Sunday, July 5, 2009

Milk Testing

Once a month, we do "milk testing". One morning milking and one evening milking we measure how much milk each cow produces for those milkings, and pull a sample of each cows milk. Most cows right now are averaging about 40-50 lbs. of milk each day. The milk sample is then tested, here at the farm, for the Protein %, Fat % and Solid Non-Fat % (SNF). We keep records on all of our tests for each of the cows. We have a large, green record book that I log all the information in. We multiply what the cows total milk weight for the 2 milkings by the number of days in the month. That gives us an approx. idea of how much milk she is giving us each month, and her record is kept from the date she calves, until she is dried off, approx. 60 days before her calving date. This helps us have a good idea of how her daughters will do, and we can keep track of any breeding problems by keeping records. We also use test results from the fat tests and lactometer tests that we run on the milk, and use a formula including that months milk weight. That will give us the F% and SNF%.

This is me pulling a milk sample from one of our girls.
The milk comes from the cow, runs through stainless steel pipes into
our milkhouse and into the glass receiving jar. When the jar is filled, it then pumps
the milk into the bulk tank where it is cooled.

Milk in the bulk tank. It is stirred every so often,
and cooled and kept here until our milk hauler
picks it up to take to United Dairy, a milk plant.

This is our cart that holds the sample cups.
Each cow has a number, and her number is wrote on top of the cups.
I also write down the milk weight in our notebook. Emily likes to "help" as well!

My job, after the samples are pulled is to run the lactometers.
My figure that I measure is added to the fat% that Al comes up with
when he runs the fat tests.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful July 4th! Happy Birthday America! I was watching fireworks with Al and Emily last night, and as I sat there watching, I thought about how blessed we have been to experience what some in other countries may never know, and that is freedom to basically live life! We can go here and there without worry for the most part. And that made me think of things that I am thankful for this weekend, and most of these are things that I am constantly thankful, but the thought crossed my mind last night.
*I am thankful for our country in which we live.
*I am thankful to be able to go and watch fireworks, with hundreds of other folks, and enjoy sharing the evening with those I don't even know.
*I am thankful we have our own farm, and I don't want to take a single day for granted, that we do something I enjoy everyday, because I know there are laws and organizations who in this coming year, may make it impossible for us to continue the life we know and love. Sad reality.
*I am thankful for holding my husbands hand while watching fireworks last night, with Emily laying across our legs, not comfortable for our legs, but well worth the cozy, family feeling!
*I am thankful for our furbabies. Princess, the hamster, Miss Kitty, Annie our dog and of course our newly adopted girl, Pinky, who I am loving the new attitude she brings to our already crazy, circus like life! lol
*I am thankful for my diabetic A1C test coming back at 7.5, 1 point lower than 6 months ago. Yay!
*I am thankful for the sight of lightning bugs flickering, the smell of our fresh baled hay and the sight of the beautiful sunset tonight.
I love the simple things of our everyday life. I am content with what God has blessed us with, and things that He has blessed us by not allowing us to have.
I am hoping and praying that we are able to face, and accept the challenges that we will be facing in the coming year.


Terri and Bob said...

what an interesting post! I never knew about the testing before. Your list of blessings is fabulous!

Tina ~ Blessings Friends. said...

you bring tears to my eyes. What a beautiful bunch of blessings, girl!

Marci said...

You are truly blessed!!! I asked on another post and never saw an answer, so I will ask again. :) If you answered, I am sorry I missed it. Do you ever sell the newborn heifers?

Renae said...

Marci~ I'm sorry, I probably didn't see it. We usually keep our heifers, sell the bulls. Once in a great while, if we have a good run of heifers being born, we may sell one or two. But, the past few years seems to have blessed us with bull calves. ;) If we do happen to have a heifer for sale, we could let you know, but it may not be for another year or so.

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