Thursday, November 17, 2011


We've had a really nice fall - nice in that the cows are still able to be on pasture. It's been dry enough, and it hasn't been too cold.

As a result, it's easier to keep them out because they're staying clean and comfortable. Plus, the growing season for the pasture was longer.

To get ready to close the pastures, Mike is draining the water tanks. We always drain them at the end of the season. We disconnect the hoses so they don't freeze and break.

Why today? This 27 degree morning, there was a thin sheet of ice on top of one of the water tanks. The heifers had broken through it to drink.

This morning Mike also had to replace the pressure pump for the parlor hose. It's a miniature version of a pressure washer. It boosts the water pressure so you can spray the parlor well during and after milking. They go bad on a fairly regular basis, just from using them every day. If the switch gets left on and you're not spraying, it heats up and melts the components inside the pump. Even if that doesn't happen, like this time, it just gets to a point where it isn't working well and has to be rebuilt.

No matter the form - drinking, frozen, rushing - water's a big deal on a dairy. Not as big of a deal as milk, but close.

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