Keeping Cattle Moving

 

Cocoa is adjusting well to her new home. Here Shane follows her from the pasture toward the barn at morning milking time.
Cocoa is adjusting well to her new home. Here Shane follows her from the pasture toward the barn at morning milking time.
Ursula, Chuck and Maud.
Ursula’s children are growing. Here Chuck stands in front while Maud peeks out from behind their mother. Maud and Chuck spend part of each day racing each other from one end of their pasture to the other. Shane, who is a frequent audience, says Maud is faster in a straight line, but Chuck beats her on the turns. Ursula’s milk is obviously full of energy.

 

Cocoa and Nate

Today we went to Cabool to buy a cow named Cocoa. She is a mature lady who is said to be giving about 5 gallons a day of lovely Jersey milk. What a wonderful addition to our herd! We bought Cocoa from Nate who has raised her from a calf. She was his first cow, which makes her very special. We appreciate Nate letting her come live with us to increase our milk supply and to help us grow our herd. We have promised to keep him posted on how she is doing adjusting to her new home. Cocoa made the trip safely and is now investigating her new surroundings. She’ll stay in the small pasture close to the barn tonight, then after morning milking tomorrow will be introduced to the larger pasture across the road. Thank you, Nate!
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Meet Maud

Because Ursula has more milk than Chuck can drink and she is really tired of standing in the barn to be milked after taking care of him all day, we decided to get Chuck a sister. Luckily, we found Maud for sale from a nearby dairy farm. She is the same age as her new udder brother and had been on nurse cows since birth. Perfect! Ursula and Maud seemed to immediately understand the situation and have accepted each other as family without much human intervention.

Maud

Ursula and Chuck

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Ursula had her eagerly anticipated calf on June 18th. For all Shane’s sleepless watchful nights he came upon them in the pasture near the barn early in the morning less than a minute after the apparently uneventful birth. Ursula was very attentive and cleaning him thoroughly. He seemed vigorous and healthy initially. but did not stand to walk or nurse. After several hours Shane milked Ursula and bottle fed Chuck (as Shane named the new little guy) his mother’s colostrum. He was an eager sucker. Over the next several hours it became apparent that Chuck couldn’t get up or stand because the joints in 3 of his legs were stiff and didn’t straighten properly. Rain was forecast and appeared to be moving in, and it was obvious he needed to be in a protected place in the barn. A place where his mother who is used to the freedom of the pasture would be nervous and uncomfortable. So Chuck came into the barn and Ursula went easily to the pasture with the other cows. After speaking with our vet, we embarked on a program of physical therapy that included massage, stretching and getting him up to stand with his hooves as straight as possible. We’re happy to report that he has made remarkable progress and after learning to walk was reunited with his mother June 21. He still has some trouble getting up to stand, but once up is able to follow her around and nurse like a normal calf. We are continuing to help him up to follow after his mom, but must be constantly vigilant that he doesn’t fall or sit down where he shouldn’t.

Look Who’s Expecting!

photo (7)This is Ursula. She’s expecting her first calf any day now. Ursula came to us from Lisa and her husband Charles’s farm over by Hartville last winter. Some of the unanticipated rewards of starting our dairy are the relationships we have developed with other dairy farmers while shopping for cows to increase our herd. Besides Ursula, two of our other cows, Anabelle and Norma, were raised and milked by Lisa before coming to us and she continues to be most kind and helpful when we have questions about the cattle or her dairy operation. Thank you, Charles and Lisa!