturday: Cottage Grove, Eugene/Springfield.
Monday: Brownsville, Corvallis, Salem, Silverton, Beaverton, Portland.
Wednesday: Roseburg, Elkton
Egg Production Sketchy
For some reason, the chickens are still laying some eggs. They have been neglected to the point that I would expect them to not be laying, to take a winter break per their Union contract. We don't have lights on them, because it's a project and we haven't gotten to it yet. We know that when we wake them up at 2 or 3am in the winter, then they produce more. But we have been so focussed on building projects here that there are no lights on the chickens yet. Usually, they would go on strike and shut down laying altogether, but that has not happened, so there may be some eggs randomly delivered for the egg share owners over the next month or so. Once we get lights coming on for them in the AM, then eggbundance will start up again and we can double up on egg deliveries for a while to catch up.