Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bonnie

Bonnie has quite a belly on her nowadays, doesn't she?  If she had settled when we had her artificially inseminated, she'd be due to calve now.  Unfortunately, she didn't.  So we took her to visit Cliff's brother's Angus bull; it's still more than two months before she calves, and I can't help but be a little concerned.  I hope she's able to deliver the calf when the time comes.  In the old days, Angus was a breed that was pretty safe to cross with Jerseys; the little Angus-cross calves had a low birth weight and small heads.  They were pretty much the breed of choice if you wanted to breed your dairy cow to a beef animal.  
Unfortunately, back in the sixties and seventies, big became better.  Cliff was a butcher at the time, and he saw the carcasses he had to move from rail to rail almost double in size.  So Angus bulls are no safer to breed to a little Jersey than any other breed.    
Bonnie has been the perfect cow for me, and when something seems "too perfect", I tend to wonder how it could possibly last.  So I worry:  I worry about hardware disease, mastitis, milk fever, and calving problems.  In the past, I've lost cows to all these things.  Oh, mastitis normally won't kill them, but the other things do.
I intend to milk Bonnie for a couple more weeks and then dry her up so she can put all her energy into the calf that is developing inside her.  This means that Sir Loin's days are numbered; he will be going to the butcher shop up the road.  The timing is pretty good, since our last beef (his name was Meat Loaf) has been mostly consumed.  
Sir Loin has been a pleasure to have around, playful and funny.  He's been able to take care of his mom's milk almost from birth, so I haven't had to milk Bonnie if I didn't want to.  It's been a great relationship.    
I really would like one more cow as a companion for Bonnie.  I don't want one that has to be milked, but I'd like one that's as tame as she is.  If she were to have a heifer calf this time, that would be perfect.  Here's hoping.  Otherwise I'll have to go in search of that elusive heifer, one that doesn't cost over $300.  Heifers priced that low are hard to find.

7 comments:

Hollie said...

I hope everything goes well with Bonnie

Muhd Imran said...

I still cannot get over the idea of Bonnie or Meatloaf being more of a pet than livestock.

Hope all goes well.

Ora said...

I can only say "good luck" in all you want and/or hope with your "cow" situation...being a "city" girl...it is amazing!!! LOL...hugs from Ora

Astaryth said...

If you are not planning to milk the 'companion cow', have you seen the little miniature zebus? Sooooo cute! We saw some at the fair a month or so ago and if I had a place I would have one :) Unfortunately I board my horse, so we never know if that is the place he is staying. :)

Paula said...

Been meaning to tell you your header is beautiful. Looks so peaceful.

Lindie said...

When we lived in the country, I got a cow as part of my commission for selling a house! Good old barterting system. She had 3 steers before we got another heifer. (well they turned into steers!)I always wanted to name them Hamburger or something but my husband named them real names.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

It will be hard to see Sir Loin go. He is so cute. Bonnie is looking beautiful, I hope she has a nice calf with no problems.