Sunday, October 12, 2008

bunna did "dairy" well

This week Bunna took his special field exam. Everything went well. Biff wanted to do something special for him to help him unwind from the stressful past few months. She planned and planned and planned. She asked herself, "How does one properly celebrate such an achievement? What would Bunna really like to do?" The only answer: a personal tour of the university dairy. So, Bunna and Biff packed up the ol' Toyota and headed out to one of the sources of that stench that wafts by with the incessant south-southwesterly breeze. 

Their first stop on the tour was the milking parlor. The University of Illinois Dairy is a state of the art facility: recessed parlor for easy access to the udders and state of the art milking machines held in place automatically by a vacuum system designed for maximum production. Each of the cows is milked three times a day and produces up to 100 lbs. (or about 12 gallons) of milk per day, says our tour guide, Bruce, graduate student in dairy sciences and formerly of Richards' Jersey Farm of Logan, Utah. 

Bunna and Zoe inspecting the milkers in the milking parlor. 

The milk tank. Biff and Zoe did some quality control: a perfect 38 degrees.

On the next stop of the tour Bunna and Biff were granted VIP access to the cows. They got so close they were in danger of being soused with snot at every snort. 

Jenny and Zoe with their favorite cow: 7996.

7996.

The tour proceeded to the feed shelter where they got to look at what the milk cows are fed.

Bruce describing the nutritional value of hay.

The diet of these dairy cows consists of a unique mixture of:

hay...

...alfalfa...

...cotton seed...

...corn (no, Bunna is not holding a purse)...

...and of course, the 11 herbs and spices that Bruce would not divulge. Hmmmm. Sounds familiar. It makes Bunna crave milk more than fortnightly.

The Colonel.

Zoe's favorite part was by far the calves. 

9216.

9218. Zoe called this one "dee" (she thought it looked like a deer). No matter how much Bunna and Biff mooooed, she was convinced it was a deer.

The tour also included an opportunity to reach into a live cow's stomach--all the way from the rumen to the abomasum and back--and take a turn milking the cow, manually. Zoe was getting tired, so Bunna and Biff had to excuse themselves before that part, but we hear those who did stay for that part have switched to soy.

All in all Bunna and Biff and Zoe had an udderly great time. Who knew that was how milk got from the cow to Bunna's cereal bowl? Thanks to Bruce and Brittany (and of course the cows) Bunna's post-test celebration went off with a bang.

4 comments:

Brammer Family said...

Each post, each time...you guys crack us up! :)

Very very cute pictures!!! It's so fun to Zoe grow! :)

franceylibrarian said...

Ooh, oooh, oooooh, I HAVE to take you guys to see the baby goats at Prairie Fruits Farm in the spring!!!! Remind me! Zoe will be beside herself (and so will her parents). Oh yeah, and congrats on getting past the exam!

Jackie said...

I wish we were able to go - looks like it was loads of fun! Can you imagine, 12 gallons a day! I need a dairy cow...

Sherdon said...

Wow, so glad I found your blog and pics of you guys with a kid! I'm so happy for you! I loved having you teach my kids and now I"m happy you get the job long-term. hope all is going well!

Lani (& sherdon)