Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dairy Pics

After our last bird cycle was shipped and barns were cleaned, I took a quick trip back home to Alberta. I hadn't been back since moving to Saskatchewan seven months earlier. It was fun to be back and visit with family again, especially my sister, Erin. :)

While back I worked three shifts ( a double and an afternoon) at the dairy with Erin. I loved being around the cows again since I had worked there for over a year before moving so it was all very familiar to me. The cows have so much more personality than chickens! New parlour equipment had been installed about a month before finishing there and it was almost disappointing to leave because the new system worked so much better and smoother than the old one. Nothing like losing air and having about 30 seconds to stop milk from draining from the jars into the milk line where it would then flood the two end jars and start spewing milk out everywhere. Hey, I gained a variety of experience there. :) Anyways, off that rabbit trail... According to Erin, I kept up with the milking in the parlour so obviously hadn't lost my milking touch. :)

The only downside was getting up just before 4 AM for the morning shift. I was reminded of how that time always came too early, regardless of the time you went to bed.

#92 Franz had just pulled her calf before we arrived. She is a Blitz cow which you can tell from her coat pattern.

High Group

#57 was a heifer that had just freshened before I left.

#48 I believe this cow could have made a nun swear when she freshened. No, don't worry, I didn't swear. lol! Ooohh, she could ruin a whole milking. Even as a second calver she is sensitive and can be miserable in the parlour.

This cow was also miserable when she first freshened. You wanted her to come in at the start so you could just get her milked and out of your sight and mind. haha. :P She has actually quieted down a lot and doesn't declare war when in the parlour anymore.

#20 A sweet heifer. Yes, cows can be sweet. If you don't agree, work around them for a while and you'll understand exactly what I mean. I remember this heifer when she was just a calf. It was fun to come back and see she had calved and was with the other big cows in the high group.

Low group

Milk Room


Erin milking

Calf Barn

#40 Nicknamed Fuzz or Fuzzy Face. One of my favourite cows with a friendly personality. Erin and I were labeled responsible for turning several cows into pets. :) After getting milked she'd sometimes come back and stand at the end of the return alley and not let any cows get by.

#67 a.k.a The Freight Train which obviously describes her size.

Another Blitz. :)

#7 One of the cows with the most dairy characteristics.


Shepherd Girl said...

They look delightful - I enjoyed your commentary on some of the individuals!

Naomi said...

I really enjoyed this post. Funny how animals have such striking personalities and character traits. Fearfully and wonderfully made, even if they are completely annoying and encourage nun-blasphemy. ;) I do miss being around cows.

Erin's hair is so pretty.

Anonymous said...

"The cows have so much more personality than chickens! "

No kidding! =D It's so true!!
I'll take cows anyday despite the nuisances they can be... every once in a while we have a cow that has such a great personality and is a joy to be around.

Franz's calf is so cute; love the color pattern on it.

Whoa, the Freight Train is HUGE!