...I would NEVER take a day off!! I would fret and fret, but enjoy every day.
It would be something I looked forward to everyday...the Keeping part.
Since I lost a calf a week ago, I had been looking for a replacement calf for her. She is Jersey, but with my work and it being Tax Season, my hours are long and I don't have the time to keep her fresh. A calf was going to be the best option and also make her well again. I know they get depressed and are so full of the Momma hormones...that either milking or a baby to look after was the best idea.
So I got this crazy idea to call a Dairy Farm I bought my very first 2 Jerseys...some 8 years ago.
It's a couple hours drive, but if I could get a baby steer calf reasonable, it might work.
So I called my Father, who likes adventures and is bored bored bored...and he does live a little closer to the Dairy Farm.
He had to wait for someone to get there when he arrived and then they took him through their facility to show him the calves. (He still hasn't quit talking about it.) He said she had at least 50 calves all in individual pens inside this open air barn facility. The calves all had tiny little huts they were housed in and they all wore a blanket over them. I know the steers are not kept long and they are sold for veal pretty quickly. So my Dad decides I need a calf that was just born that morning. They taped its feet together and it was to ride in the back seat of my Dads car. Well....it is awfully cold out....and he doesn't have a pickup with a topper....But it was still a funny sight to see.
When he arrived I hurried outside to get the calf set up with the momma cow. My Dad was telling me that this calf was huge!!! I mean really HUGE! And it was! It took up the entire back seat..but wait...What is that on the floor?? Another calf??.. but half the size. Seems my Father needed to strike a bargain and since it was a trip to get a calf....two was a better deal. So she did a deal! Who could turn down an 80 year old talker like my DAD?!
and fun for me....my granddaughter and her family stayed with me this weekend...
Now I have had a couple days to try to get Momma cow to take...but it may of been too long. She just isn't cooperating, but when I went to check cows last night at midnight and was worrying about the new calves being too cold...(it was -11 degrees when I went down to the barn). I was just about to the corrals when I noticed one of my other Jerseys cleaning something!! Gad that girl is quick! I had just checked them some 5 hours earlier and she didn't show ANY signs. She not only had that little bull calf cleaned and standing but it was already nursing. Couldn't believe the little bugger was so hardy when it was SO cold out! This one is really a thriver! I brought it into the barn and put piles of hay and made the inside pen large enough to house 2 Mommas and the now 3 babies. This last cow (Maple) is one of my easiest milkers and allows me to milk her anywhere and anytime. I did try the smallest of the purchased calves to nurse on her, but she KNOWS which one is hers. I will definitely milk her in the evenings when I do chores and feed at least one of the calves. I am going to keep the little hostein babies right in with all the big girls and try something different and hope they are like those little angus calves and steal supper on occassion. Otherwise, I will be bottle feeding, either goats milk or any extra milk I can get from Maple.
One thing I teased my Dad about was "don't pick anything that is cute!" I knew better, but it was fun to tease. I know I will ultimately butcher these two purchased calves for ourselves...but I can guarantee they will have a large field to romp and a plenty comfy life up until then. Better than their destiny was at the dairy. I can't wait to be sitting on my deck this summer and watching out into the pasture and seeing two big healthy spotted babies dotting the horizon. I will be giving the neighbors something to talk about in my "Angus Only" cowboy county. They will have a happy enjoyable life here. And when it's time to say "Thank You" and they will feed my family.... I know I did my best!