Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 Baby Calves

We are right in the middle of our calving for the year. So far our dairy x beef cow Magnus had a little bull calf in February. We were getting enough milk for the house here for the first few weeks. Delaney's heifer had a baby that she didn't mother, so we put the baby on Magnus. She is now officially a nurse cow, because if I am going to spend 15 minutes doing the milking routine, I want enough to make it worth my time! She does have some very good attributes. She has and excellent temperament - the best on the place, and very good maternal instincts. Magnus will be AI'd to a Normande bull called Uvray:

This should produce a heifer that can join the milk crew.

Daisy is due any day now - from her ultrasound this winter we had set a due date for the middle of April, but she was with the beef bull this year instead of being AI'd , so we really aren't sure when the baby will be here. She is bagging up good, so hopefully any day now! We plan to AI her to a jersey bull for a purebred jersey heifer.

Polly is next to calve - she was AI'd by her former owners and has a due date of May 27th. She is currently bred to a guernsey bull, which will make the calf 1/4 brown swiss, and 3/4 guernsey. Hoping for a heifer!! Debating between using guernsey bull again or trying normande this time.

Anna will calve last - she was AI'd to a brown swiss and is due June 21st. The calf will  be pure bred brown swiss, so a heifer would be great here too! She will be AI'd brown swiss again.

We hope to move up the calving of the entire herd so that it only lasts 60 days from Feb 15th to April 15th. This may take 1-2 two years depending on how quickly each cow becomes pregmant after calving.

 Earlier this week I found a some normande x jersey crossbred bottle heifers for sale in Colorado, and since we were going down anyways, I couldn't help but bring two home. They were brought in from a grass fed dairy in Wisconsin, normande first calf heifers bred to jersey bull for calving ease. They have already starting their halter training, and will also be trained as oxen. They will truly be triple purpose, meat, milk, and work. I plan to use them in the garden for tilling as well as help harvesting. They will be used when we are able to do milking demonstrations or exhibits, and my pull a cart in a parade one day!



Roana will be the neigh ox, while Belle will be the off ox. They are an awesome addition to the dairy herd!

As far as beef calves go, we had 2 cows and 6 first calf heifers to calve this year. So far we have 3 heifer and one bull calf on the ground. 2 of our favorites had heifers and they will definately be kept. We also have 4 yearling heifer we saved from last year that we will be adding to the herd... (wait, our limit is supposed to be 10 hd - we need to lease some pasture!!!)