Monday, 16 June 2014
Introducing Bella, Daisy, Mulga-Bill & Willow
Daisy (the spotted one) is a Jersey X Friesan who we raised from two days old and trained to be our house cow. She is now three years old and has had one calf in October 2013 while friends Anne and Klaus were staying with us, having their first farm experience. Daisy birthed easily while we stood and watched in awe. Of course we had to name the little bull calf Klaus.
Daisy is still giving us lots of milk when we milk her just once every day in the evenings. Some of her milk is used for feeding the two calves Mulga-Bill & Willow.
Bella (the brown one) is a beef cow that we once thought might be half Friesan so we trained her to be milked as well. She is so very quiet and has been a wonderful foster mum who takes any new calves that we give her.
These two calves are fed 2-3 litres of milk twice daily and run with the big cows grazing the paddocks and with access to hay.
Bella is drying off now after fostering Bubble who was weaned last week and moved to a new paddock with Klaus and Lavender.
We bought Mulga-Bill as a young Angas bull calf last month and is our new breeding bull who will grow and run with the cows. With lots of gentle handling he has become quiet and shouldn't be too much of a problem when the testosterone kicks in. We also plan to loan him out to other small breeders so he is being trained to walk onto our trailer while he's young and small enough to coax and manipulate without giving him any negative experiences that he will be sure to remember. Cows have memories like elephants.
There is something so very special about cows. The smell of their breath and their trusting nature is enough to melt any heart and calm the most anxious of moods. Impossible to hurry, big and gentle, these are what connect me to the earth and its bounty every single day.