Archive for June, 2014

Creaming things back at home

June 27, 2014
We safely returned from our trip to WA late Monday.  All went well at home while we were away with the 3 older kids taking up the reins of the chores including feeding all the stock and milking twice a day.  They even had to fix one of our internal fence lines when the strainer post snapped and they coped with that just fine too.
Kim and myself had a good time away, we enjoyed seeing Albany again, catching up with numerous friends and spending precious time with family.  Thanks very much to everyone who put us up (or as Sam says – put up with us) and fed us and spent time with us while we were there.  We could have talked for hours more, but really value what time we did have.
Josiah exercised his adventurous side at the Katanning all ages playground, and also had a great time at SciTech.
Since being home we have been back into the swing of our do it yourself lifestyle.  First up we tried eating squab, which Lydia had to “process” while we were away.  Turns out it is delicious, rather like chicken only with more flavour and is very tender.  We are looking forward to having some more.
We tried out the cream separator too and it was really fun to see the milk coming out of one spout and lovely thick cream coming out of the other.  I am thrilled that now I can quickly and easily whip up Twinkle’s cream, which didn’t happen when I just tried to spoon the cream off the top of the milk.  Homemade whipped cream is delicious with some homemade brownie too.
And with just a bit more whipping the cream readily turns into butter.  I am SO pleased.  Thanks again for the separator Aunty Mary and Uncle Norm, it works a treat!!!!
We are getting about 10 litres of milk a day at the moment, and a bit under 10% of that is cream.  We will use the cream for butter and ice cream at least, and are open to other suggestions.  I tried a fetta cheese recipe yesterday, and may have to attempt a few more cheeses and yoghurt while I have such an abundance of milk.  Meanwhile the one remaining pig is getting the overflow, and he is not complaining.
It is certainly cool here now, we had the first snow on the mountains yesterday.  The firewood is holding out so far, hopefully we have enough to last us through this year.  Wood fires are great for the seriously cold days.
Well, I think that is about all of our news for the moment.  Take care all.

Sad Calving

June 3, 2014

I got very excited this morning when I went to feed the cows and found that Twinkles was calving, finally, 4 weeks later than expected.  However, when there had been no progress made 1 hour later, and still none 2 hours later we became concerned.  After researching on the internet we decided that the cow needed help so we called up our vet from Sheffield to see if he could come and see her.  However it turned out that he had problems of his own today and would not have been able to be here until almost dark (it is dark now at 5pm) so he recommended that we call someone else.  We turned to the next closest vets who are in Deloraine and thankfully they were able to come out instead.

We took Twinkles over to the neighbours so that we could use their yards – such good neighbours we have – and to cut a long story short Twinkles had to have her calf pulled out, and sadly the calf was dead when it finally arrived.  It was a shame as she was a pretty brown heifer with some nice white patches.  The vet thought she may have been dead before the calving started and that that might have been part of the reason why Twinks had problems. She was a large boned calf too, which presumably didn’t help.

The good news is that Twinkles is fine, weary and hungry but not distressed, and there is no indication that she should have the same problem next time.  I am glad that all the drama happened while we were still here as Kim, Josiah and myself are off to the airport tomorrow morning.  However, now the kids will have their work cut out for them while we’re gone as they will have to do the milking twice a day – with no calf to help.  😦