I recently caught up with my girl, 1061; also known as Judith. We are basically best friends and she said it was cool if I wanted to call her Judy. If you recall, Judy was Employee of the Month this past February. She was up at the bunk eating this afternoon, and I thought I would stop by and get the latest cow gossip.
Me: Hey Judy! What’s going on? How are ya?
J: Hey, Hey, Mod Farm Chick! I’m swell. Loving this spring weather! Fifty five degrees is perfect cow weather, a girl could get use to this. I can’t wait until it is warm enough for all the curtains and doors to be open. I will finally be able to get some good people watching time in.
Me: Yes, it was a VERY long winter. I’m happy to see spring as well. So, you were Employee of the Month in February with 184 pounds of milk per day. Very impressive, congrats again! You beat your record with 187 pounds in March, however you were not the highest producer. Melinda, a.k.a. 1121, beat you with 220 pounds of milk per day and is currently reigning as Employee of the Month. Is there any hostility between the two of you?
J: Ah, gosh! Not at all. I’m happy for Melinda! You guys provide us with comfort and good nutrition and we try to relax and produce milk the best we can. I tried my best, but Melinda got the gold this time. No hard feelings.
Me: Well that is good to hear. And might I add that all you ladies are doing an excellent job of producing milk; yesterday’s herd average was 91 lbs. Milk production seems to be increasing, what do you think is the cause? The feed? Weather?
J: 91 lbs yesterday; NICE! I suppose it has a little to do with both. This spring weather is much more enjoyable and everyone seems to be happy and relaxed; there has been a lot of cud chewing going on up in here. The winter was down right brutal and took a toll on everyone. Us gals weren’t moving around too quickly and a lot of the energy from our feed was being used to stay warm instead of producing milk. What can you do? That’s a Midwest winter for ya. Jeff and the nutritionist were in the barn here not too long ago, and I heard them say that the corn silage currently in our ration is of higher quality. This higher quality corn silage not only tastes better, but it also does a better job of keeping our tummies happy and increasing milk production. I’m glad we finally got through that poor patch of silage.
Me: I would have to agree with you, Judy. You girls do appear to be happier and brighter eyed with this warmer weather and better feed; your milk production definitely reflects it! Hey, did you hear we purchased some automatic brushes and there will be one installed in every pen within the next month?!
J: What?! No way! You just made my day. I have this itch, right up here on my back, that I just can’t reach. I’m going to get in line for that thing now. I will probably never leave it.
Me: Now Judy, you will have to take turns……
(Judy rolls her eyes and purses her snout)
Me: The automatic brushes are pretty neat, I saw them in action on a dairy farm in NY. They begin rotating when you touch it and are pretty flexible. The brushes will certainly help you get that itch you can’t scratch and keep you ladies cleaner.
J: I am pretty jazzed about this automatic brush situation. It is all I can think about right now.
Me: Ha ha! Oh Judy, you crack me up. What else do you know? Any other exciting news?
J: Ugh….YESSS! We haven’t even talked about the fire yet! Wasn’t that an exciting morning? I still cannot believe that the tractor you use to feed us started on fire! I’m glad Jeff got that thing out of the barn before it went up in flames.
Me: That was a crazy morning. We still aren’t sure what caused the fire, but good thing the fire department was able to get to us quickly. The curtains on the barn were up, so you girls couldn’t really see what was going on. Was anyone freaking out?
J: Ha! Well just, Mara. She is easily spooked. A flighty cow, that one. The rest of us weren’t too concerned. It smelled weird and there was a lot of noise outside, but we remained pretty calm. I think the girls in pen two were wiggin’ out a bit; the tractor had not brought them any feed yet. Ha ha, suckers! It wasn’t long before they had feed though; Jeff took the tractor that was hooked up to the manure spreader and used it to mix and deliver feed to us. What a day.
Me: What a day indeed. Well, I’m glad things are going well here in the barn. I better head back towards the calving pens and see what is going on. Adios, Judy.
J: Catch ya on the flipside, Mod Farm Chick!