Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New cows

Our new dairy cows joined the farm family last month. They are both jersey cows and they came from Texas.

Reina is a young heifer who is about 9 months old and will be bred to our mini jersey bull next Spring. If all goes well she will have her first calf sometime around November of 2009. She was a show calf for a teenage girl so she is halter trained and very tame.

She is a real sweetheart and very beautiful.

And this is Chloe, a six year old cow who originally comes from a grass based dairy in TX and was most recently owned by a homesteading family. She has been hand milked but isn't as cooperative as Reina. She does love grain as a treat though so she is quite easy to manipulate if you have a bucket of sweet feed. She is a standard sized jersey and because of her age she has the classic look of a mature dairy cow. The rounded "hay belly" is a good quality and it is normal for them to appear bony across the hips and ribs. They look much different from beef cows. Note how much bigger than our mini-jersey bull she is!

Chloe is bred to an angus bull and due to calve in March, so barring any complications we will be milking then!

Speaking of the bull, I must report that he has turned quite aggressive over the last few weeks and is now very dangerous. Last weekend he ran me into the fence and gave me quite a bruise:

This was entirely my fault, for I had become too friendly with him and he did not fear me. Also I was trying to move him while he was riled up over one of the cows in heat. I learned my lesson, and was lucky to have only minor injuries. The advice I am getting now is to butcher him, but we will wait until he breeds our cows in the spring. We might be able to sell him. We'll see.


Alan Post said...

Ouch, that is quite a bruise. That must be a fine line--you want to be able to interact with your livestock, but also need to show them that you won't take any of their crap. I'm finding, at least, that our current effort at training a dog is like that.

I'm not sure I'm brave enough one way or the other to keep cows!

Derek said...

Given how much of a butt-head our Jersey steer can be, I can only wonder at a bull.

I know Chloe can be a tad stand offish, but I bet that will go away as you pet on her. She never wanted me to put her on a lead rope, but once she was there she usually led just fine.

I hope she comes around soon.

Jenny said...

Yes, I have quickly figured out the way to Chloe's heart. She let me scratch all over her and even touch her udder the other day while she was eating hay. She doesn't much mind being scratched on the back and sides, she just doesn't like being approached head-on. She really is a mellow-tempered animal and I'm looking forward to milking her.

As for the bull, he's driving me crazy! We have him next door at the neighbor's and he has been knocking over the waterers and distributing them around the corral as well as bellowing like a madman. Fortunately I have a friend who wants to bring him over for a couple of months so we'll get a bit of a break. His days are definitely numbered!

Anonymous said...

Jen, you can't imagine what visuals are running through my mind as I see the bull chasing you. Snakes I could take, sharks (after the initial near heart failure) I got used to, but now you are asking me to add bull fighting to the list! I'm counting the new gray hairs.


Danielle said...

So Fin's still acting up, huh? Bummer.

I dunno, that Chloe still looks tiny to me if that's you next to her in the photo—she only comes up to your waist? I know you're taller than I am, but still. I guess our Bella is just pretty big.

Jenny said...

No, that's Reina standing next to me. She's only a heifer and from a small sized mom (though not a mini). Chloe is the one out in the field with the big hay belly. She probably comes up to my chest in height.

And don't forget, they're gonna look shorter next to me than they do next to you (snort!)

Danielle said...


Well, yeah, I kept clicking the picture and then looking at Bella on Jim, figuring that was probably a more accurate comparison. Just cuz I'm so short...

I was trying to figure out which photo you were referencing, but they're both so dark in the face that I couldn't tell if it was Chloe or Reina in the middle photo.