Freshening is when a cow gives birth and comes into milk. Now that we have a fresh cow, we have lots of milk for our family. That is a very exciting time when the tap starts flowing again after a long dry spell. We dried our cow about 5 months ago already. Most dairies will dry a cow off about 2 months before they freshen. Moving our cow added stress to her which caused her to come down on the milk supply. The change in climate could also have been a factor. We went from a Wisconsin summer heat to Tennessee summer heat, which is a huge difference. The girls and I are excited to make butter, ice cream, yogurt and cheeses again. Plenty milk on hand means-cheese for us! I will have to get out the old cheese press again and clean it up to ready it for the many curds that will fill it.
This winter we were blessed with two deer that we butchered here on the farm.
Things are busy on our little homestead in Tennessee. We are planning out our garden right now in anticipation for spring and warmer weather. The weather has been cooler than normal here. Most days are between 20 and 40 degrees, which is quite a bit warmer than Wisconsin weather. My folks say it is usually well below zero each day. I am thankful we are not experiencing those frigid temperatures. Last week, we put our chick order in. We decided to raise 100 heritage red broilers. Mark is drumming up plans to build some chicken tractors for them to roam around under, eating bugs and vegetation in our pastures. We will feed some organic feed as well to supplement their diet. The kids will be very excited to hold the fluffy little chicks.
We just picked up our new airedale puppy. She was a gift to us from a dear friend. The puppy's name is Lucy. It is the joy of our family right now as each child takes turn taking care of her. So far we have had no potty accidents in the house. We put her out on a schedule. She is brought out to the same place to potty. Each time she wakes from her little naps, we know it is time for potty. It is so cute. When we set her down in her outside potty area, she immediately squats down. We tell her what a good little girl she is and it imprints in her mind what makes us happy. Dogs love to make their owners happy. Training a puppy is a lot of work and takes a lot of consistency if you want the dog to be a pleasant member of the home. Training kids how to train puppies is a whole other story. You have to teach the kids to be calm and gentle with the puppy so the puppy will learn to be calm and gentle. So far, the kids are doing a great job. We are so thankful for Lucy and Buster, our new additions to the family homestead.