Friday, May 2, 2014

They're not fat, they're pregnant

Have you ever seen or slept in an antique bed?  Or gone into really old houses?

Before amazing nutrition and super grocery stores, people were shorter and smaller.

(In fact, when I was touring an old house - it may have been Monticello - we commented on how small the bed was, and the tour guide assured us that the bed was regular sized and it just looked short.  The entire tour group collectively called him a liar and told him our beds at home were WAY longer.  Since then I've slept in an 'antique' bed which is synonymous for 'sleeping diagonally to fit' bed.)

The same goes for our dairy parlor.  When it was built in the 1970s, our cows were smaller.  My family was milking Guernseys, which are a smaller breed.  Then my dad started breeding Guernseys to Holsteins, which still made them smaller than purebred Holsteins.  Many years of different crossbreeds later - now, we're milking Holsteins bred by Holsteins.  They're just a bigger cow.

Of course, they're even bigger when they're pregnant.  (Who isn't?  Oh, celebrities?  They don't count.)

This has caused a problem in our parlor.  We milk ten cows on a each side.  But when they're pregnant ... we can only fit in nine on a side.  They're just too big to fit!

Not only does this slow the milking down, but we want our cows to be comfortable.  So, yesterday and today we put in a new ... brisket rail.

Delightful, right?  The name of the rail is the same name as the part of the cow that you eat!  Did you already know where the brisket was located?  (I didn't.  But I was solid on the ribs.)

As with anything that happens in the parlor, it has to happen in between milkings.  So right as soon as the morning milking was done, the builders quickly did one side of the parlor, finishing just before the afternoon milking.  Today they're doing the other side of the parlor.

The red line shows where the new brisket rail will be.

The cows will now have more room and we'll be able to fit in ten on a side again.  Even the seven-months pregnant ones.  Their briskets will be comfortable, they'll eat to their hearts' content, and they'll sleep in beds that fit them.

And if any tour guides tell you that the cows aren't really bigger - you just think they are - feel free to point them to me.

1 comment:

Tanmay Roy said...

Thanks for the detailed post.