Jody is a heifer, which is what you call a cow that has never had a calf. Almost any time you look outside, though, you will see her in the company of a calf or two. I don't know if it's because she is still relatively young and feels like a kid, or whether she's the only one who doesn't run calves off when they get close. Cliff and I call her the babysitter. Look at the picture on my header right now and you'll see her in the vicinity of three calves, grazing.
Jody is due to calve in a little over a month. When I raise dairy heifers, I start them at an early age getting used to having their udders handled. For some reason, though, Jody has always been "kicky" when touched in that area. Today Cliff and I got her in the stanchion and put the anti-kicking device on her so that I could handle her udder without the danger of getting kicked. We'll do this almost daily from now on so that she'll be used to it by the time she has her calf.
I have a special plan for Jody: There's a large dairy at Higginsville where I can buy a Holstein bull calf for a fairly reasonable price. When Jody calves, I think I'll try getting her to accept another calf with her own. One dairy cow gives more than enough milk for two babies; I've heard of many people doing this successfully.
Her actual due date is February 17, but wouldn't it be lovely if she gave me a Valentine's Day calf? Especially if it was a heifer!