Monday, 19 March 2018

Cows - Mulga-Bill is Home

I couldn't figure out why Lavender has patches of light over each eye in this photo. My shadow perhaps?
The girls were confined to this small yard while Mulga Bill was loaded from the trailer and pushed along the lane-way to  the safety of his (Alcatraz) paddock.  Electric fences, with a paddock buffer zone on all sides of his paddock.
Poppy was due to come on-heat in the next couple of days and we don't want Mulga getting access to her at this young age of nine months.
The following day he caught wind of her though and lifted his gate from its hinges and was standing in the 'buffer zone' paddock when I got out there first thing in the morning.
Roused from my wake up cup of tea when I heard the timbre of his voice sounding a bit different than usual. I was out there in a flash in my PJ's and rubber boots, no time for putting on socks.
Quick work and luck on my side, the two girls were up near the yards waiting for their breakfast, so I was able to confine them out of sniffing distance while I called Brian  to come home from work.
"Emergency please Brian!"  I wish I had my camera with me,  to show you the circus unfolding, but as soon as Brian picked up a small twig and waved it about in front of Mulga, he turned and walked back into his paddock.
A second hot wire was put place, and although Mulga sang romantic songs to Poppy, and every other heifer in our valley, peace reigned and safety was restored.
He's having a short stay here at home before going off to his next job in early April. There's no need for him here as Lavender's calf is due to arrive in April or May.
It's not what we planned, her due date of calving  in December came and went. No calf!
We saw her being mated on February 6th and again three weeks later on Feb 27th. Surely one of those matings was successful?
I dragged out my 2017 diary and found that Mulga had returned home for a ten week period in July/August and during the time that he was here, and running with Lavender, I noted in my diary on June 29th "Lavender looks like she's on-heat. What the?? Isn't she already pregnant?"
OK..!! So we counted forward 283 days (looking at our Cattle Gestation Table) for a due date of April 7th 2018. 
So her February matings were either unsuccessful OR she may have slipped her calf early on in her pregnancy. Whatever happened, we will never know, but looking at her now, she's definitely in calf this time.
I dried her off (ceased milking) in late October, expecting her to have two dry months before calving in December. It's been all that time that I haven't had a cow to milk and fresh milk to play with..ie cheese, kefir, butter, yogurt, etc
If you think I might be counting the days until I get those milking cups onto her again, turn the handle of the cream separator, get a batch of cheese on the go... you'd be absolutely correct.!
Five months is a monumental time of waiting.. deprived of raw fresh frothy milk, but the time is drawing near.
Little Murray Grey steer is Mulga Bill's companion whilst he's in his Alcatraz paddock and away from any heifers. They have access to two paddocks, approximately three acres in total.
One large round bale of hay in the cow feeder is being consumed each week as it's the end of our dry summer and barely any feed in the paddocks. Every morning they have a treat of a few slices of bread, to maintain the friendly contact between us.


Yesterday I followed the trail back from one of the comments on my previous post, as I frequently do, and found a delightful new blog that will be getting a regular visit from me.  Laura from  Grow Gather Enjoy sounds like the person I'd happily invite around for a morning cuppa and a chat about anything and everything.
I'm presently trying to insert her blog onto my side-bar under "blogs I read" but for some reason it's not cooperating, so you will need to use the link above to go over for a peek. A glitch (on my part) that will iron itself out hopefully.

Cheers for now,
Sally XX

6 comments:

  1. Sally, I am glad you have things sorted out with Mulga Bill now. It will be nice to have fresh milk once again. I hope you have been safe from the fires in SA as those and the NSW ones look frightening. I thought the bushfire season down there would be over by now.

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    1. Chel we have been lucky to escape any fires in our area this summer, but I've been watching the dreadful fires unfold in Victoria, both near areas where my two sisters live. It's terribly dry down here until generally the rain starts in mid April, so we're still on high alert.

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  2. Wow Sally, I'm honoured that you have included a link to me in your post and sidebar. As a blogging newbie it means a lot. And I really appreciate your lovely comments too. I'd love to pop over for a cuppa sometime (black, no sugar thanks) and also peer over your shoulder as you make your amazing cheeses. I bet you are looking forward to getting back into it when the fresh milk arrives again. Hopefully you'll have some time to fit in your cheese making in your now busy retirement lifestyle ;)

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    1. Laura, the blogging community welcomed me with a huge generosity of spirit when I first began, so it's up to me to welcome you and your beautiful writing to this space. I look forward to reading many more of your great posts, sharing thoughts and knowledge. X

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  3. Oh, I had a good chuckle reading about you out there with Mulga Bill in your pjs and gumboots, Sally. I can just imagine him serenading all his potential loves in your valley! Hopefully not too long now before your milk supply returns and you are making cheese again. Meg:)

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  4. A couple of years ago in mid summer when I was trying to separate the calf from its mum so I could milk later in the day. It was one of those days when one isn't expecting to be seen!!! Summer PJ's on, you know what I mean? And then a shadow fell over us all, above was a low flying hot air balloon which frightened the daylights out of the cows and left me feeling more than a little embarrassed. :-O (..) !!!

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