Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alabama National Fair

The Alabama National Fair had some tough competition.  Our milk string did the best with first placements in the Milking First Fresheners, under two years, Oldesouth Sunshine.  First place in the  2 to 3 year old milkers, Oldesouth Blue Amber, 2*M, 2*D, 2+DAR (pending), she also won GRAND CHAMPION RESERVE SR DOE IN MILK!, 3 to 4 year old milkers had our Oldesouth FLA Amber Blue 1*M, *D, + DLT, pregnant and dry won the large class!  The five and over class, we had SG NC Promisedland Sunra 3*M, 4*D, +DLT who was stale, milking since early January won second.

Farm Oldesouth SR Cuppuccino also won First Place in the 9 to 12 month old JR Does over a large class.  She is the daughter of Oldesouth Blue Amber and only 9 months old!!

Oldesouth Sunshine, yearling first freshener.

Oldesouth Sunshine's rear udder to the right.  She freshened in May
and is 5 months into her first lactation at the fair.  The photo to the right is 12 hours of milk.

Oldesouth Blue Amber 2*M, 2*D, 2+DAR (pending) won her class of 2 to 3 year olds.  Amber will be 3 years next February.  She ended up with the Grand Champion Reserve Sr Doe in Milk.  We did not get a photo of her here, but will get one in the future.  We do have udder photos below:

Our lovely SGCH NC Promisedland Rain-Beau 2*M AR, 3*D AR took the BEST OF BREED over 4 Champions and the Grand Champion Sr doe.  She is a sight to behold.  Her lines and dairyness combined with her flowing, perfect udder and fore udder are phenomenal.  Her teat placement, height of udder and overall WOW factor was an easy BOB for her.  We are BLESSED and GRATEFUL for how well our girls did.  Rain-Beau is pictured below:

She will be going to more shows and may even appear at the Nationals in 2013.  We will need to breed her back in a month or two to be able to complete at the National Level.  Being in milk 10 months before the nationals will not be in her favor, especially with a milk out 12 hours before competition.  The does need to be within the first 4 to 5 months of their lactation to be able to compete at that level with the udder to fully recognize their potential.  To get to the point.  They need to be recently freshened to fill up to a competitive level with a milk out. 

The milk out separates the pseudo milkers from the REAL DEAL.  The does on DHIR are at an advantage because they are milked on a consistent bases and will milk for the long haul.  The one day milk tested does fade here due to their bodies not being in the milk mode.  Most  are tested when first fresh and then dried off for convenience or busy schedules, etc. (not to say this in a negative way, but the one day milk test only gives you a 1/305 th of the potential of the doe).  The DHIR girls are in it for the long haul and prove this, milking up to 305 or some even beyond. 

DHIR is an incredible amount of work, but worth every moment of twice daily milkings until you want to die.  In the end you know who your milkers are and cull the rest.  I culled 15 does my first year on DHIR.  The DHIR numbers will give you forcasted lacation numbers.  If your doe is a poor milker, you know it, the numbers confirm it and you can cull her before you waste to much time on her.

But, I must admit one thing, I love my milking time.  Even at 0430 am before I have to be at the hospital, I get to the farm, it is dark, set up, turn on my CELTIC IRISH Music, a disc I have played twice a day for 3 years, yeah...  Rain-Beau and UDiamond love my music and will stomp a foot if it is not playing.  We sing along to the Irish gals, Happy, Happy, we milk along.  Memories and enjoyable moments we experience while we watch the sun rising or the full moon lighting up the night sky in the evening is the gratitude of life.  Life does not get any better then this and I am grateful...