Saturday, February 27, 2010

Calf surprise

Well dh went to the weekly sale barn and came home with a little Angus x Simmental heifer. Side note: dh is no longer allowed to go to the sale barn :) Anyway, she's here and is a sweet little thing with a sad story. Born half of a twin, her mother died a few days ago when the VERY large bull attempted to mount her and broke her hips :( Fortunately we happen to know the farmer that this little lady came from so we are hoping for great thing from her :)

His father's son, lol

Last night we began separating Buttercup and LJ, well determined to get to his mama he made his own way. I don't think we've ever had a calf as determined. We made sure all of the usual spots were secured as we expected him to try but he opted to make a way through the sheet metal. His father was rather inventive too, we still haven't found the spot on the pasture that he was slipping through. Gotta love the determination. On another note, we will probably steer him soon . . . maybe . . . :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So you want to buy a Jersey milk cow

Since getting Treva almost 2 years ago we have learned quite a bit about Jerseys. This breed is known for it's fairly docile cows . . . please note that the bulls are notorious for their bad temper. They give about 3-6 gallons of milk depending on the cow, calve easy (depending on what it's bred to) and are fairly hardy.

All of that said lets take a look at some of those things: 3-6 gallons of milk per day - if you have your heart set on keeping a 100% grass fed animal then this number is not realistic I have met 1 person who has made the claim and later admitted that the cow get grain in the stanchion. (Please note that it is not impossible to get milk, we are discussing the quantity).

Since I have not had any issues with calving, I will only point out once again that the breed used to breed back is key to this.

Fairly Hardy (the ability to survive adverse growing conditions) - I use the word fairly because while Jersey's are smaller than lots of other dairy cows their condition (essentially muscle tone and fat coverage) tends to suffer depending on quantity and quality of the food they eat. There is a conditioning chart to help determine if your cow is too fat/thin the latter being the most likely. Milk production burns A LOT of calories. I had a comment on here a couple weeks ago accusing Treva of being too thin and claiming that she could die if I didn't dry her off immediately etc.

Well I called my vet and had him come out as Treva tends to stay between a 2(a little underweight) and a 3 (optimal), he found her to be in the same condition as she has always been, and offered a few suggestions if we wanted to try to bulk her up to a 3. For some jerseys this will work, so we figured it was worth a shot, I always think she is thin but I am comparing her to beef cows. The vet keeps pointing out that if she looked like a beef cow then that would be a problem. Anywho, we switched her to 1 milking a day to help her keep more of her calories. I'll let you know how it goes.

Since then I have noticed on many boards that this is a common issue for Jersey owners, I have not seen any other dairy breed have to worry as much about this, maybe it's the high butterfat? Just thinking aloud.

Hoof care is very important with dairy animals but I can only speak to Treva at this point. Recently she was moving rather slowly and I was concerned, the next day there was a noticeable limp. We called the vet and he instructed dh to check her hoof for a possible stone or nail that may have gotten stuck, but there wasn't one. I did a bit of searching and discovered that the grain can cause their hooves to grow rapidly and need to be kept trimmed. The vet told dh to get her an antibiotic from the co-op and the next day the limp was replaced by a little sluggishness and now she is back to her old self (ornery, lol).

So what was the point of all of this? The point was to remind future milk cow owners that getting a milk cow is like having another child around the house, you will have to spend a lot of time around them and take as much care or better to make sure that they are healthy and strong. They may seem tough because they're big animals but they need you to stay attentive.

Oh Buttercup . . .

Well mama and baby are doing very well (last I checked, lol). She is so delighted by this little guy, it is amazing to see the transformation of a heifer to a cow. her maternal instincts are wonderful. I watched as she stood guard of LJ and you could tell that the little wheels in her head were turning as she decided if she should leave him and try to get Treva's grain or stay put just in case . . . she stayed put. :) This is day 3 so her milk hasn't come in but we are eager to see what kind of production she will have. I remember how flat her little udder was when we got her and now it is definitely a B cup, LOL. I'm told she will probably move up to a C or D when her milk comes in, lol. She has been a bit more ornery about getting into the stanchion and leaving the barn but we have chalked that up to hormones. She doesn't want to take baby out in the cold, understandably and she will not leave him. We'll get back into the routine and she will be fine. She does not mind being milked, she is still standing beautifully. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

She's a . . .

He. LOL!! It seems my hubby needs a cow anatomy lesson. :) We are calling him Lot Jr (LJ). He will make many pretty babies, just like his daddy :) He is nursing very well, I am really pleased with Buttercup. Dh and I went to look at him when I got home from work and he was there all by his lonesome, soon enough the other cows came up from the pasture and he mooed for his mama, she came running in to check on him. She cleaned him a little and then stood patiently as he latched on. It was wonderful. Quinn seems to like him too. I cant wait to see the babies that he and Buttercup will have next year :)

I should add that we are very pleased with this little guy as we really wanted Lot's genetics to continue through our herd and now it will :)

Lot delivers again . . .

Buttercup gave birth to a beautiful little heifer this morning. I miss Lot so much today :( I am thankful that we will have 4 of his babies on the farm this year. Do you think I might be able to get him back? I didn't think so either, he was a really tempting side of beef, I'm sure they've gotten rid of him :( Well I promise pics will be here soon. :) I hear this little belflair is a perfect match for Quinn :)

HERE SHE IS . . . PRESENTING . . . L'il Miss Teacup :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Milk and Coke (YUM)

So today was a fun day, i got Janelle to try a new drink " Milk & Coke ". For those of you old enough may remember this from Lavern & Shirley. Let me just tell you, It's not bad at all. I added a video from you tube.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The truck

The local Ford dealership had a big promotion and while listening to the radio we decided to take them up on it. The guy said "we have 5 cars for $1". I figured he was full of it and asked dh to call anyway. Well wouldn't you know it they just happened to have 1 left, a red and sliver, 1993, F150 extended cab. You could have knocked us over with a feather, lol. We explained our situation (we are an hour away from them) and the guy said he would do his best to "hide" it for us. Dh drove down to take a look and he had done just what he promised, it was ours. Sale price $1 . . . of course then they add the title and "processing fee", but for less than 500 we have a truck free and clear. :) GOD IS AWESOME!!! He took care of every detail we had talked and thought about. The mechanic in town took a look under the hood and said that there was even a new alternator. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God's guiding hand

I found a little Angus heifer for sale through some folk we know and the price was not terrible/not too high. We made a deal and were to pick up the little beauty this weekend. Yesterday however I had found some much cheaper (1/2 the price) and many more, I groaned at the thought of still having to buy this 1 when I could have 2. I remember a man saying once that we are nothing without integrity, and I resolved to go on as I had given my word and made the deal. Sure enough, today I got an email that they sold her. LOL!! God ALWAYS takes care of His people. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Be forewarned, these pics are in no particular order though they are all fairly recent. Yes the weather is really weird (warm on day, freezing the next). The truck in the pics was a wonderful surprise blessing, Ill post about that another day. Enjoy :)