Friday, November 26, 2010

Three More Cows

One thing I am feeling thankful for is our three new cows. The third is actually a very young heifer calf, but female just the same. The women outnumber the men again, which is a good thing seeing as we aim to operate a dairy farm one day.

Both Datura and Lillyvale came with their horns, which is a first for us. Their horns have been banded and we've been told that they will just fall off one of these days. Nevertheless, they are horned now and it is something to be aware of. For instance, the feeder we gave them had spaces big enough for a cow's head without horns, but these two were having a frustrating time trying to eat from it, so we had to open it up a bit. Another thing we have to consider is that they are both daughters of Ebon, the bull we have on loan. He came heaving down the hill the night they were dropped off, bellowing to meet them. Having no idea whether either of the new cows were in heat, we chose to postpone their meeting. We opted to keep them in two groups, the older cows with the bull beyond the top of the hill and the younger cows in the barn on the flats with a small paddock to roam in. This was a great idea, but an electric wire was grounding out somewhere, and when we made it back the house I looked out to see all of the cows running around together on the crest of the hill. The struggle ensued. It was like unravelling a tangled mess of yarn. We found out that Lillyvale, the yearling cow, was in heat and Ebon was hot on her tail. Garth used his genius and their herd mentality against them and within 24 hours we had finally returned things to how we wanted them. As far as we know, she wasn't bred during this fiasco, but Ebon has bred all of our other cows without drawing much attention to himself, so I guess we will just wait to see that she cycles again. Kerry cows have such a limited gene pool to begin with that it would be a shame to accidentally start line breeding them now. It would also be unjust to impregnate a growing cow before she is optimally ready to carry a calf. Bulls don't think this way though, so for now we are keeping them separate.

This is the first heifer calf we have had on our farm. She is adorably sweet, as you can see, and she needs a Celtic name. Any ideas?


1 comment:

  1. How about starting at the beginning of the alphabet with A names and then move through the alphabet....Airic means "agreeable". That seems like a good one.