Monday, May 28, 2012

Moving Heifers...

Jim and I had a project to do this morning...

There are a couple of springers (cows or heifers about to have their calves) at the other farm.  We like to have them here at home about a week before they freshen so that we can keep an eye on them, and gradually introduce them to the feed they'll be eating here.  In order to make room for them here, we took three, fifteen month old bred heifers to the other farm.

Loading heifers can be a circus sometimes.  We back the cow trailer up to the door on the east side of the barn...and maneuver persuade somehow get the heifers to walk from the southwest corner of the barn, around the perimeter of the cow stable and onto the trailer.  Although two of the three heifers reserved their right to be stubborn, as only heifers can be, I'm happy to say that it went relatively well today. 

Once they were on the trailer, they each were given a magnet to help prevent hardware and were vaccinated...

This is one of the springers that we brought home.  She's a first calf heifer, and Jim estimates that she has about a week until freshening.  She was taken to the other farm last August, (not bred AI) and must have been bred by the Jersey bull over there within the first two weeks she was there.  She should have a little Jersey calf right around her second birthday, which is our goal.  She conveniently swished her long tail just as I snapped the picture, so you can see her udder, fully formed and beginning to swell...

We have had several nice heifers freshen in the last month or so, and they're a great addition to the milking herd.  Raising our own replacements is time consuming but worth it when it reaches the point where they begin putting milk in the tank, replacing cows that need to be culled for various reasons.  We know where they came from and we also enjoy keeping track of their genealogy...knowing that "this heifer's mother is so-and-so...that must be why she acts like that", etc...

Now that our project is finished, it's time to take a little break on this hot Memorial Day and pretend we have the day off!  :)


  1. Always nice reading what you are up to on the farm. There's never a dull moment on our dairy farm too.

    I hope that your Memorial Day was peaceful. JB

  2. I have to say it's amazing some of the personality traits that get carried down from one generation to the next!

  3. Aw, come one, you KNOW there's never a day off on the farm! LOL!!
    It must be very satisfying to raise up your own replacement milkers and know exactly what you are getting!

  4. Oh I think you love it just like I do even if I may gripe once in a while:) B


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