November 3rd, 2005

How long can you get milk out of a dairy animal?

Hokay, so: when a cow has a calf she starts producing milk. When the calf is weaned, she dries up. (It's the same for any mammal, really.)

I've googled a bit and found dairy farming FAQs that say a cow will give milk as long as someone is taking the milk. If her baby is weaned, but a person is still milking her, there will be milk. Makes sense. So all that pseudo-historical fantasy fiction where every little homestead has milk to drink because they have their Very Own Cow makes sense too.

Realistically, though, how long can a dairy animal such as a cow or goat produce milk under those circumstances? As her baby gets older, it drinks less milk because it's starting to eat solid food as well. So you just get more of the milk for yourself. Eventually, the baby is weaned, but because you're still milking the mother, she's still making milk. How long will that condition last? A few months? A year? Several years?

One of my characters is a hermit, and I want him to own a cow (or a sheep or a goat). He's basically living in a remote place with a little bitty farm, producing enough food to feed himself. Is he going to have to take his cow to another farm and breed her every so often if he wants to keep getting milk? Or is it realistic to assume that at some time in the past, the cow had a calf, and the calf is long gone but he's been milking the cow ever since?

P.S.: Mods, it would be really cool to have tags relating to nature, animals, and farming/gardening. ^__^
  • Current Mood: mooooo-dy (sorry)

Japanese View of Drowning

My Google-fu is seriously not working here.

I know all about the Samurai class woman's honorable suicide of throat-slashing. But that's all I ever get. Is there any mention of a woman's death by drowning(particularly if its a suicide, but can just go for drowning death if necessary)? How is it treated? I've only heard of ghost figures like Oiwa and Okiku, but they were thrown into water after they've been killed.
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Is there a website that lists different names for colors (azure, cerulean, turquoise, sapphire) and which shades they correspond to? I know, for example, that "cerulean" is a shade of blue, but I don't have a box of crayons with me for reference as to whether it's light blue or dark blue or purplish or what. (This applies to all colors, I just need a reference.)

Name of opera song.

It's in the Ghirardelli chocolate commercials right now on t.v. Other places I've heard it is on "Nip/Tuck" on the episode with the conjoined twins when one of the doctors sews them together again and it also played in the "Simpson" episode where Homer believed the world was going to end and he enters heaven.

It sounds Italian but I'm not sure, and if anyone could tell me name of that opera I'd be most endebted.