Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lucy update

Lucy is having some problems.  The automatic milking quit two days ago, and I have had to hand milk her again.  She really fights it, the milk is slow coming out, just a few drips, and then it lets loose and she calms down, lets me milk her out.

Tonight I noticed some lumps in it again, so there must be a little mastitis in there.  It will clear up, just have to be very diligent about milking her out each evening for awhile.  I'm not sure that we will be able to milk her with the milker at all during this whole lactation.  We will see.  The healing is progressing slowly but surely, and hopefully the whole teat will be covered with skin again soon.  Then I shall try one more time to put the milking machine on her.

It's been dreary, rainy, but warm for November.  The calves lie out in the rain even though they have a shed to go into.  Their winter coats are very heavy.  I wonder if that is a sign that we will have another winter like the last.  It was brutal, worst morning -26º.  All I can say good about last winter is that we had nearly continuous snow cover, and that is good insulation for any perennial plants.  I think that really helped our pastures.

With the new cow, Phyllis, down here, I have enough milk again to make cheese.  Made cottage cheese tonight, and should have enough to do another five pound wheel of Gouda this weekend.  I'll be cutting into my first Gouda for Thanksgiving.  It will be interesting to see how it turned out.  I did one with mustard seeds, another plain, and a third with hot peppers.  Maybe I should quit with the Gouda until I know that what I'm doing is working.  That is the thing with hard cheeses - it takes a lot of patience.  And a cheese that is dipped in cheese wax is a complete mystery until you cut into it.  I will let you know next week if it turned out well.

There are 15 chickens in the Moop tonight.  They will be very happy tomorrow.  They love whey, and there are a couple of quarts from the cheesemaking to take out to them in the morning.

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