Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The babysitter

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.  

Today Jody is hanging out with Bonnie's calf, Crystal.  Remember her?  The one that was born when the temperature was seventeen degrees?  

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!


Andrea said...

Awwww... bless Jody's sweet heart!! I see such a patient soul in the pictures. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story of Jody... and God bless her as she gets closer to her delivery date.


small farm girl said...

We have baby sitter cows too. I think it's cute!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It must be the mothering instinct kicking in there for Jody. Glad she likes other calves as it could make it easier for her to accept another. February isn't so far away now that we've gotten halfway through January.

Melissa Wiggins said...

Just got caught up on your last multiple posts. I loved the shopping trip story, especially that you spent the day in our city without buying anything but making returns. Hubby won't eat oatmeal so I get it rarely -- but I really do like it, as well as cream-of-wheat. I'm fascinated by the cows (and bull?) because I know absolutely zip / zero about them. You know, I think I've never been on an actual farm in my life? That says something about what an urban child I am, especially since I live in the Midwest. Even Will who was raised in New England has been on a farm. Hum. Well, something for me to put on my bucket list, I guess. MGW