Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Day With Katie

Well I thought it would be fun to follow Katie through her day. So here goes.

6:50 a.m.

I catch her napping which I usually do. I have to halter her to take her to milk and often I actually have to make her get up. She has become very relaxed.

7:05 a.m.
Cold Hands!

7:25 a.m.
The mornings milk, I feed the cats and Ben strips her but I take a gallon and a half or more to the house each morning. I am monitoring her production with the changes we have made. Different feed, letting the calf suck and running him with her during the day. Her production remains at about 4.5 gallons and has not changed from that for three weeks. With the calf with her during the day we do not milk at night.
7:35 a.m.
Ben's stripping her and getting his breakfast, Katie often licks him while he sucks but this morning I think she was still sleepy!

Did you know a cows nose print is like a human finger print? Each is totally unique!
7:50 a.m.
Ben has nursed, Katie has had her grain and we let them out in the south garden or where we think they will enjoy the grass. Today was cold and blustery so we put them where they could get shelter under the lean to. Katie likes the chickens and often watches them. Its quite odd to see.

8:00 am.
It was trying to snow!
Most of the day is spent eating or 'ruminating'. Its nice to see them make use of the grass. The chickens enjoy the manure piles and the grass disturbance of bugs. The cats often hunt mice the cows scare into movement.

 Yes a lot of grazing and they do seem very content, our little herd.

We get them in for the night at about 6 pm. This will be adjusted to summer hours and weather conditions.

5:45 p.m.
Katie's stall. Fresh bedded with wheat straw. Past the open gate is Mischiefs stall. She goes in first, then Katie, Ben gets held back to go to his stall away from Katie for the night.
 Katie gets her evening grain at this time. We have cut her back a lot from her dairy ration but we still feed her more than we really like. We have decided to go slowly, she has been fed heavily all her life and it really is a huge adjustment. This ration is a 12% beef ration that we like, non-gmo. We supplement it with alfalfa pellets that are supposed to be non-gmo. They will be taken out of the ration as the grass quality improves.

6:03 p.m.
Ben makes a break for it and heads for the chicken food which he simply LOVES! Darned Calf.

6:25 p.m.
After her grain Katie has a drink. [She drinks about 18 gallons a day] I do love muck tubs. We seem to use our for everything! While she drinks I break up a flake of hay for her. Orchard grass/Alfalfa mix. We feed it in the grain trough.

6:30 p.m.
Of course,despite having licked the trough totally clean of any trace of grain, Katie has to check the bottom of the trough. This is the time I say goodnight to our wonderful Jersey. She is chewing on hay like we have not fed her all day! Mischief sighs as she lays down in her stall. I check Ben and he is chewing his cud happily.
Shutting the chickens in and locking the barn door, we head to the house and our supper.

Goodnight Katie! Goodnight Mischief! Good Night Benny Boy! Goodnight Chickens!

God Bless Everyone and count the good things all around you.


  1. beautiful cow.
    know you have checked but i have read that dairy cows, bred for production, still produce as they are bred to do and may need more feed than other cattle
    speaking from ignorance and reading, not from experience. don't want her to get brittle bones .
    looks like there is cheese in your future.
    don't know if you read patrice lewis 'rural revolution' or 'ask jackie' by jackie clay atkisson but they are experienced cheesewrights and have info on their websites.
    jackie is still at 'backwoods home magazine' i think.
    good reading.

    1. I am monitoring her body condition closely. I have always been a bit ‘obsessive’ about cow nutrition and condition. You have to be. Jersey cattle are more adaptable than a lot of the bigger bodied dairy breeds. So we will monitor ‘Katie’ and see how she adjusts.

    2. Thank you for the cheesemaker information. It is in our futures.😊

    3. just thought-- leigh tate at '5 Acres & A Dream' has lots of info.
      she has experimented a lot and has perfected her recipes.
      she uses goat milk but the products should be the same.

  2. I just love Jersey cows. They are so lovely. Your Katie is a gem and I love the boys! What an idyllic farm you have.

    1. We are blessed. And not quite Idyllic....we cleaned the deep litter from the chicken house today🤢

  3. happy to see you are so happy and loving your animals

    1. They are an endless source of entertainment that also feeds us. God bless you Suz.