Friday, March 28, 2008

Farmin'

I know. Only 2 posts in March...I'm definitely not keeping up with the Joneses.

I have been reading a lot of blogs though. And enjoying them.

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And now, without further adieu....

Welcome to our home. We live in the stix.



Our trailer. And our car. It's a Corolla! I wanted to show how close we live to the train tracks, but I couldn't get a good picture, because IT WAS SUNNY! The tracks are behind me in this shot. The addition on our trailer holds our laundry/storage room. The next window to the left is our bedroom, and the opposite end is the living room. It's nothing special, but we like it. For now.


The view (on good days) from our living room window. Actually, this was taken from a walking path between our road and the Fraser River, but we CAN see these mountains from our place if it's clear out.

And here is the view from our kitchen window when we have horrible wet snow. It's not like prairie snow. It's heavy and sticky, and it's usually only -2 out when it snows, which makes leaving Glen Valley (where we live) almost impossible. In the distance in this photo, although you can't really see them, is the hog barn and the layer barn (where the eggs are layed!!). Right now there are about 500 hogs in that barn, although as of May or something there won't be any! The farm got their last shipment of wiener pigs a couple weeks ago. Everyone is glad.


Back to sunny days...this is the Fraser River, looking North Eastish. (It flows to the left, toward the pacific.) Abbotsford is 57m above sea level, but we are lower than that ( I don't know by how much) and the river moves up and down with the tides. We can especially see it in the summer months. Sometimes we see seals in the river too.

Our house is about 1.5 km from the in-laws, which is where the dairy is, but there is also a barn at our address, and that is where the cows that aren't producing milk (dry cows) and heifers (cows that haven't had a calf) are kept.


Oh wait! This is my birthday cake that Kylie made for me, not a cow!



The calves live in the white plastic domes called hutches over near the dairy.


The milk that is fed to the calves is milk from cows that have recently given birth, or from cows that have recently been medicated. Colostrum and medication chemicals can't go into the milk tank.

"I want more!!" I actually like the calves, because they are still pretty cute. I have yet to see one being born...maybe in the summer I will try to see that. Sometimes if they are really hungry and know milk is coming and if they see you walking by the hutches, they will break out. In fact, one time Dan came home from a morning milking and said a calf was standing in the middle of the driveway when he got there. Like in front of his parents house. He just picked it up and put it in the back of the truck and drove it back to it's hutch.

Ok, Milking!
My favorite milker.
This is the milking parlour. Cows get milked twice a day, once at around 4:15AM and once at about 3:30PM. The guys are milking about 94 cows right now. There are an additional 40 or 50 dry cows. Ten cows can be milked at a time. They come in through a door on the left (not pictured) and then line up in two groups of 5. Their butts get backed against the wavy metal part and then Dan wipes off their udders, dips each teat in iodine and then puts on the milking unit. The milk goes into through those tanks, then is piped into the milk tank, which is behind me from where I was standing to take this photo. Dan can usually finish the milking and parlour cleanup in about 3 hours.


I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, "Erica, you've talked about hogs and calves and cows, but what about chickens? Aren't there chickens on the farm?" Well to you I say YES! There are chickens on the farm. There are about a kajillion of them....

(photo removed)


This is from inside the Layer barn. Chickens are startled by bright light, so you can imagine how funny me and Dan thought it was that they ALL would stop squaking when the flash went off. This picture doesn't really do justice to how many birds there actually are. There are two layer barns, and each barn houses about 12 or 13,000 birds. Yes, TWELVE OR THIRTEEN THOUSAND. It's pretty incredible to see actually. It's also fun to see the eggs being collected. If you ever come over, we will try to go see it.


There is an identical stack on the opposite wall. One side is from barn 1, the other from barn 2. Those pallets are about 5.5 to 6 ft tall. 30 eggs makes up one flat.

What farm tour would be complete without introducing the dogs? This is Angus, only one of the four that live on the farm. The other are Rosco, TinTin and Marlie. They've formed a pack.

Hope you enjoyed the farm tour '08!

7 comments:

  1. I laughed out loud while reading this. Thanks for the tour. I can't wait to visit!!

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  2. I loved the tour...my fav was the hutch caves. They are cute!
    I think I want to come back to visit in September. But I will have to split my time with you and Amy. What do you think of that?

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  3. excellent post erica!
    i also laughed out loud with this post!
    great pictures and well done with all the farming info!
    i especially like the picture of dan doing the milking...he doesn't look too impressed!
    now i want to see pictures of the inside of your trailer!
    love you!

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  4. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Good work on getting this farming report ready for all us readers! Very funny too.
    Love, mom

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  5. Anonymous11:43 AM

    If this were a school project, you definitely would get an A+. Nicely done. I had no idea of the width and breadth of the farming operation! Yikes!

    Julie

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  6. Anonymous9:23 AM

    woah awesome!!!! do you guys get 'free' groceries? ;)

    j.

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  7. Anonymous6:55 PM

    Hi Erica, I know I am late in responding, but I just remembered that I hadn't read your blog! Yikes! Would I ever have been sorry to miss this one - no, I am serious!!! Great job, such an excellent overview of the whole kit and kaboodle! Well done. Please send photo of you in Your coveralls. I do want to see that one.!!!
    love you
    auntie rose

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