KENTUCKY-MEMORIES-L ArchivesArchiver > KENTUCKY-MEMORIES > 2011-05 > 1305634978
From: Sandi Gorin <>
Subject: [KY-MEM] A MOO MOO HERE AND A CLUCK CLUCK THERE
Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 07:22:58 -0500
A MOO MOO HERE AND A CLUCK CLUCK THERE
I realize that some of our list subscribers are
in their golden years and some are spring
chickens This post is to bring the younger
subscribers up to speed on one aspect of farm
life. For many, many years, the majority of our
ancestors are shown as farming on the censuses.
It was never an easy job, but one willingly done
by generations as new lands were being developed,
towns were being founded and populations swelling.
So today, I want to tell you youngsters how to
do two simple tasks (sure!) the way it used to be
done. Lets take the milk cow. In old wills and
papers, you might find it spelled milch cows. Same critter.
1 - Lead the cow to the stall and feed her.
2 - Place the stool on the same side of the cow
each time you milk her. The stool should
be close enough to the cow that the milker can
easily reach all teats. Talk to the cow
while doing this. This stool is normally
three-legged. Cows seem to like to hear your
voice while undergoing this procedure.
3 - Sit on the stool and rest your head on the
cow's flank. (This is the side of the back
quarters for you city slickers.) Some experienced farmers skip this step.
4 - Wash and dry the udder with warm water and a clean cloth.
5 - Place the pail under the teats.
6 - Grasp the first teat with your hand.
7 - Stimulate the udder and teats by grasping
teats with hands and massaging the entire length
of the teat, focusing on the end of the teats.
This stimulation triggers the release of
oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the milk to come down.
8 - To begin actual milking, squeeze the top of
the teat between the thumb and the forefinger.
Squeeze continually with each finger down the
teat. This squeezing down the teat forces the milk to stream out into the pail.
9 Release the teat.
10 - Repeat steps 9 and 10 on each teat until
enough milk is collected for the milker and
return the cow to her calf. Allow the calf to
nurse long enough to finish emptying the cow's udder.
Simple, right? Well, Id like to add a few items:
1 Be prepared to jump out of the way if Bessie
isnt in the mood to be milked and she decides to let her rear hooves fly.
2 Watch out for her tail; this constantly
swishes back and forth and is not the cleanest part of the cow.
3 With your third hand, wave the flies away.
Cow and flies seem to come in one package.
4 If you hear a meowing behind you, dont
panic. This is one or more of the farm cats and
they are expecting some warm milk. With a little
practice, the milker can aim milk into their mouth.
Now that youve mastered that, lets move on to
the fine art of gathering eggs. Chickens, those
cute little fuzzy creatures at Easter, grow up to
be fierce protectors of their nests as they
mature. Eggs need to be gathered once a day;
twice a day if the weather is freezing. You will need the following:
Hen Nesting Boxes every farm who raised chickens have these
Straw or Hay for the comfort of Mama hen.
Baskets to hold the eggs
Scrub Brushes to clean the eggs
Now youre ready to gather eggs! First you need
to look in each nest to see if there are any
eggs. If the hen is still on the nest, she does
not particularly like this. Gloves are handy here
as the hen might decide to peck away at your
hand. Never bother her if she is in the process
of laying an egg, how could you?
Look to see if the egg is cracked. Those eggs are
not good for eating or if the egg is
exceptionally dirty. When youve gathered a
basket of eggs, go back to the house and clean
the eggs with a soft brush and warm water. Store
them in the refrigerator with the small ends pointing down.
Whow! That sounds simple enough doesnt it?
Hmmm having gathered a few eggs in my young
years, I remember a few more steps.
1 If the mother hen is staring daggers at you
and pecking madly, leave her alone and come back
later; shes not in a good mood.
2 When reaching under the hen, dont be
surprised if you pull out something more than an
egg. Garden snakes (garter and various other
names) just love eating eggs. You might dislodge
a snake at the same time. If this happens, scream
and run out the door if youre like me!
3 Watch out for the rooster! Roosters do not
like anyone messing with their harem and have
been known to attack at the slightest provocation
as you exit the hen house. My grandfather had a
rooster that was so mean that he would attack
anyone within eyesight and my brave uncle had to
dispense with him with a piece of lumber soundly placed over his head.
The final step that I remember was candling the
eggs. This is a process whereby the egg was
studied under a light to be sure the egg had not
been fertilized. They would not be eaten or sold.
Arent modern ways a lot easier but gathering
eggs? I didnt like it! Milking machines have
saved the wear and tear on farmers hands but I
havent heard of an automatic hen gathering machine. Am I behind the times?
© Copyright 17 May 2011, Sandra K. Gorin
|[KY-MEM] A MOO MOO HERE AND A CLUCK CLUCK THERE by Sandi Gorin <>|