I went to Skip’s farm yesterday and brought my cow home. I missed her. She came alone, as she has every day since the one day she had the bull’s attention (and the other day that she came with a gaggle of girls). When we got BP last year in April, she had been with a bull for four months. We didn’t know whether she was pregnant or not, but she had Glory Bee in September. (Which means she “took” the first month she was with the bull.) I think BP is one of those girls who gets pregnant easily, so hopefully she is.
Skip doesn’t charge us anything to have his bull stud BP, by the way. When it was all over, I brought him a loaf of Grandmother Bread, a jar of Apple-Maple Jam, and some homemade butter (BP’s contribution). I have lots of sort of surreal moments around here where my family has lived for 200 years, and one of them is taking Skip–who lives in the house my grandmother built and where my dad grew up–a loaf of the bread she taught my mother to make. (We’re buying half a cow from him for our beef this year, yay.)
Even though I wasn’t there at the usual time yesterday, BP came right away. She’s a good cow.
When we took her over there, we made an arduous journey over the hill, a back way to Skip’s farm without following the road. Supposedly, it was shorter. I don’t think so. It also involved some difficult terrain AND A HILL.
BP and I aren’t spring chickens, ya know!
Anyway, so we drove over there and I took BP by the lead and walked her home–on the road.
Which, for this stretch, is relatively FLAT.
Walking down a country road leading a cow is one of those moments where I feel like a little girl playing dress-up in farmer clothes, or maybe as if I’m wandering on foot through a children’s storybook. BP is such a good cow; she just clip-clopped down the road.
52 followed behind us in the truck, making sure no one came up too fast behind us. We only encountered one car on the way. BP and I “pulled over” and she ate grass on the roadside, completely ignoring the passing vehicle. She’s cool, calm, and collected, my BP. It’s about a mile to the river ford.
This way was so much easier, BP didn’t even care to stop for a drink.
From here she could hear Glory Bee mooing from the top of the hill and she knew she was home.
This is how I know I must be home:
Up the driveway–
–past the gardens–
–and into Glory Bee’s waiting arms.
She missed her mommy.
She was so excited to see her mommy that she was feeling really generous. She offered to give me the day off milking.
This calf is never going to be weaned, is she?
I gave them a few minutes to enjoy their reunion before taking mommy on to BP-land.
BP really appreciated it.
I’m just glad to have her home. Now all that’s left is watching the calendar and counting the days to see if she goes into heat again!
Cheryl LeMay says:
Now the waiting begins.I’m crossing my fingers.
On June 19, 2011 at 6:15 am
That was a nice easy trip. Our cows don’t ever have to move that far, but they would never be so calm about it. I know you are working on the weaning, but it really takes weeks of being physically apart not days. And the way it looks – this will be a long one. The new calf needs BP more than Glory Bee does at this point. No matter what GB thinks.
On June 19, 2011 at 6:50 am
So glad BP is home. I hope she took, would hate for you to have to be away from her anymore. Don’t forget her “welcome home” treats.
On June 19, 2011 at 7:49 am
Liz Pike says:
Thanks for sharing your BP experiences so well, Suzanne! I had lots of farrier clients with Jerseys, but never got into having my own milk cow; this really makes me want one, maybe someday.
I’m curious about Jerseys’ body condition in general, maybe other cow owners can pipe in here. I’m always horrified to see them looking sooo thin but understand my bias is coming from equine body condition scoring 🙂 . How do you know when they are too thin?
On June 19, 2011 at 8:34 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Liz, I have a post here that has links to some body conditioning info about Jerseys. BP is probably on the thin side for a Jersey, but nobody’s starving her, LOL. She is what she is.
On June 19, 2011 at 8:39 am
Sweet natured BP I am glad you are home. You were missed.
On June 19, 2011 at 8:51 am
It seems farming is more complicated than bucolic!
On June 19, 2011 at 11:14 am
Oh! Such a beautiful walk…I miss the rural life. I would be chewing the end of a piece of grass and walking barefoot. Love the grass growing in the middle of the driveway too. Glad BP is home again. Counting the days with fingers crossed…
On June 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm
I’m glad the beautiful Beulah Petunia is home! And it’s obvious Glory Bee is elated…MommyMommyMommy! Well I hope BP is prego and you can stick to your proposed schedule.
On June 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Granny Trace says:
:snoopy: Oh sweet mama love..I love your jerseys!
Hugs Granny Trace
On June 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm
Hope everything “took”. Won’t BP kind of ‘encourage’ GB to wean if she is pregnant? Pregnant lady ladies can become quite “sensitive” in certain areas. Does the same thing happen to pregnant cow ladies?
On June 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm
The last couple of days have been really busy, and I haven’t been able to check in.
But I thought about BP this morning and wondered if she were home. I’m glad she is – hopefully, she’s “in the family way”, and won’t have to leave again.
On June 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm
It seems like BP loves you and her life on your farm. I think she’s glad to be home.
On June 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm
Suzanne – will there be any babies on the farm during your party in September?? I hope so!
On June 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm
Suzanne – In September it’ll be time to breed our cow again. Only this time I pray her baby lives! It was under 20 degrees a year ago February when she had her baby. After many missed times of trying to get her bred to a Jersey bull, get her AI’d, we bought a Dexter Bull – great except finally he destroyed the bee yard and was off to the processor. So, my question is – what kind of bull did you get her bred to? Lots of my neighbors have beef cattle – the bull behind us is huge so that’s not going to work. Thanks – I love all your info on what you do. I want sheep too . . . 6 acres is NOT enough for much of anything though. Marilyn
On June 29, 2011 at 10:23 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
dustymom, he was an Angus-Gelbvieh cross.
On June 29, 2011 at 10:30 am