Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lazy milker and other happenings

I confess:  I am a lazy milker.  Not in the sense that it takes me forever to milk, but in the way that I hit the "snooze" button on my alarm several times before draggin myself out of bed.  The spring of sickness (meaning April/May for those of you who don't know we've been sick for what feels like all spring) taught me that the calf will consume every bit of the morning and evening milk if I am late.  This was why we bought a milking shorthorn after all - to be able to slide a little but still get sufficient milk - but it's allowed me to develop bad milker habits.  I am now working to restore the order that was: 6:00 a.m. milking. 

Yesterday we finally found out what bull Ruby was bred to, and now we will be able to register her with the American Shorthorn Association.  Mama Sharon (Richard's mom) is mailing the tattoo gun ( we have to tattoo Opal's ear for identification so she can be registered) so we should be able to register her by next month.  We also have to register a brand here...but do not have one designed yet.  We keep going back and forth, but really I think we'll just end up with initials with a bar or a rocker because it is simpler.  There are a TON of brands registered in Montana though, hopefully it doesn't take to long to find one thats available - we'd run out of ideas quickly I'm afraid lol.  Apparently if we drive to Helena, where the main office and master books are, the process is much quicker because you can get an instant answer. 

I have been telling people in our neighborhood that we will soon be setting up a "farmstand" in front of the house and have gotten a great response!  It's pretty exciting to hear that people are enthusiastic about  your ideas.  When thinking of the logistics of keeping two small children occupied while I sell at the Farmers Market I shudder a little, in my mind I picture borderline chaos mixed with tiny child melt-downs.  If I could sell direct from the front of the house it would be much easier on us all, plus we'd have a lower overhead.  We'll see what works for us I guess.

I have begun halter-breaking Opal, and I really enjoy it.  It's interesting to see how an animal deals with the experience of something new.  She has so far handled it fairly well.  Once I get the halter on her wiggling head she doesn't struggle much, but won't make more than a step at a time.  When she does take a step we quit and give her a good rub so that she ends on a good note and realizes that release comes with doing what I ask.  Since I've left her in the same space as Ruby and I are in during milking, she has gotten much more comfortable with me so I think that haltering will become easier much more quickly now.  I'll keep you posted!


Stephanie said...

I think the farmstand at your home is a great idea, especially with little ones. We are planning to do that when we get our homestead set up, because it is very hard in our area to get into the farmer's markets (too many people already selling), and the fees to do it have gone through the roof.

Erin said...

How wonderful that you have such a strong market for local foods in your area! Our local farmers market only charges a small fee but there are enough customers in our neighborhood, as well as friends etc, that I think we'll be able to sell all of our product from our "townstand" :) Every neighboorhood should have one. How wonderful would THAT be?