Monday, November 19, 2012
A few days ago Matilda had her calf! It's a boy.
I wish the electric fence hadn't been in the way for the pictures, but when I tried to go through the gate up there, Matilda started pushing it with her horns. She was just eager to be milked, but I had the baby with me and I didn't want her to accidentally hurt us.
He kept wandering off at first, thanks to the no-good dog who leads babies astray, but he seems to be settling in. Rosie named him Explorer, because he kept disappearing, much to the distress of everyone, and surprisingly more so for us than for his mother. Matilda's been being milked again, and she's so happy about that. For months now she's been resentful of Mairie going to be milked, and would run away from me and turn her nose up when I tried to scratch her neck and be friendly.
He looks just like a Devon, only he's got a larger frame like Matilda.
Just a short while later, Geranium had her calf! It's a girl. Everyone except Ethan has wanted to name her Buttercup, which I know is a very cliched name for a cow, but it's way better than Ethan's suggestion of "Dippy." And she is contributing to my plan for making tons of raw cultured butter.
Geranium is such a good mother. She had her baby in a pile of old hay, just when Ethan got there for milking. The calf was all snuggled up and warm in the hay. Meathead has seemed slightly jealous. He was picking on the calf a little by nudging her aggressively with his nose, but Geranium bumped him away. The baby didn't seem to even realize or care.
The calf was nursing while Geranium was eating hay--so cute!
Chestnut is going to calve very soon, too. Her udder is huge. I'm afraid it looks like Isla wasn't bred at all. I am worried she is infertile. We had her AI'd several times and finally got the bull, but she was due last week and her udder hasn't swelled at all. The lady we bought Honey (Isla's mama) from had kept the heifer who was born before Isla, and she later told me that heifer was also not able to conceive. I was hoping all the kelp and good grass would overcome any possibilities like that for Isla. I don't know what we'll do with her if it turns out she is infertile.