We looked for a calf halter for a long time, and finally found one at Orcheln's. I knew it was far too big for my little heifer, but Cliff put added holes in it so it would fasten up tighter.
Jody is afraid of strangers, and I was afraid to compromise my new knee by trying to hogtie a calf and get a halter on her, so we hadn't begun to halter-break her yet.
Today we took Bonnie's son, Clyde, to the butcher shop. Now, dairy cows should be allowed from six weeks to two months dry, to rest up for the next baby. If we dried her up today, it would be two months.
I will run out of milk replacer tomorrow, and I was going to wean Jody, since she's eating so much grain; she would be fine with that, once she forgot what the bottle was for.
But yet, just think how much good it would do her to have some good, rich Jersey milk twice a day for two weeks. She would probably gain weight like crazy! And let's not even talk about how happy she would be to be sucking on real teats instead of a rubber nipple!
So this evening, with nobody around to help me, I decided to put the too-large halter on Jody and see if I could get her to the little lot behind the barn.
I already had Bonnie in the barn eating, so I
That part was easy; she grabbed right on. I think I heard her humming, "Oh, my Mama, to me you are so wonderful..."
I went to the other side, got my bucket, and started milking "my" two teats.
And folks, that's as eventful as it got.
When Bonnie seemed to have no more milk, I dragged Jody out of the barn into the lot. I drove Bonnie to the other door that lets out into the big pasture and shut the door behind her. Then I went out and dragged Jody back to her pen.
If the two of them bond, I may let Jody run at Bonnie's side for two weeks. I will have to watch closely for scours (diarrhea) because Jody isn't used to that much milk, especially rich Jersey milk. However, she's old enough that the danger isn't all that great, even if she does have a problem at first. Besides, I do have some pills in my possession for that problem.
Hey, this may be the best way to halter-break a baby calf: Let them know there is MILK at the end of the journey!