On January 12th, Quinta gave birth to an adorable, small, half Murray Grey bull calf. His moo is like the bleat of a lamb, and his personality is friendly and playful. We were on letter S of the alphabet and had recently finished reading the Lord of the Rings, and so Samwise was chosen almost unanimously, with dad wanting to call him Shrimp.
An aside note is, we decided that we would let Samwise spend his first day with Quinta, letting her lick him off and letting him get his first drink from her, as opposed to taking him away from her immediately. We decided we would do this for all of the births going forward.
The semi-truck that bore the Chef AAA big fridge could not come down the driveway, so we went up and got it with our little tractor and trailer. It was quite a job getting it into the customer room, but finally, it was set up and looked very commercial.
In minimal time we had the vacuum pump in its box and a drain system hooked up for it, enabling us to milk for the first time in the facility.
A nice shelf to cover up the housing of the vacuum pump.
With only a little hassle we got the water heater up onto its stand, and then we took continuous shots of the plastic cover falling to the ground.
During a few rough days we, with the help of our Grandpa, managed to trench, dig and install the drain system for the facility.
Below is a picture of the beginning stages of the creamery area. We spent a couple days digging out the crawlspace, and then dug holes and made forms, preparing for concrete.
To the left is a picture taken ten days later, showing one of the wall forms poured.
I walked outside early one morning and saw a dark lump lying on the snowy ground and I was very happy to see the little lump alive! Soon everyone was up and out and admiring the cute little guy. Apparently, Mom knew, without seeing him, that he was a he and that he was to be named Gabriel, going along with our alphabetical naming of the cows. The snow was a boon, and Gabriel stayed relatively clean and happy. We hurriedly built a shelter for him, (see domed tarp shelter below) and he has adjusted to the cold quite well. In the bottom left picture he is one day old, and we put a halter on him as kitty (Speckles) watches attentively from under the hay tarp.
Josh: Founder, father