Monday, January 18, 2016
News From Explorer and Milking Matilda Again
It's been a week since Explorer left, and we got some news that he's been some trouble. Apparently when he got off the trailer he did a lot of snorting and bucking around (the trailer really pissed him off), but he calmed down after a little while.
And instead of getting down to business and breeding the new cows he's in with, he jumped the fence to pick on a mini-Zebu bull in the next pasture! PJ sent us a picture. Bully! Ken will be running a hot wire along the fence this time, and hopefully he'll stay in and behave himself.
Meanwhile, we are realizing just how much hay he consumed - like as much as the rest of the cows put together.
I'm milking Matilda again. Every day her milk gets a little less yellow from the colostrum, and more like regular milk. The calf is drinking most of it already, but she usually has just about a quart extra. I haven't milked Chestnut or Geranium yet this lactation, but Matilda is a very good milker and I was worried about her getting uncomfortable with too much milk.
She's been very happy to come down for her barley and peanut hay again. I've been giving her some fresh greens from the garden to help her recover. It takes the cows and goats about two weeks to recover, including what they call "the 10-day ickies." Even they look tired and stressed with newborns, and their babies can walk soon after birth! (or maybe that makes it more difficult....)
Matilda's doing well this year. She is always thinner than the other cows, but she also makes the most milk. The copper has made her winter coat this year thick and soft and dark.
The other two babies are THRILLED to have another playmate. As soon as Matilda's calf was born, they were crowding around him, sniffing him and trying to play. He was like, "Nice to meet you, but I'm just trying to get the hang of standing right now."
Mistletoe, Chestnut's calf from November, has grown up to be a big bruiser. He likes to play roughly with Flora's big calf, Ninja, who was born last May. Holly is especially glad to have Matilda's calf to play with, because he's more her size (they are only a few weeks apart). We still haven't thought of a good name for him!