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 to mess with your head. To know if they’re in heat or not, you have to watch them and observe whether or not it’s sustained activity over a period of days and whether or not one of them “stands” for it at some point rather than walking away. They shouldn’t be in heat–they spent three months with a bull last summer.

The activity didn’t seem to be sustained, but just to make myself feel better, we threw Glory Bee in lock-up, aka her milking stanchion, and pushed around on her side until, finally, we felt something kick back. Whew. They should all be having babies in April, so they’re heading into their third trimester now.

Stop messing with me.
They don’t care.

Meanwhile, in other Cow News! we have a new girl coming to the block in a few months.
Meet Blossom!
Because of the milk demand here with cheesemaking classes, I’ve been wanting and needing a second milk cow. Blossom belongs to my friend Sarah, who has a farm not too far away with several milk cows. Blossom is the same age as Moon Pie and is bred with her first baby, due around June.

Complicated genealogical story–follow this! BP (Beulah Petunia) was my first milk cow. She was a Jersey. She came from a farm in Ohio where they had a Brown Swiss bull. She was bred with Glory Bee when I got her, so Glory Bee is half Jersey, half Brown Swiss. About a year later, Sarah bought a Jersey named Bessie from the same farm, who had been bred to the same Brown Swiss bull. Sarah brought home Bessie with her half Jersey, half Brown Swiss calf, who she named Buttercup.

Eventually, Buttercup was bred to a half Jersey, half Guernsey bull, and produced Blossom–which makes Blossom about three-quarters Jersey with a bit of Brown Swiss and Guernsey thrown in. Since Buttercup and Glory Bee were sisters (half-sisters, from the same Brown Swiss bull), Glory Bee is Blossom’s aunt. And Moon Pie and Dumplin are Blossom’s cousins. So it’s still all in the family!
I hope they’re gonna make room for her at the hay.

So, by summer, there will be four frolicking calves on the farm, not just three! And MILK!!! From TWO COWS!!! Butterrrrrrrrrr.


  1. brookdale says:

    Interesting cow family tree there!
    Here’s a “stoopid” question from one who was raised on a farm and should know the answer, but…how come you don’t milk Dumplin and Moon Pie?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Dumplin and Moon Pie are half beef. They could be milked after they calve–any cow can be milked. But their cream will likely be minimal and their production lower–because they’re not dairy cows. Dumplin is especially beefy in her conformation. If I was to ever try to milk either of them, it would be Moon Pie, but she also takes more after her beef daddy than her dairy mama. A full dairy cow is just better for cream and for production.

  2. boulderneigh says:

    Blossom is a beautiful girl! And so fun that she is related to the cows you already have. 😀

  3. Joell says:

    I love Blossom!! Another blonde with black roots, if you are or ever have been in the hair industry, you can appreciate that, she is so cute. When I lived on my Grandparents farm, I always thought the cows were the best.

  4. dcatew says:

    Hmmm. I thought that both Jersey and Brown Swiss are dairy breeds, same as a Holstein. At any rate, your new addition is a real cutie-pie . . . I think I might have had to name her Bangs.

  5. beforethedawn says:

    They cows are just keeping it interesting! Maybe they thought you were bored. Ha.

    Blossom is cute, she will be a great addition to your herd!

  6. GrammieEarth says:

    Good job on the hair dye for Blossom!! 😆 Love watching and waiting for your herd to grow :shimmy:

    :heart: Pam

  7. yvonnem says:

    Blossom has such a pretty face, and I love her “bangs”! :snoopy:

  8. brookdale says:

    Is Blossom’s mother Buttercup the same Buttercup that was visiting your farm back in 2012?

  9. joykenn says:

    So if Moonzie & Dumpling aren’t good for milking, are you keeping them for pets?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      oh no, Moon Pie and Dumplin are for breeding! They are both half beef, half dairy, and I’ll keep breeding them to beef bulls. For beef for us, and some calves will be sold also. Moon Pie and Dumplin will be staying on as herd mamas.

  10. jodiezoeller says:

    Love the cow genealogy! It will be quite a big herd soon. I know you’re planning to sell some of the calves and or raise for beef. Remember not to name any that you plan to eat. It’s easier that way, per my former co-worker that raised cattle. The eating ones never got a name. Or like prior goats, they were a food name (I remember Goat Burger).

  11. SarahGrace says:

    I had forgotten that Buttercup had visited your farm, Suzanne. Great memory brookdale!

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