Friday, May 20, 2011

smurf(blue hands).. weather

I've heard that it has been raining cats and dogs over there. Over here in Bretagne(Brittany), we may have rain tomorrow night, but all else is sun. Jealous? Well, the farmers over here are jealous of you because their crops are parched. Nevertheless, I love the sun.
So I realized that several of you may not quite understand the milking process. We begin by retrieving the cows and placing them in the milking parlor, ready to be milked. We wash their teats with soap and a wet towel and then attach the four-cupped "milk machine"(I know not what it is called in English nor French!) to the cow. If she produces at least 10 kilos(?) and her udder is supple, then she's done. However, if her udder is still rigid or stiff, then she needs to be milked more; if they are not, they can become sick. Also, their milk production fluctuates if they are pregnant. Afterward, we coat the teats with this blue lubricant to keep them supple. Imagine working laboriously with your hands everyday and never moisturizing them - your hands would become calloused; the blue lubricant helps to avoid this. Though, my hands will look like those of a smurf by the time I return home! (ps - the parlor looks dirty because of the cows um "going to the bathroom" - it's very easy to get splattered with it, so one needs to look out :P)

This morning, after milking, I helped Veronique feed the cows, bulls, calves, pigs, and piglets. It was quite fun, especially due to the fact that I learned how to drive a tractor!!! It was very very fun, cool, and highly recommended. One last thing I forgot to mention: The coast/ocean is a 5 minute drive from the farm! I am planning to go there perhaps today with Pierrick and Veronique. As always, expect pictures!

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