Thursday, January 31, 2013

Twenty-eight Below


A chilly day here today.  I rolled out of bed to a rather cold bedroom this morning.  All of us boys are now sleeping in the almost-completed master bedroom in the main floor of the house.  We don't have the woodstove ductwork installed yet so the only heat is what comes up through the ladder hole and a few vent slots in the floor. 

In the beginning of this week we heard rumor of cold temperatures coming for a short time, so we were prepared mentally for the weather we have experienced today and yesterday.  But it is hard to be physically prepared for temperatures like we had this morning.  Andrew said that he talked to Mrs. M at Metigoshe Ministies this afternoon and she said her thermometer read -28 degrees F!  That is not including the windchill which Mom said was being reported at about minus fifty-five.  I will be thankful when the balmy five degrees above zero arrives as predicted.

Part of the challenge in the cold weather is keeping the cows' teats from freezing.  They say you should protect the cow's udders from the cold whenever the temperatures fall below 10 degrees OR you have a significant windchill.  We had both today.  So, the three currently milking cows were locked up in one side of the barn for overnight and most of today and are there again tonight.  The other half of the barn housed eight other cows which needed the barn for shelter.  After about 2 p.m. I had to let the cows out to fill up on hay since I wasn't able to fork enough to satisfy them in the barn. 

I could tell tonight that just after the short time the cows were out in the cold, Sandy's forward right teat got a little frostbitten and a few others may have as well.  Milking is more difficult once the teat is swollen and then it will blister and eventually recover.  In the mean time it is important to keep it sanitized with the teat dip and clean to avoid infection entering the udder.

Just wanted to let you know what I've been up to. 

Talk to you later,