Saturday, May 18, 2013

novella in her old stanchion
This has been a very busy time for us here at Novellas Farm.

On Tuesday, Lana Rose ( Novellas new calf ) will be 2 weeks old. Having a new calf around is always fun, but  the work load increases.

For one thing I have started milking, not too much but Novella is producing more milk than the calf can consume and Lana has her favorite quarters and tends to leave Novella with 2 quarters that need to be relieved. So... it works out nicely.

My husband Jerry, for the longest time has been disgusted by my milking stanchion. Honestly it was pretty bad, the barn where it was located has wood floors and since cows slip on wet wood we put down rubber mats. The thing is that the mats leave a gap between them so all kinds of funky stuff gets in there and grows.. and milking stimulates more than just milk let down,( if you know what I mean)...

So Jerry decided to bring me up the hill into the pole barn and build me a cleanable area to milk.
Isn't it horrible?

We decided to make the area the same size as the barn itself ...
I am lucky,  my husband can build anything and sometimes I just take it for granted. So I didn't get  real excited about the project ,  I was used to my dirty little hole.

Any way.. here you can see the form being built.

starting on the form
fill has been added and covered

It is kind of amazing how this guy knows how to do anything... who knew that's what that metal wire stuff is used for?
Time for the pour!

We discussed whether or not to get a cement truck for the pour or to hand mix it... for about 2 minutes.
Then I remembered when I made stepping stones and mixed cement in the wheel barrow ( such hard work , it took the fun away!) and I insisted we call a cement truck.
It was too heavy for any one but these two

Jerry and my son Ian worked to get the cement where we wanted it....
Ian's first concrete pour
Its heavy horrible stuff and I consider myself to be sort of anti concrete ..... put it has it's place.
Novella looks good here!

Here is Novella in her nice clean stanchion...
I LOVE it! 

I can wash her hooves when she enters... and when she messes up I just get my little hose and wash it away.

Jerry had the wonderful idea to put the stanchion on the side of the pole barn nearest the garden.Then
he had the boys dig a trench to lay a drain line into the garden, this way all the water used goes to my garden plants!

A hose is a big deal!
 As you can see this is just the bones so far. I will custom design the area and Jerry said he will put every thing where I want.
There will be a sink, counter, shelves, walls and a dutch door so Novella can look outside while  she is being milked.

Thank you Jerry!

FYI cement is the wet stuff, concrete is the dry
you probably already knew..

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