Tuesday, August 10, 2010

bawlin' cow blues

And two mammas equals twice the bawling too.

Ok, just the honest to goodness facts is that we're slow a lot of times. We read the books, sure, and talk to the agri-farmers, and we know the theories, but when it comes right smack dab down to it, we feel our way along. We change all the time, but slowly and always in a direction.

So it should come as no surprise that the we've just left the calf on the cow and milked away up until now. And then, finally, I decided its time. We've discussed it way before now, brainstormed through it, come up with ideas, but in the end it comes down to someone deciding that the time has come.

So tonight, for the first time ever, the calf is in the pen by herself and her two mammas are in the field. There are things I'm concerned with . . . mostly that the mammas don't decide to get out. That the real mamma always drinks when she's put in the pen so I want to make sure she knows how to drink from the stream. Well, I know she KNOWS because she was turned out there for months without a trough to drink from, but anyway, her water intake is still a concern. They can actually see each other, mammas and calf, so I don't think anyone will get in any big panic. And it is just until in the morning.

Two mammas, you ask? The three of them are funny. The calf drinks from real mamma but hangs with auntie mamma. Auntie mamma wants to be her real mamma. Hopefully we've found a bull to "expose" auntie mamma to, a Jersey since I'd love to perpetuate her terrific genes. Of course, that is slow to work itself out . . .

And tomorrow will be our first morning milking.

Did I forget to mention daughter belly skiing through the grass behind the calf? Scared me to death. I had just given them the instruction "Don't let go," but then when I saw that I was saying, "Now would be a good time to let go!" What did she say? "It was FUN!"

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