I wanted to show everyone where I have been lately and just some pics of the things we have on the farm and what they do. Many do not know where or how milk gets in there glass to go with there oreos or whatever. There is so much work involved in getting that milk to you even after it leaves the farm.
Here are a few pics with descriptions of what they do and what is going on in the picture. There will be 13 pictures(should be a while with dial up) so enjoy!
Here is what milks the cows. We stick this on them to take the milk out of them. Two big vacuum pumps will run this new system(milks 15 cows on each side for 30 at a time,we were milking 12 at a time with the old one)
Here is a pic of the vacuum pumps and air compressor from a distance. The whole system runs off of air pretty much. These vacuum pumps are what help take the milk out of the cow. The milker end shown above use air from these to squeeze a rubber tube inside of it like a sleve to squeeze the cow like your hand would. The pumps make both suction and make the milkers squeeze like your hands.
The air compressor is a 80gallon 2 phase compressor. It is used to lift the stalls up on the new system plus open the back gate to let the cows in. Pic below of the stalls:
The stalls are up at the moment but they are down when we go to put the cows in them. The cows come up and turn sideways and put there head through that big loop thats up in the air. Those little loops you see below that big loop helps to spin the cow around and hold her still. When the first cow comes in and spins around she opens the next loop next to hers and so on until the whole thing is full then we close the back gate. When these things go up it sounds like a ride at a theme park kinda with a big rush or air. That at first scared the cows. When this thing goes up they get out of there quick. Back view of it below:
This is just a back view of the stalls. They walk in here from the back lot where we hold them. Soon we will have a new system that will push the cows into the stalls with a push of a button. I cant wait to see it work.
This is a pic of how we get to the back lot. We have to pore the concrete maybe tomorrow to finish raising the back lot for the cows to stay in. But this is the way we will get into the back lot. The side on the right is the finished side the other side will look the same when done. We havent pored the concrete under it either. Its just a dirt walkway at the moment. Those metal rails in the background wont be there anymore there the old rails just being used temp to keep the cows out of the side were putting in.
This is a picture of the system that take the milk from the cow and pumps it through a pipe up above to the milk tank. I think the milk goes in this tank then gets pumped by that little motor down there to the pipeline up above.
This is a picture of the milk tank. The rest of it is outside. If you leave the tank in a room like we had it before you have to clean the whole tank. But if you just put the lid and front part of the tank inside you only have to clean it. So this helps out by having only a little peice of the tank inside. This tank is pretty big im not sure how many gallons it is maybe 2000...
This is a pic of the 80 gallon upright washtank. Water is put in this tank at around 180 degrees(were trying to get it that hot or will soon with a new water heater) and then the vacuum pumps suck the water into the milking lines and milker ends and clean the system.
This is a pic of the automatic cleaning system we got with this system. We used to have to wait and watch the system clean because it wasnt automatic. Now all we do is push a button and go home. It pumps the soap and acid in for us. This saves us time too!
This is a pic of the milk coolers. These are what cools the milk down to about 36 degrees or so. They suck air through these raidiator like things to cool the milk down.
In order to cool the milk down to a cold temp fast enough we had to get a new cooling system to go along with our old ones. The old ones were fine when we were milking 12 to a time but there not enough when milking 30 to a time. This is a pic of a 1000gallon water tank. We fill this full of water and the water is chilled with a couple of coolers a couple sizes smaller than the ones in the pic above. This cold water is pumped through a "tube cooler" that is around the milk line. The milk flowing to the milk tank the line connects to the tube cooler which has this cold water running through it and it helps cool the milk down. We will install it soon.
This is a pic of the buttons that raise and lower the loops. Also a pic of the cabinets that they are on.
This is a pic of the barns we bought across the road. They were built many years ago and sold to a few different people. My dads dad bought it when they first moved down here from mischigan. It came with 900+ acres. Not to long after they could not pay for the land and had to give it up. They kept a few acres where they built another barn(the one we use now) a few years later when they got back into the dairy buisness. After it was sold my dad actually worked on that farm before he went to school each day. They even bottled milk there!
This is a picture of the cows eating. They stick there heads under a board and eat there food off of the concrete pad.
This is a pic of one of our tractors attached to our feed waggon. The waggon is a new model and has less moving parts than the older versions. The old ones used to have a big thing in the center and it would go around the inside of the waggon and mix the food up along with some augers. This new version doesnt have all the moving parts like the chains and gears needed for the old ones. It uses a gear box under the waggon to spin to big round things that have knife life things coming out of them coming up from inside the waggon. It mixes better and quieter with fewer problems. If you ever had to take a chain off of the old ones you would know what im talking about. They were in a bunch of oil and very very huge and heavy. The tractor is a international with 119 hp? We have a bigger model that has 175hp we brought home from a sale recently.
We load the waggon and do many other things with our skidsteer loader. All the wheels are stationary the way it drives is that when turn one wheel will slow down and the other stay moving fast and that makes it turn. You do this with two lever in the cab. The bucket goes up and down with pedals. I think this one has 85hp our biggest skidsteer yet. It is also a 2 speed unlike our old one(we kept it so we have two which comes in very handy) which only goes about 8mph this one goes almost 14mph(13.2 I think).
This is a pic of the silage pit. This is chopped up barley and stuff that we raise. We raise several different crops to chop. We do not do corn anymore because we just dont get enough raid here. We use to have corn 9ft high like I saw while we were in vacation in Pennsylvania!http://img34.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chopper0vr.jpg
This is what chops the feed we raise up. it pulls it in from the front and chops it up and puts it in its own box. We used to have to use a tractor and a pull behind thing to do this but now its just one machine. Its a great machine. Were lucky to still have it though. One day it caught on fire in a field in front of my house. They could not put the fire out and since it cost so much(not as much as some cost today) my dad tried to drive it out of the feild to get water on it. Well he started on his way with fire blazing and then he got as far as he could stand it and then jumped out of the window! This thing is like 7 feet in the air the cab window is. ANd it was on the road next to where he could get water. Luckily it shut off soon as he jumped out because it burned through all the wires. They got a hose out there and put the fire out and saved the machine. It took a lot of effort and a little money to fix the burned hoses,belts and wires but it worked. Now we always carry 5 gallons of water in a jug in the cab! My dad got his eyebrows burned and hair singed a good bit but was ok!http://img520.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mower9sx.jpg
This is our mower. We just got it last season. Instead of using knifes and rollers like the old ones did(a pain to maintain and repair and they clogged often too!) it uses spinning drums with 2 blades per drum with v tine beaters on the back instead of rollers. This thing cuts really fast because it doesnt clog much and is wider than our old one. We use this to cut the silage down before the chopper take it in and chops it up.http://img520.imageshack.us/my.php?image=truck3ow.jpg
This is one of our dump trucks we put the silage into from the choppers dump box to take back to the pit.http://img519.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bigtractor9he.jpg
This is our largest tractor. It has 250hp? and is 4 wheel drive. It has 2 wheels on each side with a total of 8 wheels. These wheels are like 5 foot 9 tall. This thing could pull your house over probably. We use this to pack the silage down and push the silage in the pit with that big blade on the front of it. We used to use the skidsteer to push it in and use this tractor to pack later but not we do it all at the same time!http://img519.imageshack.us/my.php?image=plow1jc.jpg
This is our plow. We brought it home from georgia with our dodge ram 3500 diesel truck. This thing we pull it behind the big tractor. It like 23? feet wide when the wing are down. We had a time pulling it home with the truck because its so heavy. Sometimes it would start to go back and forth it would shake the whole truck if we didnt slow down it would take the truck sideways. Its very heavy.http://img476.imageshack.us/my.php?image=heybailer8be.jpg
This is our hay bailer. We got it because our old one only bailed 8 bales per hour! This one does about 40. That is with the 6x5 bales. The smaller bales it could do over 50. It also chops they hay up as it bales it if we want. We used to have to put a bale in a shredder machine but now we dont.http://img494.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hooftrimmer5kz.jpg
This is what we trim the cows hoofs with. They come in on one end we shut the gate with a hydralic arm and then we strap them in with those straps and raise them up. It is raised up at the moment. We made it ourselves out of old parts and a hydraulic motor we bought. We used to have to pay a guy who had one similar on a truck. Now we do it ourselves. We recently made a concrete pad for it and we will set it on it and bolt it down soon. Right there its in the driveway waiting to be put on its new pad.http://img494.imageshack.us/my.php?image=p10100116fy.jpg
This is the last pic. I hope you have enjoyed all of this. We use this to scrape the barns. Its a huge tire cut in half. We used to use the skidsteers buckets which wore them out but now we have this scraper. It scrapes faster to I think. If anything its quieter on the concrete than steel.