We we wondering if the market price had gone up because one of the buyers, Katya had come to the house last week complaining that Yana (our milker lady who has become barn manager) wouldn't sell her enough milk. That often means that the resale price is more profitable, but with so many dry cows in the herd right now, everyone has been cut back to share the production equally, so we weren't sure until the phone call.
It is likely that the price is rising because there is less milk for sale now in Ukraine. Now that it is fall there is always less milk made because production is seasonal here, with most of the people in the village with one or two cows only selling excess milk to the trucks in the summertime. In addition, after low prices for the last two years, many people with a few cows have decided to sell their animals because they have not been making a profit from the milk.
|Yana in the new barn|
Last month, after moving to the new barn, Garry thought that we would stop selling small amounts to people who used to come in at any time of day to buy a couple liters for drinking or cheese making at home. Instead they decided that milk will only be sold to people (except the big buyers) during the afternoon milking (around one o'clock) for a higher price than the others pay- eight grivna closer to the market price (which did not change today).
|Cleaning after milking, you have never seen a cleaner parlor|
Here's a few pictures for the dairy farmers to see of the new barn set up, the equipment room, and milking parlor. It has been winterized since I took the photos last month, so you wouldn't see the outdoors around the compressor if you went there today! The wall that was removed to put the milk tank inside the milk house has been insulated and re-caulked to get ready for winter, too.
|Same milk tank, new hot water heaters|
|compressor, vacuum pump|
|The red and blue containers are the pipeline chemicals|
|milk going in the tank, we could use a cover with a hole|
for the line to stick through yet
The dry cows (ones not milking and getting ready to give birth) are in the "old" barn here by the house and Garry and Yana both check on them several times a day. I addition a couple of students are working in the barn, cleaning and feeding each day, so they are watching for something exciting to happen while they are there. Yesterday morning when Garry checked on them before we went to church, he came in and said one cow was leaking milk, and when we got home last night Yana stopped in to say she had a heifer calf while we were gone. She also said the water wasn't working in the old barn and she had come to the house to get a bucket of water for the fresh cow.
|Yana likes the curly hair on the new heifer calf|
Garry went out to see and was pleased that all had gone well and the cow had already cleaned (expelled the afterbirth or placenta).He also got the water working again in the barn, by jiggling the control, luckily because we need a new flashlight.. This was the second fresh cow this month, and there are about ten more cows due to calve this month, so we will be making more milk to sell soon. Of course, Garry says that there are ten more milking in the barn who are giving very little, so they could/should be dry.