Monday, January 21, 2013


Or very nearly so. When possible I take Sunday morning milkings off. It offers an amazing opportunity to rest and recharge, even if I don't do much more than putter around the house and do laundry. I loves me my Sundays.

However, stuff happens on Sunday. What with my arthritis and all, although I milk the longest string of cows, with Becky's help, I probably don't do quite as much of the hay hauling and shoveling as others. Instead I am the detail person.

I turn things the cooler for the milk...turn things the water for the heifers...check this, check that. Remind, remind, remind....did you do this, did you do that? An endless loop of reminders and checking.I write reminders on my hand with a sharpie so I don't forget myself......always scrubbing off the used reminders.....

However, yesterday the girls were in the hay mow and manger feeding out hay while the boss milked the bucket cows. There were two milkings in the tank, enough for a multitude of bowls of cereal, cups of coffee, or just cool, delicious glasses of milk to drink.

And then he forgot to swing the pipe that directs the milk to the tank, OUT of the tank, so no milk from cows that have had antibiotics gets into the milk supply. The only treated cow is Rosie, and it has been a while since she was doctored. However, the official tests for antibiotic contamination in milk are extremely sensitive. Every load is tested. Should someone make a mistake and milk a treated cow and miss it a whole tanker load might be ruined. Guess who pays for that.....normally I am in the milkhouse at that point putting up bottles of milk for calves for the next feeding. Instead I was in the house washing work uniforms and playing computer games.

The mistake was caught almost instantly. They were pretty sure no milk had gone where it wasn't supposed to but....that is not a chance you ever want to take.

Dumping all the milk as a precaution was discussed. Hundreds of dollars involved there. Lots of potential round bales of hay that we are buying for winter feed or money for the power bills and such. Not the best of options.

Liz decided she would run a sample up to the lab for us today, but that would mean even more milk lost, two more milkings, if we had to dump it.

Then a nice person I met on Facebook and only on Facebook suggested we call our new milk inspector to see if he could come down and do a quick test.

We did. 

He did. 

The milk was clear and all was well. 

I sent him some cookies I had baked to send to friends who are going through some bad stuff....I will bake them more today.

I was not at all happy with the individual involved in the mistake and did not help him find phone numbers or shoo cats out of the milk house or any of the other extra tasks he made for himself.

 However, all is well that ends well I guess, and I am sure am thankful to both the kind man who directed us toward a good outcome, and to our new milk inspector for coming out on Sunday, when he would have rather watched the football game.

Now, this week we will pull a milk sample from Rosie to take to our veterinarian to be tested so she can have her milk added to the other cows if she is clear. She has recovered quite well from her calving ordeal and, despite calving two months prematurely, is giving a goodly amount of milk.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm glad I haven't made any mistakes on your side of the river lately. You're tough.

I'm sure the boss feels bad enough. I think you should give him some of those cookies.

Cathy said...

akagaga is funny. . .

. . and I swear. . you told this story so well . . and I learned so much . . that I honestly feel a wave of relief.

June said...

I don't mean to be insulting to any group here, but . . . aren't women always the ones to check on the detail stuff?!?!?
I'm glad everything had a happy ending. The thought of throwing away milk is insufferable.
And I'm very glad that Rosie's okay and all healed and doing her best for the team.

Terry and Linda said...

I just KNEW as I read you were going to lose that whole load of milk. Our neighbors did that and it cost you well know what it costs.
Magic thoughts must have been there for you as thankfully it all worked out...perfectly!


Ivor Jones said...

When I was on the sales truck I stopped at a farm that had milk running out the door, yes he had treated a cow and by mistake he put her milk in the tank. He went on to relate his favorite cow had freshened during the night,a heifer calf, whose head was turned under her in the drop. So no luck there. The cow had a prolapse and died. Things were not good, he explained that he was milking 3X to boost the farm income with no extra help. But then amidst all of his problems he looked out over the spring time fields, daffodils blooming by the house and he said to me, "It's days like this that make me homesick for heaven!" A man with a positive attitude for sure. Glad things worked out for you.

Cathy said...

Hope you're all OK. Miss my Marianne morning cup o' smiles.

threecollie said...

aka, we let him have half a dozen or so. lol

Cathy, we are getting so used to things going wrong that we just expect it...nice when something goes right for a change.

June, yes, and thanks for your kind words about Rosie. Such a relief that she has come around so far.

Linda, thanks for those thoughts! At least the mistake was caught before the milk went on the truck, so, worst case, we would have lost a few hundred dollars. When it gets on the truck...well, then you are really in trouble.

Thanks, Ivor, that story is so easy to relate to. If one thing goes wrong, a dozen others usually rush to get on the bus.

Cathy, oh, thanks! We are fine really, just trying to get it all done in nasty weather with people at work at other jobs.