Monday, October 20, 2014

Our new calf

We were supposed to be at Heins Dairy at 9 A.M., so I left Cora in her pajamas and we took her along.  She took a little nap on the way.  

You can read an article about Heins Dairy HERE.

Chris Heinz was out in a pasture checking on some cows, but he showed up in about ten minutes and took us out to the area where the calves are raised in hutches. 

This is not the only row of hutches.

Chris told Cliff to pick a calf, and Cliff chose the biggest bull calf he could see.

Wow, he's strong.  I asked him what they do with their bull calves if there aren't enough people coming to them.  He said they don't have any problem getting rid of them right at the farm.  One of their steady customers is an eleven-year-old boy who owns a nurse cow.  He buys three calves at a time, lets them nurse for three months, weans them, and returns for another three calves. 

Once we got home, we were anxious to see if Grace would allow a strange calf to nurse her.

Looks easy, right?  Grace was pretty good, but she gently butted at the newbie a couple of times, and even kicked at him... not too hard.  

Then I went out later and turned her in with them again.  Newbie (maybe I'll just name him that) started nursing without Gypsy, and it didn't go so well.  He got a couple of fairly hard kicks.

We may never get Grace to fully accept him.  If we don't, I will keep the calves in the lot, put Gracie in the stanchion twice a day, put the anti-kick device on her, and make sure Newby nurses from the protected side:  that will work. I really hope she will accept him, though, because then it's care-free.  We won't be tied down at home all the time and the excess milk is automatically taken care of.  As far as being tied down, though, I really have no plans for any overnight road trips in the near future, so that isn't a big concern.

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Margaret said...

I didn't realize it was so complicated! Sounds like you have a good plan though.

Sister--Three said...

Well, two calves are better than one!

My little greta his moderate hearing loss in both ears
She has two hearing aids and we are hoping she learns to speak correctly!


NEWBIE seems determined. Hopefully Grace will let him in.

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

Hope it all works out so there won't be as much for you to do like you planned.

Anita said...

I was absent from blogging during the summer and September. Coming back here for a visit reminds me of how much I've missed my "farm education!" :)
Like the hutches; never seen or heard of one in my life. lol
The video was good too. Nice to see families who work together.