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A Boy for Blossom

Sep
28

I was running water for the cows yesterday morning after milking–which is a lengthy process with big tubs and dry weather that has the cows trying to drink the water even while you’re filling the tubs–and kinda zoning out from boredom while making sure the cows weren’t knocking the hose out of the tubs, when I noticed a tan-colored calf wobbling in the midst of the big cows. I thought, vaguely, I hope Gingersnap isn’t getting sick.


Then I thought, did Gingersnap shrink?

Then I woke up and realized THAT’S NOT GINGERSNAP!

And ran back to the house while the cows promptly tossed the hose out of the tub and left it running on the ground (naughty cows!) to grab my camera.
img_8597
Yep, that’s NOT Gingersnap! (That’s Gingersnap, center, with Moon Pie, and Pumpkin lazing on the right.) That’s a brand new baby! Blossom finally had her calf!
img_8601
This is Blossom’s first calf. She has officially graduated from heifer to cow. We brought Blossom here in March from my friend Sarah’s farm. Blossom is a Brown Swiss/Jersey cross, and had been bred to a Jersey/Guernsey at Sarah’s farm so this is a full-on dairy calf. I was kind of hoping it would be girl since it’s full dairy, but closer inspection revealed it was a boy. My first bull calf!
img_8609
He’s cute as can be, but he was promptly “steered” in the right direction (banded) and named Taco, because he will make great tacos someday. It’s been a long run of girl calves here, since Glory Bee, the first calf I ever raised, was born in 2010. I’ve had nothing but girls, girls, girls–which is a good thing, but I’ve been waiting for a chance to grow a steer. And I’ve been waiting to see how Blossom does in the milking parlor.
img_8615
She has a similar personality to Moon Pie, who is a sweet cow in the milking parlor, much sweeter than spoiled brat Glory Bee, so I’m hoping Blossom will be the same. She’s been in the milking parlor in the headlock a few times already, but now her training will begin in force.

Blossom has a weird fifth teat, by the way.
img_8616
It’s not as uncommon as one would think. I’ve done a little research on it. Some people actually have them removed. They’re non-functional. Taco will figure that out the first time he tries to suck on it.

I moved Blossom and Taco immediately to the back barn yard (away from the other cows–and the chicken-eating pigs), which made Glory Bee jealous.
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But it’s not her turn right now. It’s Blossom’s turn. I can’t wait to try her out in the milking parlor!
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Taco will probably be here for about two years before he heads for his final destination (the freezer), and cute as he is, his name is a reminder. A farm has a purpose in the pursuit of self-sustainable living, and while looking into the eyes of your food isn’t easy, it’s real. The hamburger meat found in neatly wrapped packages at the store start out as cute calves, too, and they didn’t live the happy, spoiled life that Taco will enjoy–as is his due, in gratitude for his role. So cheers to Taco–my very first steer!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 28, 2016  

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Comments

14 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 9-28
    12:16
    pm

    What a nice surprise! Such a cute Taco. :-D

  2. 9-28
    1:07
    pm

    Congratulations! He is so handsome!

  3. 9-28
    5:40
    pm

    He is gorgeous, just love those big eyes!

  4. 9-28
    10:47
    pm

    If you keep farm animals, they can’t all die of old age. I know it is hard to think about when they are new and cute whether they’re calves, fluffy lambs or whatever but for everyone who eats meat its a reality.

  5. 9-29
    5:18
    am

    Congratulations! Taco looks sweet. Our current steer is named DeMeatRi Marbled Beef. We let the kids have fun naming them some food name and we all remember why we raise them. Our kids all learned that we give them great care, then we thank them for feeding us.

  6. 9-29
    8:42
    am

    Suzanne, thanks as always for keeping it real in your Taco story. :)

  7. 9-29
    2:39
    pm

    Congratulations on Taco! He is adorable. I recently introduced two American Guinea Hog piglets onto my farm. One is Petunia and the other is named Dinner. Same idea. I think many of us like to do that. :pinkpig: :moo:

  8. 9-30
    9:56
    am

    I guess what I’m wondering is why you don’t keep the new baby boy for breeding?

  9. 9-30
    10:03
    am

    I have more than enough milkers for myself. If she’d had a girl, I would have sold it as a milker. Otherwise, I prefer to cross to a beef bull.

  10. 9-30
    7:26
    pm

    Yay, Taco. We raise our Jersey steers just a year to about 750-800 lbs-all hamburger. It is lovely.

  11. 10-1
    9:03
    am

    Awesome post ! Congratulations on the steer and the gentle, truthful reminder in the last paragraph. He will be blessed with a really good life and one bad day.

  12. 10-3
    4:55
    pm

    What a super cute lil morsel! :moo:

  13. 10-10
    1:16
    am

    Can you band them that early? I have had people tell me so many different things for goats that at least 8 weeks some say three months…..so just wondering if the same with cows. And how old do you band the goats? I have a 9 week old are we to late now?

    Dana Mama

  14. 10-13
    10:53
    am

    Dana, from what I’ve read and also in my experience and opinion, the earlier you band them, the better. Less stress on the baby, and easier for the farmer to handle them. You’re not too late with your goat, though.

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