Cows

July 15, 2018 - My Cow

I haven’t written a post in all this time because I’ve been stymied, blockaded, unable. I wanted to write posts, lots of different posts, but I couldn’t. Because of Glory Bee. I’m going to try, like really try, but it’s so hard. Because every time I even think about writing it, I burst into tears....
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April 5, 2018 - Somebody Got In Trouble

And guess who it is! Unbelievably, our year-and-a-half-old Jersey bull suddenly, inexplicably, decided to start sucking on Glory Bee last week. I’ve had plenty of calves suck on other mothers over the years, but this bull didn’t even grow up with Glory Bee. He’s her boyfriend! I noticed the milk supply taking an abrupt nosedive...
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March 25, 2018 - Gingersnap Has the Last Laugh

This is Gingersnap. This is Gingersnap when she was baby, in one of my all-time favorite videos. That’s her mama, Moon Pie, with Gingersnap (her baby) on the left and Pumpkin (Glory Bee’s baby) on the right–both of them nursing on Moon Pie at the same time. Gingersnap and Pumpkin were both born in early...
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May 3, 2017 - The New Imperial Potentate

What new mischief is afoot in the field? Gingersnap is especially curious and excited….and nervous. And confused! She’s 13 months old, and barely understands what’s happening, but she knows she likes this new thing! He’s just her size and everything, and mommy is always busy licking the butt of that other new thing that she...
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April 18, 2017 - Little Bo Peep

What do we see across yonder barnyard? It’s a baby! And it’s a pretty one! Look at those white socks on all four feet, white underbelly, and white face (the white face being the Hereford stamp). Moon Pie’s proud, and I can’t blame her! Moon Pie is a Brown Swiss/Jersey mix and this baby comes...
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December 15, 2016 - Holiday in the Barn

Got your holiday shopping done yet? What about the cows? Have you gotten anything for them yet? Do you think they aren’t festive, that they aren’t waiting for Santa, too? And what about the goats? (Clover, the Christmas Queen, my all-time favorite holiday goat picture.) They gave you milk all year. Now’s the time to...
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October 27, 2016 - Milk Train

You see what they’re doing, right? That’s Glory Bee at the head of the line. You can see Pumpkin’s little legs on the other side of her. Pumpkin’s sucking on mama. But so is Moon Pie, behind her! And Moon Pie’s calf Gingersnap behind Moon Pie, sucking on Moon Pie! It’s like….a milk train. A...
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October 17, 2016 - Tips For Training the New Milk Cow

Cows are not innovative trailblazers motivated to leap tall building or climb mountains, risking life and limb and stability to conquer new lands or reinvent the wheel. They’re steady, solid, dependable, stable backbones of family farming, born to graze here in the morning, graze there in the afternoon, chew their cuds in between, and vote...
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September 28, 2016 - 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...
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September 16, 2016 - Why Milking Machines Suck, and Should

My friend Jerry dropped by the farm one day and I showed him my new milking machines. He’s interested in mechanical things, so I showed him how they all go together–the inflations and lines and so on, describing how they’re attached to the cow or goat, and bringing out my old Surge milking machine also...
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June 20, 2016 - The Birds and the Bees and Glory Bee

Traffic pileup outside the hay stall in the back barnyard. Babies in the way! Here comes one! Gingersnap, Moon Pie’s baby. How many different ways can I embarrass my cows? That’s Blossom, with her girly unders exposed to the world, AND she’s peeing. AND–does that look like she has a fifth teat? I must inspect...
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June 7, 2016 - Calf Update

I haven’t updated about Dumplin because….there’s been nothing to update about Dumplin. She was with the bull last summer during the same period of time as Glory Bee and Moon Pie, who both delivered calves in April. Obviously, the bull wasn’t shooting blanks and he hit them up right off the bat. He was here...
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May 25, 2016 - A New Complete Milking System

Got cows? Then you’ve got milk! And the baby doesn’t need all of it. You could use the original cow milking system….you know, your hands. After all, hand-milking is a low-tech operation. You need hands and a bucket. Clean up is as easy as putting the milk bucket in the dishwasher. But milking the cow…....
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April 29, 2016 - She’s Back on the Job!

We were out yesterday afternoon and came home to find Glory Bee hiding down by the creek. Of course we had to stop and check on her, and found her with some new company! Glory Bee is a third-time mommy, and pretty relaxed about the whole thing. She let us get the baby down on...
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April 19, 2016 - Rodeo at the Barn

In other words, I’m milking Moon Pie. First, I have to separate baby Gingersnap from mommy. Baby Gingersnap doesn’t like this part. Moon Pie thinks she has a babysitter, so she goes out shopping. And everything is fine for a while, until she realizes THE DINGO STOLE HER BABY and she has to stand in...
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April 11, 2016 - She Picked A Cold Morning

It snowed all day here on Saturday. April! Really??? Then Moon Pie sneaked off to the back of the upper pasture on Sunday morning to make something. Things are happening according to plan, except for the part where she had her baby in a back field. It’s April, time for calves, so I was trying...
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April 4, 2016 - The Whole Herd

Here she is. And look what she brought with her! A baby. And it’s a lil heifer. This cow is a Hereford, like Beau the bull, and the baby is half Hereford, half Angus. Glory Bee isn’t sure what to think about all this. She has so many new friends! “When is this going to...
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March 7, 2016 - Three Girls, a Bull, and a Blossom

Dateline: The boonies, Michael and Sarah’s farm, Sunday afternoon. A two-year-old dairy heifer. Grazing undisturbed in bucolic country charm. Lo, she is alerted from her pastoral ease by an odd arrival. Hark, what mischief awaits…. ….in yonder trailer? Go forth, young heifer, and multiply! And then, yes, then…. ….the world she had known since birth...
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February 29, 2016 - Steady Boyfriend

Look who’s here! He was unloaded here on Saturday. He’s a year-old polled Hereford bull. And he’s ours, as in really ours, as in no more hassles with finding bulls to borrow! He lives here. He doesn’t have horns, which I like, and Hereford cows are famous for their docile temperaments, which I also like....
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January 4, 2016 - Third Trimester

The cows, munching down in their hay stall in the barn. The other day, just to annoy me, Glory Bee and Moon Pie were playing jump-on-each-other. WHAT?! That’s what cows do when they’re in heat! But it’s also what cows do to show dominance or just to pass the time of day. Cows, they love...
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November 13, 2015 - Filling Their Bellies

Bradley the Dexter bull from Ohio arrived here at the end of June. He courted them throughout the month of July. First Moon Pie, then Dumplin, then Glory Bee. By the end of the month, the romance was over and they were all just friends. He stayed until the end of September, so he had...
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August 10, 2015 - Bad Girls

This past week, with workshops coming up on both Saturday and Sunday that included cheesemaking, Glory Bee suddenly dropped off to half a gallon a day. My cow! What was wrong with my cow? Mayhap it has just been too long since she had a calf (well, yeah, 16 months, actually). Still, the drop was...
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July 29, 2015 - Secret Keepers

It’s been really difficult to figure out what’s going on with the cows. Nobody wants to tell, and they’ve been keeping their activities secret. I guess Bradley’s not one of those kiss and tell guys. But I’ve noticed a few things in the month he’s been here. There was about a week when he wouldn’t...
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July 6, 2015 - The Dance

Poor Dumplin. She’s been dismissed, for now. Bradley’s interested in Moon Pie. But she’s not so sure she’s ready to be interested in him. She dances around him. He chases. Moon Pie enjoys the chase! She teases him. Moon Pie: “I just have an itch I can’t scratch.” “I don’t know if I want you...
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July 2, 2015 - Bradley the Dexter

I haven’t gotten to spend quite as much time as I’d like out in the pasture taking pictures of the visiting Dexter bull because I’m still taking it easy with my hurt knee, but we took some feed out there a couple days ago and made friends with him so I could get a few...
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June 29, 2015 - There’s a Bull in the Building

It’s been a long road this time around getting cows bred. Moon Pie is ready to be bred–she’s 15 months old. Dumplin has been ready to breed for a long time–she’s 2 1/2. Glory Bee hasn’t had a calf since Moon Pie. I’ve tried artificial insemination a few times. It didn’t work for me. It’s...
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February 9, 2015 - Cows Doing Nothing

I’d post more pictures of the cows doing nothing, but they’d all look the same! The cows are doing exactly the same thing right now as they were doing yesterday when I took this picture. I’ve been watching the cows for days, since I saw Dumplin standing for riding on Wednesday evening. First thing Thursday...
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February 6, 2015 - The Chute

This chute, specifically for vet work (not milking) was under construction yesterday. That’s Dumplin in the chute, for measurements. Here’s the finished chute today. On the sides, the upper board is to prevent a cow from trying to come in the chute from the side. The lower board is to prevent the cow from kicking...
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