Just when I was ready to put a crown on BP’s head, I looked again and thought what we have here is a boy. Which brings to mind names like Darn It, Auction Block, and Homemade Hamburger Helper. (Okay, that last one is a mouthful and this calf is too cute to eat.)
Beulah Petunia: “Leave my baby alone.”
Could this thing be cuter? (Look at that, at just 12 hours old. Photos taken this morning.)
It’s hard to imagine how this calf, the size of a goat, could have been inside BP.
Birth is an amazing thing, with any creature.
BP is being a good, sweet mama.
To answer some of the various questions about Beulah Petunia…. She is a Jersey. We got her in Ohio in April. The people we got her from had a handful of cows at the time, one of which was a Brown Swiss bull. He is the daddy. BP had been with him for four months when we got her. They were former dairy owners, and were doing what appeared to us to be hobby cattle trading. They still had connections to the dairy business, as former dairy farmers themselves, and had access to buying cows straight out of the dairy. BP was a dairy workhorse, and for whatever reason, she was being sold out of the dairy. Probably because her production dropped off as she got older. They bought her for cheap, and put her up for sale. We are her first real home. She never even had a name before. (The people who had bought her out of the dairy didn’t name their cows. They were bought to sell.) There are good and bad things about getting a cow like BP. She didn’t cost a lot of money, for one thing. And she is an experienced milker (and while she may not give enough milk for a dairy business, she gives more than we need!), and she’s an experienced mother. On the downside, we have no idea how old she is, how many times she’s calved, or much else about her history. She’s not young. The people we bought her from guessed she might be around five, but said they didn’t know. (Everything else they told us about BP, such as how she milked etc, was true, so we figure they were honest about that. The vet who examined her said he figured she was probably around five, too.) She also has a limp. The people told us she’d had the limp the whole time they’d had her and it never got better or worse. That has been true. She has a limp, but it never gets better and never gets worse. We can only guess that she had an injury at some point. We’ll never know. She gets around just fine, though. And that’s pretty much all we know about BP’s life story.
She is not a show cow, but I looked into her big eyes and decided that I loved her anyway and that we could help each other. She has two names because she deserves an extra one after not having one for so long.
So anyway! I called Skip this morning and I said, “Skip! I have a calf and I’m a dingbat. Could you come over and tell me if it’s a boy or a girl?”
Skip lives across the river and a mile down the road in the old house where my father grew up. Skip said, sure, he’d be down after awhile. Skip used to have dairy cows, and now he has beef cattle. He’s been working with cows all his life.
The doctor is in.
He looked at the calf from behind then he flipped it over and said, “What you were looking at was its umbilical cord. It’s a girl. You can even see the little udder.”
Glory be, it’s a girl!!!
IT’S A GIRL!!!!!!! I have my little Jersey-Brown Swiss future milker!
And here she is:
Not so long ago, the Ornery Angel’s two little girls rode by on their bicycles on the road in front of our farm. They asked what our cow’s name was. I said, “Beulah Petunia.” They just giggled and giggled. I think every cow needs a name that makes people smile. And this baby needs two, just like her mama.
Her name is Glory Bee.