Greetings from Minnesota on this Ash Wednesday. It’s been in the 30 * F range the past few days, so I’m hoping we’re finally done with mid-day temps below freezing. Unlikely, but a girl can sure hope.
It’s recently occurred to me that I talk a lot about our baby calves and how we feed them milk in bottles. I don’t know that I’ve explained just how that happens, so I’ve got a few pictures for you. First up is our pasteurizer.
It has 60 gallon capacity, and milk gets poured in the top of the big stainless steel vat. Pouring 5 gallon buckets of milk into this baby builds some arm muscle. 🙂 As the cows get milked, some cows have their milk diverted into covered stainless steel buckets instead of the main milk line that goes to our bulk (milk storage) tank. The milk gets poured into the pasteurizer until we’ve got enough to feed calves – usually about 55 gallons. It’s on a cool setting keeping the milk about 40 degrees.
The pasteurizer is automatically set to start heating about 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. (2 hours before morning and evening milk feeding.) The milk gets heated to 145 degrees F for 30 minutes to kill any bacteria that could cause problems for the calves. It is then cooled back down to 96 degrees F for feeding.
The gray box on the left is the control panel – touch screen even – and it monitors the various heating, cooling and cleaning settings. Our shelf next to the pasteurizer looks rather disorganized here, but it’s got everything we need.
You can see bottles in their wire carriers, and the blue trays hold all of our black bottle tops. The white buckets and gallon jugs both contain natural supplements that we add to the milk of our youngest calves. They help promote healthy bacteria in the calf’s stomach and aid in digestion and nutrient absorption.
I think of these extra supplements kind of like the vitamins or supplements that some people take. Not everyone takes them, and sometimes it’s hard to know if they are actually helping. But, we want to do everything possible to keep our calves healthy and strong. (These are absolutely not medication or antibiotics – we only use medicine if an animal is truly sick and needs it!)
You can read more about me feeding bottles of milk to calves on this post. It’s an older post so there is actually grass in the pictures!
No true running tales today, as I should be cross training. It hasn’t happened yet, but I plan to do some core work, body weight exercises and stretching just as soon as I finish this post.
Any questions on the milk pasteurization process?
Do you do anything specific during the Lenten season? (I used to give up some form of junk food, usually chocolate or pop, during Lent. The last few years I’ve focused on trying to do positive things or make a beneficial change instead of giving something up.)