RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock, VT.

Wouldn't you know, we'd pick the hottest day to visit a working dairy farm.

The temperatures were in the high 90's on this day. These are jersey cows.

This is our schedule today on the farm. We didn't get there until 1:00, so our fist stop was at the cow barn.

The heat is unusual for this area. The summers here are usually in the high eighties. This guy  told us some information about Jersey dairy cow.


I asked him why the cow was so skinny. He told me, it was because they are not beef cows. They milk the cows for 9 months after their calves are born every year. All their energy is going to produce milk.

This is their biggest and best producing cow.

The female jersey cows spend most of their days inside when it is hot, under fans. They are let out at night when it has cooled down. The farm has about 80 cows.

While waiting for our 1:45 class, on "What happens to the milk", we went into the calf  nursery room. Calves stay in the nursery until they are 3 months old. Then they can go outside.

You can pet them, but you are not to let them lick you.

This calf was born 3 weeks early. 

After listening to the " What happens to the milk" session, in the trophy room, ( which was the hottest room as yet ), we walked into the horse barns. Joe stood by the Perchron Draft horses, Jim a 12 years old and Joe a 11 years old, ( Joe the horse is behind Jim). The barns are not air conditioned and it was extremely hot , and the flies were biting

We went outside to catch a breeze under a tree. The cows that are out in the field are either pregnant or too young to get bred yet.

Male Jersey cows are not worth anything unless they have a great pedigree, and will make great generations of Jersey cows. Then they will be kept until they can be sold off for breeding purposes. If they don't have high quality assets, they are sent to slaughter for dog food.

This is a sanitizing bag that you walk over to sanitize your shoes as you enter and leave the barn area.

Out in the field, there were two more draft horses. They are wearing their "Zorro" masks to keep the flies from biting their eye area.

We headed to the farm house for the 2:15 churning butter session.

Front of 1890 house.

At the back of the farm house, we found shade and a breeze. This is the restored farm house where the manager of the farm lived way back in the 1800's.

They sell ice cream on the back porch, so bring some money.

The milk was churned by hand in a butter churn for 30 minutes. The instructor let all the children take a turn. Then the instructor poured off  the milk fat from the butter. 

Then it was time to wash the butter.

I asked her why you had to wash the butter. She told us that if the milk fat is not washed off, the butter would spoil very quickly.

She poured clean water into the bowl of butter, and turned the butter in the water. Then she would pour off the milky water. She did this many times until the water ran clear.

After the butter was washed everyone got to taste fresh made butter on a cracker.

The butter turned out pretty good. She told us that the humidity can affect thickness of the butter. Even though it was very hot, our saving grace was that it has been relatively dry, so the humidity was low that day. We than took the farm house tour, which also is not air conditioned. The farm house was the home of the manager of the farm. The farm home was a pretty nice home for the 1890's. It had inside plumbing water, which was rare for that time.

At 3:15, it was back at the barn for " Introduction to Milking". Notice how big the udder is on the cow. 

The bar above the cow is to encourage her to not arch her back when she pooped. They want the cows to poop in a gutter that is below their bed area. While watching the milking procedure, several cows, lifted their tail and showed us how the bar work. Don't stand too close, because their poop is pretty watery and it sprays some.

This cow has been milked, and her udder is much smaller now.

We left the barn to go out to the sheep field. The day so far was interesting, and I learned I would not want dairy cows. They are too big and too much work! To be continued:

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