Holy smokes! I can't believe that it's Sunday night/Monday morning and I haven't actually blogged in awhile! It's been a really busy week at Orange Patch Dairy. Even though I did take the time to get our hay video out and a few pictures of the farm, I have been running in circles.
June Dairy Month: As county princess coordinator I am BUSY organizing the month's events! We have the girls visiting everything from grocery stores to day cares. We plan on making a number of visits with consumers as well as some fun parades. In combination we will be celebrating our county princess program/s 50th Anniversary! I will be focusing my time and efforts in June on our new blog http://cowsncrowns.blogspot.com/. Feel free to check it out, starting June 1st, as we will be featuring dairy stories from the past 50 years. I have some great pictures and stories to share!~Thanks to all of the princesses that shared information with us.
Drying off Cows: We dried off cows this week. Yep, its that time when we give the girls a well deserved vacation. We dry them off about 45-60 days before their due date to insure that they have plenty of time to relax and grow their calves. We know that calves grow the most in the last weeks of gestation/pregnancy, so its important that we feed these cows well, offer them exercise in their yard and provide a clean, dry and comfortable environment. We have about 10 cows due to calve in July, and these cows were all dried off these past few weeks.
DHIA Testing: We DHIA tested this week. It was a great test! The cows produced an amazing 92 pounds of milk per cow per day! We DHIA test every month to check each individual cow. We collect samples from each cow to be tested for protein, fat, and Somatic Cell Count (SCC-measure of milk quality). We are able to manage our cows on an individual basis with this information. DHIA also helps us keep track of when cows were bred, had calves, and need to be dried off....it is a great organization system for our farm, allowing us to have more time to take better care of our cows.
Landscaping: I finally was able to steal a few hours each day to attend to our landscaping around our barn. While it's not perfect or done, we finally made some progress. I was able to plant some flower beds, move some perennials, and do some major weeding. The best part about living on a dairy farm is that I have nutrient rich fertilizer readily available whenever I need it. I am able to grow some amazing vegetables, fruits, and flowers with the help of my cows ;)
And I forgot to mention the best part of this past week....it was HOT!!! Ok, maybe it wasn't the best part, it was the most challenging part. We are able to cool our cows with sprinklers and fans, but honestly, for the humans working on our farm its not that cool. We were unseasonably warm (90's and humid) this week and I was definitely thinking about joining the cows under the sprinklers. Hot weather just makes for a long day at the farm and a great appreciation for the AC. Thankfully rain is in the forecast for this week (we are getting dry here) and cooler temperatures!~I know the cows are looking forward to this as their comfort zone is about 55 degrees. Anything over that temp and they are uncomfortable...so here's to cooler weather!