A Boy for Blossom


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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!

Comments Leave a Comment
Share: |    Subscribe to my feed Subscribe
Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 28, 2016  

More posts you might enjoy:

Sign up for the Chickens in the Road Newsletter


14 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 9-28

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

  2. 9-28

    Congratulations! He is so handsome!

  3. 9-28

    He is gorgeous, just love those big eyes!

  4. 9-28

    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

    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

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

  7. 9-29

    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

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

  9. 9-30

    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

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

  11. 10-1

    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

    What a super cute lil morsel! :moo:

  13. 10-10

    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

    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.

Leave a Reply

Registration is required to leave a comment on this site. You may register here. (You can use this same username on the forum as well.) Already registered? Login here.

Discussion is encouraged, and differing opinions are welcome. However, please don't say anything your grandmother would be ashamed to read. If you see an objectionable comment, you may flag it for moderation. If you write an objectionable comment, be aware that it may be flagged--and deleted. I'm glad you're here. Welcome to our community!

Daily Farm

If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!

Sign up for the
Chickens in the Road Newsletter

The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

Today on Chickens in the Road

Join the Community in the Forum

Search This Blog


July 2020

Out My Window

I Love Your Comments

I Have a Cow

And she's ornery. Read my barnyard stories!

Entire Contents © Copyright 2004-2020 Chickens in the Road, Inc.
Text and photographs may not be published, broadcast, redistributed or aggregated without express permission. Thank you.

Privacy Policy, Disclosure, Disclaimer, and Terms of Use