Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Did you know cows can swim?

I've been with my husband for 3 years now and the fact that cows can swim hasn't come up until today. We're getting some of the untillable land fenced in for pastures so we don't have to use as much hay for feed and bedding. The fencing company is there today to walk the area and to give us a quote on how much it's going to cost. This is where the question "Can cow's swim?" comes up.

Our land butts up against a swamp. It's spring fed and stays at relatively the same height. It's actually down a little right now so it's the perfect time to get it fenced in. We're talking about the square foot of fence we're going to need and my husbands number is quite a bit lower than mine. This is where I discover he doesn't plan on fencing in the swamp side. This is also where I begin picturing Big Ol Cow Bobbers floating in the middle of the swamp going down stream. He says the cows won't go in the swamp. It's been fenced in before but the fence became so rotten the area couldn't be used. Apparently it wasn't fenced in before so it doesn't need to be fenced in now. So what does any good wife do? She googles "Do cow's swim?" The answer is YES. If I was a cow and I was stuck in a pasture I think the first thing I would do would be to wade into the swamp and make a break for it yelling "I'm free!! SUCKERS!" And off I would go. So the question remains.. why are we only fencing in 3 sides?

So far I've asked my husband, one of the guys that helps out on the farm, and a couple dozen strangers online. It seems that a cow probably doesn't want to go for a swim. Wouldn't it be tempting on a hot summers day? If I've learned anything in the time I've been on a diary farm it's that cows are stubborn. They like to do what they like to do. This summer there may be a journal from me featuring Big Ol Cow Bobbers.  I suppose the only way to know whose right (hubby who is a 3rd generation farmer or google) is to wait and see!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools

My husband got me this morning. We have a heifer that was due to calve any day. She looked miserable so we put her in a box stall where she could move around, eat, and layout like a beached whale. Well she finally calved this morning! Of course this was the morning that I was running late for work and little man was having no part in me getting out the door on time so I never made it out to the barn. I got a call after I left the sitters that we had triplets! April Fools!

Really?! Now I kind of want triplets. We've had twins several times but triplets are unheard of. We do have a healthy baby girl in the barn. Just one of them though.

Today is the first day of my DairyFarmersWife 4 Weeks of Madness Challenge on Fatsecret. I'm excited! I'm hoping that having a bunch of strangers watch everything I do will keep me on track to lose 10 lbs this month. If it doesn't then hopefully any slips or falls I have along the way will be entertainment for everyone. Maybe I will even manage to inspire a person or two. Between June of 2012 and now I have managed to lose about 40 lbs by cutting alot of processed foods out of my diet and doing barn chores. There was no magic pill, no as seen on tv program. It was all stacking hay, milking cows, and chasing munchkins. Heck sometimes it included chasing cows. So starting today I am beginning my public debut of becoming a buff dairy farmer's wife. I better get mooooving!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How many calories do you burn milking cows?

About 5 calories a cow. We have a tie stall barn. This means each cow get's their own stall where they can lounge, eat, nap, and live as lazy a life as they want. It also means we bring the milking to them. Since we're only milking about 45 cows right now it isn't that bad. My knee's would HATE me if we were a large dairy. But.. we aren't. So I'm enjoying my 5 calorie per cow burn. This means... squat to dip, squat to wipe the dip off,  lift and lug a milker to the cow, reach and press to plug the milker in, squat to put the milker on, squat to dip the next cow, squat to wipe the next cow, DUCK! the next cow isn't the nicest girls, squat to take the milker off the first cow.. squat.. You get the idea. Imagine doing this over and over and over again. To add resistance use a new shampoo. This gets the cows interested and then you can add some arm work in there trying to discourage the lickers and nibblers!

I will be a buff chicky in no time! I just have to stop looking though country living magazines that have mouth watering recipe pictures in them. If I could cook.. I would be in trouble. But I can burn minute rice so I should be safe.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Is In the Air!

It's in the mid 50's today and it has me counting down the days till spring. It's also reminded me that I need to get my winter pudge back in shape! If there is one thing living on a dairy farm is good for it's working out. Between hay season stacking haybales, squating to milk cows, carrying 5 gallon pails of milk to calves, and cleaning out stalls there is definitely a need to be in shape. There is also a vain desire in me to look sexy on top of a tractor in a tank top. Being able to walk around outside work at lunchtime today reminded me that there are only so many days till the 80+ degree days are here and the winter jackets and baggy slacks are put away for another year.

My current goal is to lose 15 lbs by the end of June. The only problem is finding the time to workout. You would think doing barn chores every day would be enough but when you sit at a desk during the day to help make ends meet at home you realize alot of your life is spent sitting. Starting today I am dedicating myself to lose 5 lbs a month, eat right, and avoid the sweets. I will never be a skinny chick but I will be a buff chick. Buff is sexier than bony anyways.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hello Maverick!

Over the weekend we went to a farm consolidation auction and came home with 3 new cows, wet feet, and two colds. The girl above is Maverick. She is a 4 yr old Jersey cross. We think.. She could just be a holestein cow with a little bit of red in her. Either way she's my new favorite cow in the barn. She's so easy going that she even let the dog love on her for a while before she attempted to eat the dogs ear. She was definitely worth the 6 hours we spent outside in 20 degree weather with snow up to the tops of our boots. Unfortunately I didn't make it in time for the miscellaneous section of the auction. Something tells me my husband plans our late arrivals just for this reason. It could have something to do with my last purchase of old rusted milk cans that are currently painted in a cow print in front of the milkhouse. Or maybe it was my attempted purchase of 100 glass milk bottles. What was I going to do with 100 glass milk bottles? I'm not really sure. But they looked cool.

With only a couple months until we put the tractors in the fields we've started our to do list to prepare for the dusk till dawn.. or later schedule. To hubby's delight I've added a garden to the list of items. Can I grow veggies? Probably not. I'm kind of surprised the house plant on top of the microwave is still alive. I suspect my daughter is watering and caring for it behind my back. But in an effort to save money, eat better, and not pay an arm and a leg for organic produce I'm going to give gardening my best effort. As soon as the weather breaks enough I'm stealing some of the old lumber we have laying around to create a raised garden bed. I have this idea that if it's raised the dogs won't dig in it, I will take care of it more if I'm not on my knees, I won't have to rock pick, I can just bring in some of the babysitters old horse manure and viola! magic dirt that plants will never die in!! My next trip to the city will probably include a trip to the bookstore for a gardening for dummies book.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Can a 9 yr old train a 3 month old calf?

For the last couple of years my daughter has been asking to show a calf at the local fair. It isn't a big show. It's organized by one of the local families and maybe has a dozen calfs. It's just something fun for the kids to do and it gives them a taste of what a real show is all about. It's also not until August. BUT it is winter break and since I'm at work all day the kid is bored and has decided she is going to start training the calf early so it will be reeeeally well trained for the show. I don't think she realizes that the calf will be 9 to 10 months at that point and will tower over her.

I do have to give her credit though. This is day 4 of training and she hasn't quit. She has asked 1053 times if she can train someone else but when we point out that the next one wont be any better she goes back to the box stall and continues to train the same one who she hasn't named yet. The first day it was named Beauty. As far as I know it's current name is either Pepper or Dummy. By the end of the week there is no telling what it's name will be. I'm so proud of her taking on something, keeping with it, and recognizing the progress she is making even if it is only little by little. Now as long as I can keep her from bedazzling the calf on show day we will be all good. I just need to hide the catalogs with hoof glitter and stensils.