“[…M]ilk production is ramping up quickly. We are milking twice a day, and there is a pen of calves to take care of along with their fresh mamas, so Lindsey and Ashley Outlaw have been more or less living in the west barn and the milkhouse for the last couple of weeks, with a rotation of farmers taking afternoon and weekend milking.
The cows are transitioning from grass to hay, and you might taste that transition in the milk. Most of them choose poor pasture over good 1st cut hay in the field, even if it means eating plants that they usually ignore. Some plants that the cows deemed unpalatable before frost are now palatable, while the grasses that were favorites earlier in the season are now either gone or devoid of taste and nutrition. Unusual weeds make for unusual flavors in the milk.
Then, last weekend, one cow, Kite, had breath that smelled ever so slightly of nail salon. She had a touch of ketosis, a metabolic condition that happens when a cow is not taking in enough energy (carbohydrate) to support what’s going out in the form of milk, and begins to burn up fat instead of glucose. The byproduct of this process is acetone – nail polish remover. A really ketotic cow will not have any appetite, which sends her into a downward spiral from which she must be plucked with a dose of glucose. Kite, however, readily ate the hay and grain that Ben offered her in the barn and is eating well in the field…” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.
- Essex Farm: Milk Mystery (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Six Weeks of Good Weather (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Agricultural Pioneers: Harry Albee – Adirondack Mountain Cowboy (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm: Heavy Fall Work (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)