Shades of Ireland

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Calf!

Holly watch is over! She had a nice bull calf yeasterday morning. She is having some udder difficulties but I am sure that we are going to get it worked out. Scar tissue from her injuries last year have made her very tender..... The poor thing has even been forced to kick at me --- really more trying to brush me off. Lots of warm compresses, bag balm and persistance get the job done. I'll probably have to try to milk her several times a day to get her milked out properly until she is not so delicate.

The calf is tall and Holly and her udder are short. It made for a hard start. We bottle fed him her colostrum until he figured it out. This morning, it looks like the one unscarred teat is his. Since he is a bull, we will let her keep him and she is totally besotted with him.
I'll try to get a picture up later.

It is rainy today with western Kansas expecting a blizzard. I am very happy to just have rain and mud.

There is a slight green tinge across our farm ground indicating that the wheat has sprouted.

My rescue heifers are improving slightly everyday. I try to convince myself that they don't look as bad as they really do...... but other problems have surfaced. Both have uterine infections that indicate a bad birthing. Antibiotics have helped them to turn the corner and they are both eager to see people at the barn and come to the fence expecting treats. It only takes a little persuasion for them to stand and let me pet them while they are eating. #64 will still stand at the feed pan and allow me to hand milk her. #63 is almost eager to go into the barn and milk stantion.  I am hopng that she and Holly will bond and be best buddies. They will go into the milk cow lot as soon as I get the junk cleaned out of their shelter. I am not in a rush because the sick girls still aren't well enough to leave their quaranteen pen.

Everybody is in the holiday spirit. Salena made it home yesterday afternoon. The kids are going into town  in shifts to finish up their Christmas shopping. There is alot of whispering and plotting going on.


  1. Just got finished reading your updates on the two new cows...hope all goes well.

    And a question; why do you keep the bull calf w/mom & wouldn't if it were a female?

  2. Ifit were a heifer, I'd probably want her for a future milker. Tame heifers are a WHOLE buncheasier to deal with and the best way to do that is to bottle raise them. In our case, I would probably split it up by letting a heifer stay with Holly during the day and then penning the calf at night. That way I would get the milk in the morning for the house use and give the little girl a bottle before turning out with her mom. She would be tame enough and not be more chores for us.
    Since it is a bull, he is headed for market after weaning. I'll milk Holly twice a day and he will still grow like a bad weed. We won't get as much milk but frankly, I have plenty of other things to do beside make lots of cheese and ice cream! LOL!