Sunday, 11 October 2015

Chickens + colostrum = true love

The first week after Miss Jersey has her calf involves a little bit of milking retraining - for her and for us. After all, she's had two months in the paddock, lolling around, eating grass and growing her new baby and we've had lots of sleep ins. No one really wants to be there at all. But, you know, we love fresh milk and cream and Miss Jersey loves a treat so............

The morning after the calf is born we start right back on that (milking) bike. Miss Jersey is pretty sure that the whole routine is a master plan to separate her permanently from her newborn and though we keep the calf close so that there is easy access for sniffs and licks, Miss Jersey is understandably nervous. This usually means a few days of the milking cups being pushed off, a few random kicks, manure and urine in the milking shed (Miss Jersey usually has much better manners) along with sawdust and dirt in the milk.

During training week we don't drink the milk as it's colostrum (salty) and often has dirt in it. So what do we do with it?

Colostrum is really important stuff - when we do get a clean milking we put it straight into some bottles and freeze it just in case we need it for a orphaned calf or lamb throughout the year. If we don't use it we replace it the following year.

The rest goes to the pigs and chickens. This year we didn't have any piggies so the chickens got all the colostrum love.

According to the chickens, colostrum must be flung about over everyone.

A new breed of chicken? Mr Skittles pushes in for a turn, too.