Farm life, milkers

Farm life, milkers

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:14 pm

for the past 7 months been going to friends dairy farm.. helping some.. learning by asking... its a leased farm/barn, they own livestock, but do all harvesting/planting crops. 80 head count milkers. Tonite it was insemination of a cow... learned, but still not all sure... there's calendar charts in several places in barn.... breeding, freshen dates, calve birth dates, tag numbers...etc... its a lot of record keeping.
Milk prices are low again.. or lower in past 7 months.... Yet, breeding, feeding, hours of the day spent keeping livestock healthy, producing, and barn operating is a lot more intensive then one can know about unless there doing. I like, but dairy is not for me in retirement. I always wanted to farm/livestock raise....... got to be sure... before i leap. Many more needs for bedding, supplement feeds(vitmins/minerals) costs... that you don't raise. locally access.
wilder11354
 
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:42 pm

That's all on top of milkin twice a day Bill, it's not a-- I'll get it later kinda thing!
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: bksaun On: Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:15 am

Dairy farming is a great way to loose money, especially a small operation, plus it's 8 days a week, :shock: you cant go anywhere or do anything away from the farm. NO Thanks!
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: warminmn On: Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:36 am

I know a youngin' about 40 that is starting up and going to operate at more/less 19 cows and stay there, with no plan of growing. He found a milk hauler/buyer that said they will buy as long as he wants to milk. There are just a small handful, I think he told me less than 20 milkers with small herds within 100 miles. One was a married couple in their early 90's that enjoy it and still milk a few head. (darned stubborn if you ask me, lol) He went and visited all of the small herds before jumping in.

There used to be a lot of small milkers and Amish that milked near me until they stopped picking up cream cans of milk. Then they started their own creamery, then made cheese, they tried everything but stopped.

Most ex-milkers I know say the day they stopped was the best day of their lives and I know one who sends a thank you card to the hauler every year on the date they picked up their last cows :lol: Its not something I'd want to do. But some still love it. Its too bad it is now mostly large farms doing it.
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: unhippy On: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:13 am

80 head dairy herd? :shock: .....hell, the smallest i know if here is 240 head and thats borderline economic.....5 to 7 hundred is pretty typical.
unhippy
 
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: freetown fred On: Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:15 am

Bill, around here there is an Amish settlement of around 30 families. All but 2 or 3 have given up milking for income due to milk prices for a yr. or so. They all are what they call "working out" "building stuff--mostly roofing"--The 2 or 3 that remain are classified as ORGANIC & their milk prices have not been effected--BUT, organic is a horse of a different color!!!!!! All of them do around 20 cows max--BUT, they have no overhead as far as elec. hay, corn, silage, etc.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:22 am

My son & I helped out a neighbor by updating his milking system a few years back, small around 70 head at the time family milk farm. He is forth generation & knows nor cares to consider anything else, I know he just had to refinance once again last year. His family once owned several miles along the road named after them, I know there are only a few hundred acres left, his one sister still has some but leases it out to crops. The man had to leave his daughters wedding reception to go milk.
Another went the small herd direction with the permits to sell raw, make cheese & sell other organic & home farm co-op type things like eggs, sausage & whatever else. He is doing great & has almost a cult type following, I now call ahead to have him save some curds as he sells out even before they are made. He found his spot in the yuppie supply chain & will ride it out. Most other neighbors either went to crops or black angus which is what we do year to year, get a few head & raise for the season or two freeze what we need & sell off the rest ( have people waiting for it) we know exactly what they eat & what shots & care they get. The neighbor we get our calves from used to do the insemination thing but now that one son & wife have returned they go natural & have made other grazing changes which seems to have helped & their heard is growing faster than before but angus for the most part are by nature are not social like the dairy cattle.
I know I would never even consider it as a way of life.
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:24 pm

We always had milkers in the family and still do. Back in the 1990's there was 4 separate dairy farms running, but now only 1. They ran all the way from a mere 30 cows all the way up to 1200. My Great Uncle's was the first to go when he dropped dead of a heart attack while milking. Then the 30 cow farm went when it was just hemorrhaging money. The big dairy farm went under 3 years ago, and now the only one left, a 125 cow operation is going, but only because logging and gravel work is enough to keep it floating.

It is definitely tough, but I could never see a retailer going to an artists studio, grabbing a painting, taking it back to a warehouse, selling it, then two weeks later deciding what it is worth and mailing a check to the artist, yet that is exactly what happens to dairy farmers. They take our milk, process it at the creamery, sell it at a large profit, then send a check two weeks after it is sold telling you what they think it is worth.

Welcome to farming where everything is bought at retail prices and sold at wholesale prices and somewhere along the way we are expected to make a profit with that inverted business model.
NoSmoke
 
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:59 pm

yep your right Fred.... been helping a few nights.... 80 milkers, but 50 + calves(heifers), various ages... replacement milkers... for ageing milkers, some for market, others sold to other farms. milking barn has about 20 youngest calves, close to mom,,.. but not big enough to go to other barn.... so small operation... yeaaaaa... but still 24/7 no matter 2 or many more.
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260 Boiler
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Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed

Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:53 pm

helping my friend... again. My friends leg is sticking out in a couple of pics.... Won't let me milk yet.
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sorry about duplicates...
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260 Boiler
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed

Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: unhippy On: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:21 am

Interesting.....i've never seen a shed set up like that.....i take they stay inside all winter?
unhippy
 
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:34 am

unhippy wrote:Interesting.....i've never seen a shed set up like that.....i take they stay inside all winter?

It's not exactly a shed.we call them barns,there ought to be a pic of the outside for you to see the overall size of the barn.
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:53 am

I grew up on a dairy farm & have been around dairy farms most of my life. At home ,we typically averaged around 40 milking cows + dry cows & heifers.After my father was killed when i was 16,i worked for a farmer who milked 225 cows + dry cows & heifers.When i got married,i was working for a farmer with a herd of 70 milking cows,then we moved into the second house on the in-laws farm where my father-in-law milked 40 cows. My family & my wife's family had tie stanchions similar to wilders pic's,but we did not have the pipeline to take the milk to the milk tank,we had to carry the milk in buckets over to the milk house & dump into the strainer on the tank.My father-in-law later converted to a dumping station that carried the milk thru a see thru hose to the tank.The 70 cow herd had a glass pipeline similar to wilders pic's. The 225 cow herd was a double 12 milking parlor & free-stall setup.

I am blown away that any milk company would allow a farmer to tie calves in the feed alley where they are free to piss & shyt in the cows feed,in all the farms i was involved with over the yrs., i have never seen that. I would not want to work in that setup at all either. Feed alleys are for feed not waste,we always kept them clean.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:50 am

Feed alleys are feed alleys, calfs born and in barn, tied to walls are NOT a piss/*censored* fest. Keep close to mom, so mom milks easier, calfs *censored*/pee mothers milk. Beddind is Dried sawdust absorbs more water/pee/ *censored* than you believe, after 3 weeks they go to pens, calves in pens move to heifer barn. iMilks tested every pickup... no problems. So whats your problem? Machines did what you wouldn't do, and put your DAIRY farm out of business, to costly? Uep, everyone has a way of doing... some cost wise effective, others... you got to do this to be produce safe milk. Test at pick up tells the sanitary story, not how you use keep calfs, to heifers, to freshened, to grave lifes sanitary. Yes more labor involved cleaning barn... but production is good, and what you think is S/P in feeder lane isn't. Cows maybe DUMB, but none will eat. *censored* or Pee! So windyhill... go back to your great NON farming hill! Oh its 80 milkers, everyday, plus 80 heifers in heifer barn, about half bred, and about 10 4 month old calves in pens, ones tied to walls are about 2 days to 2 weeks old.
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260 Boiler
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Re: Farm life, milkers

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:07 am

windyhill4.2 wrote:
unhippy wrote:Interesting.....i've never seen a shed set up like that.....i take they stay inside all winter?

It's not exactly a shed.we call them barns,there ought to be a pic of the outside for you to see the overall size of the barn.


i will post a pic of a WORKING dairy"SHED"! Plus the heifer shed..
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260 Boiler
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed