Herd Dynamics (and The Boy turns 1 hooray)

The Boy turned one yesterday. I'm not a 'we have to have a clown, jumping castle and pony' parent but I really wanted to have a bit of a celebration for him. (Ponies are useless anyway, can't really eat them or milk them.) It was more so he could get passed round to all the folk that have a place in his life for a bit of cuddle and some love. I rate other things higher than elaborate parties obviously, space and a relationship with the food that he eats. There was a moment during the afternoon that made me think that Lantanaland should not be taken for granted.

One of The Wife's old school mates came with her beautiful son and daughter. We had moved the silkies up to the pen I use for chick raising so they could all have a pet and one of them had laid a little silkie egg. He got it out and brought it up to show me. "You can keep that mate" I told him, as I tell all the kids who come and visit the chooks. I wish I could bottle that look on his face, the sheer joy of getting a fresh egg from a chook you could actually see. I gave him an egg carton to keep it safe and I never saw him without it clutched in his hands for the rest of the afternoon.

You need moments like these to balance out the days of sheer frustration. I'm milking Dolores at the moment and she has my whole block to roam in. Laf was off in the neighbours vastly bigger paddock getting fatter after a close moment where the calf was drinking more than she could cope with. The problem with that is that Dolores doesn't like coming up to the top paddock. So if I want milk I have to go and coax her with food and halter, back up the bloody steep hill. The moment where she wrenched me back down the hill and re injured my back was just a touch irritating. I had to sit down and think it out, because this wasn't working.

I've got enough grass now to support both cows and the solution was to bring Laf back. She is a lead cow born, you call, she comes and the rest follow like, well, a herd of cows. So the last two days I've called her up, Dolores has followed and I lock them both away. In the morning I milk Laf for a few litres then turn her out and milk Dolores. The amazing thing is that milking Laf seems to make Dolores let her milk down. I would've got 7L out of her both days easy. Today I got 9L combined.

It's good to get Laf back in the habit of being milked. I can take a bit more on the mornings I want to make cheese or need a big lot for the herd share. Buggered if I know what I'll do when Laf goes on holiday to get 'in the family way'. That's a problem for another day.

We finished off the weekend with a street Xmas party. It was good to meet some of the neighbours that I hadn't met before. I drank a few beers, scored a massage, an experimental buffalo fly trap and 5 geese. The Wife is up there kicking on while I came home and put my beautiful boy to bed. I hope he grows up with the same joy that little boy had getting his tiny silkie egg.