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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Jul 22 2014 :  06:37:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by maryjane

Yes, the calves start experimenting with hay from the very beginning. It's a joy to watch them develop. I do love the name Pumpkin Moonshine:) That can't help but put a smile on your face every morning.

At my age, (60), just being able to get up in the morning puts a smile on my face and Nellie and Pumpkin Moonshine are a glorious bonus for sure. I look forward to going to the barn. I've seen many beautiful sunrises because of our early morning chores and I enjoy each and every one.
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CloversMum

3474 Posts


Posted - Jul 22 2014 :  10:49:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So glad to hear that Nellie might be starting to adjust to the routine! Way to go in being persistent and so very gentle! I sing, as well, to my goats as I milk them. So, I'm sure that I'll be singing away to my Clover when the times comes. Thanks for keeping us updated on your continued progress!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Jul 28 2014 :  06:55:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My side rail is coming along. The welder thought he would have it by the end of last week but it couldn't be, so I'm hopeful this week I will have the side rail and I can get rid of the large farm gate. Oh! and guess who finally learned how to nurse? Yes, Pumpkin Moonshine is nursing and so I'm not bottle feeding anymore. I'm still milking and getting plenty of milk and Pumpkin Moonshine is thriving. Nellie is more attentive than ever. All is good on the farm.
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CloversMum

3474 Posts


Posted - Jul 28 2014 :  3:34:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Such good news to hear! And a beautiful picture that you posted! How did you finally get Pumpkin Moonshine to nurse? Did he figure it out all by himself?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Jul 28 2014 :  5:34:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We tried to direct him toward Nellies teats but he would always go under her chest where the skin hangs down. :( So, one day I decided to quit the noon feeding. Perhaps he got hungry enough to look a little harder. Ha! Anyway, I noticed while milking that we weren't getting as much milk as usual. ? Sure enough, my husband saw Pumpkin Moonshine nursing. We are thrilled. And we don't have to deal with so much milk. Love the cream! Oh, my side rail is done! My husband brought it home tonight. We have to get it installed but I'm ecstatic. I will post photos once I have it up.
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maryjane

6799 Posts


Posted - Jul 29 2014 :  05:01:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's good news about your little pumpkin! Can't wait to hear how your side rail works out.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Jul 29 2014 :  06:00:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
[quote]Originally posted by maryjane

That's good news about your little pumpkin! Can't wait to hear how your side rail works out.
[/quote It's thanks to you that I even have a side rail, your photo's and diagrams, and your book to guide me through the blocks I have on the way through this "milk cow" adventure. I have your book "Milk Cow Kitchen" out on my coffee table because I rely on it that frequently. You did an outstanding work! Thanks so much! I hope to start the cheese adventure next.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Jul 31 2014 :  11:10:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is photo of my side rail. We have to install it and that calls for a bit of revamping. Probably be a weekend job. I will update later on when the job is complete.
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maryjane

6799 Posts


Posted - Jul 31 2014 :  11:21:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks sturdy and ready for work!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Aug 09 2014 :  07:04:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My husband and I managed to get the side rail installed and have been using it now for nearly a week now and it works beautifully. It's much handier than the farm gate we were using but we had to improvise until the side rail was made and installed. Thank you MaryJane for the photo's, diagrams and instructions. Your help is greatly appreciated.
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CloversMum

3474 Posts


Posted - Aug 11 2014 :  3:13:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That looks wonderful! Great job, Janet!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Aug 11 2014 :  5:14:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, and MJ for sharing the photos and diagrams for the side rail. As you can see Nellie doesn't mind it at all and I feel safer. So a happy ending with Nellie, me and the side rail. :)

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

6799 Posts


Posted - Aug 12 2014 :  06:15:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good job on the side rail! I know how comforting a side rail is. I have many different cows with different personalities but once I get them in their stall and closed in by a side rail, I know exactly what to expect, plus I never have to cry over spilled milk:)

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3474 Posts


Posted - Oct 23 2014 :  09:31:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a picture of Clover's side rail. It is incredibly handy and we aren't even milking her yet! My husband made the head chute with lumber that we had on hand and it works great. It made the AI procedure easy to do and everyone stayed safe. We are now feeding Clover her alfalfa pellets every day in there so she goes very willingly into her "spot". I am hoping that will make our future milking training a bit easier.


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10962 Posts


Posted - Oct 23 2014 :  12:03:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Love your families set up for Clover. Very nice side rail. They sure make life easier and more reassuring. Best part is your barn is dry! Thank you for sharing photo. Clover is really looking good! Getting closer all the time to the milking experience.
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 23 2014 :  2:42:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is about a nice looking cow as well. Sure love that Jersey look.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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CloversMum

3474 Posts


Posted - Oct 23 2014 :  8:18:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys! I am definitely partial to my Clover. And, yes our shelter is dry and positioned just right so the wind doesn't blow into it during the wintertime...quite snug, actually. However, there is no power nor a concrete floor...all in good time, though.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 23 2014 :  8:27:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well Charlene it beats my place hands down. Used to just have a lean to on the prairie and milk out in the open by headlights in the winter. Now we are using a converted equipment shed with gravel floor. I clean out the heavy stuff two times a day and the entire place twice a year on a good year. Most put down lime after it is clean we use a little diatomaceous earth and then the clean bedding.

Your place looks real nice to me! At least our animals do not walk or bed in their droppings and always have dry bedding out of the wind and fresh food and water. Three times a day on the water in winter. It freezes pretty fast and can't power a tank heater on solar.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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CloversMum

3474 Posts


Posted - Oct 23 2014 :  8:44:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Ron. You sound like a true pioneer! Although I guess you'd need to be milking by the light from a lantern, instead of headlights! :-) Your converted equipment shed sounds similar to what MaryJane started with...a converted single-car garage, I think she said in her book. I am grateful to have a water faucet close by so keeping fresh, thawed water should be easier this winter...no hauling water buckets (as long as the faucet itself doesn't freeze!). Another dream is to have one of those bar-bar A horse waterers that MaryJane talks about in her book.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 23 2014 :  8:49:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know about a pioneer, maybe an idiot but I didn't know any better at the time. No water close by. Can't get anyone to come out here with a trencher or backhoe. Last winter was something hauling water pails about 100 yards for the cows. Some of the extreme cold and windy days there was no good way to do it. The sled kept blowing over in the wind even with four pails on it. Best part was I loved it!

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.

Edited by - Ron on Oct 23 2014 8:51:06 PM
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  11:47:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been reading up on everyone's input regarding Mary Jane's side rail design. I'm planning on having one made for Percy. I'm wondering about the size on the plans Mary Jane posted. She's a mini, 41" tall. I don't ever plan on having a large cow on our little farm (with 2 acres, small animals are pretty much a must around here!), so I'm wondering what you'd all think the measurements should be for the height. Should I shorten it some? And are there any other adjustments in length or anything else that should be considered? Thank you!

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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Sydney2015

1155 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  4:06:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for bringing this up, Andrea! I have been wondering about this. Does anyone know how well it works for hand-milking? I might want to make it higher so the bar doesn't get in the way. It will be in my future milking parlor(it is hopefully going to be completed in the next year).

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  5:30:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
andrea,

the siderail is AMAZING! I truly love it. mary jane has a mini cow and can speak to the siderail alterations for mini cows in general, but i'll speak to length.

sally is a "mid-size" (48.50 inches at the withers) and so we had the siderail length shortened a few inches, but not the height. i have to admit for sally the length should NOT have been shortened those inches. if you see the photo below, her back foot sits right at the rear wheel (its even worse than it looks). so on the hobble there isn't even room to connect the other cuff - so we just attached a rope to the cuff and put a bolt in the wall and attach it there. but the real issue is that with her rear foot right on the wheel, she has twice hit her dew claws and chipped one. not bad, but enough for me to think about. i can tell you that i would keep the length of the siderail the same no matter the cow, as i don't think the length is a big issue. then you have more options in the future.

for me, i would use this same siderail length for mini's as well.

with regard to sydney's hand milking, the only thing i think about is leaning into the cow to make contact. lover boy is taller than i and it works better for him to lean in as his shoulder fits between the two horizontal rails - me not so much. so i can lean into her rear leg, but not as easily. but since i use the udderly ez milker i tend to sit back and rub her pregnant belly during milking so it works for me ;> does everyone sit and talk to their cow's baby belly?


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Feb 05 2016 5:34:29 PM
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CloversMum

3474 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  5:33:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure about the question regarding a miniature cow ... I'll let someone else chime in!

But we had ours made just like MaryJane's and the bar does not get in the way of hand milking. I feel so much safer with the side rail. Even when the cows are being good, if I pinch a teat or startle her, I don't want to get kicked. Safety is a priority. We also hobble the cows, no matter if they have never kicked or not. Safety first.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Sydney2015

1155 Posts


Posted - Feb 05 2016 :  6:37:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree, I will always hobble AppleButter. I love the design of the side rail. It seems so much safer than not having one.

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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