Sunday, August 21, 2011
I'm a cattle baroness.
But Jody only put up a struggle the first time I had a rope on her; since then, she has followed me anywhere I lead her. She does think it's fun to butt me, but I smack her with the end of the rope when she does that; she'll learn. Once the fly season is over, we'll have the vet out to remove her horns, vaccinate her for whatever he thinks is wise, and remove an extra teat. Yes, she has five. It likely wouldn't produce anything, but I want it gone.
I bought Jody because Bonnie, the cow in the background, refuses to give me a heifer calf.
Bonnie was perfect when we bought her, but at this point she is battle-scarred: Last year she got mastitis in two quarters, and one of those quarters quit producing entirely. This year the other quarter with mastitis is, for now, giving good milk. But once a cow has had mastitis in a quarter, you can bet it will show up again at some point. Bonnie also has a displaced hip, which causes her to limp somewhat. This problem was caused either by giving birth to those gigantic calves she always has, or else by one of those huge bulls she has to support when she's being bred. Anyhow, she's had this slight limp for at least two years. Cliff hadn't noticed it until I called his attention to it this year.
Because so many things can go wrong with a milk cow, I wanted a backup, so I bought Jody. She isn't pure Jersey, but she'll do in a pinch.
Right now Bonnie is keeping us tied down at home because her calf still isn't able to take all her milk. So I'm milking every morning. Hope is in sight, though; today I got less milk than I have been bringing in (or pouring out). Max's appetite must be increasing.