Today is one of those brilliant blue winter days. The kind of day best admired from indoors. Sunny, with a stiff north wind making the 10º temp feel more like minus, oh I don't know, minus 20. It's really beautiful, with the 2 feet of snow we got last week settling down, and becoming one with the hillsides and the fields. As I walk from house to barn to cheese room, I am continually struck by the silence. The snow really muffles all sounds.
The rhythm of winter is firmly in place. All the cows have calved, and we are back to the milking, cheese making and the general cow routine. We had 7 cows 'freshen' this year, and we ended up with 4 heifers. The calves's names are: Orbit, Prancer, Frolic and YoYo.
And the cow's we are milking this year are: Wizard, Timothy, Hershey, Ubu, Foxie, Bosco and Yoohoo. All the calvings went well, but Yoohoo got pretty sick , and it took her a good week to feel better. We called our trusty vet, Joe, and he came to look her over. Sometimes after calving the cow needs some IV calcium, to get them up and going again, but Yoohoo just didn't respond liked we'd hoped. So we gave her some vitamins, but poor Yoohoo just stood there looking like she had lost all interest in living. We tried all different hays, even got some different grains from a neighboring farmer, but nothing worked. I was running all this by my wonderful friend Annie (who has a beautiful dairy farm, and is a whiz at animal husbandry, especially alternative things that vet's just don't think of ), and she said she's had luck giving beer to her cows when they have no appetite. We had just gotten some organic (and local) Wolaver's Coffee Porter from our friend Lily, and decided to try it. The result was immediate... no sooner did we give her a bottle that she put down her head and started eating.
2 Bottles, and she was almost back to her old self. Must be the yeast, or the B vitamins, or the alcohol, or all those bubbles, but it was just what she needed. We named her baby YoYo, so that YooHoo is YoYo's ma.
Happy 2010! Good health to all ! And remember, if you need a 'pick- me- up', try beer, and if that doesn't work,wine often will.