Faith calved! Hip hip hooray, she had a cute little brown bull 🙂 Which is perfect because once he’s grown we can use him as a sire to our other two Jerseys since he won’t be related.
Faith had the calf with out difficulties during the day this past Sunday, April 29, 2012. In the morning she was walking around with out a calf and then in the evening she had the calf with her. I’m soooo glad that it went smooth, because we were out of town until the next morning! Thank goodness for my fabulous in-laws, Mary and Ronnie who took care of our place while we were out of town! 🙂
Here’s a video of Faith and her one day old calf!
The calf has been eating on one side and ignored the other competly. Poor Faithful, she looked miserable until we gave her some relief. This year her teats are really swollen the past few days. We milk whatever quarters the calf isn’t working on and use inflation plugs on the other. We’re lathering on my homemade udder salve because she’s really dry and cracked. I infused lots of soothing herbs in some coconut oil w/ Shea butter and beeswax for her udder and teats.
Faith’s sweet, but she’s tender since she just came into milk and can be kicky. Andrew handles it better than I do. I don’t like getting kicked. But, a cow kick is not as bad as a horse kick, since they can’t lift up their leg as high. Well, she’s not to bad, but she’s moody. I was trying to be nice this morning and put mint udder balm on her swollen udder… bad idea… she got uncomfortable and pooped everywhere. I won’t be doing that tomorrow.
You may be asking… how do we milk Faith with a 10 month old?… I’m glad you asked… I cheat! I loaded Veggie Tales on our iPad and strapped it to the stroller. Isabella is a mover and wants to crawl and pull up everywhere. Which would be incredibly dangerous around our cow at milk time. She gets tired of the stroller and sitting still after about 6 minutes and starts to wine and want out. So the iPad is my solution! It works like a charm. Thank goodness for technology!
Since Faith’s freshened (had a calf and started producing milk), she’s producing beautiful colustrum! Every day the colustrum changes. It starts from thick orange and then after about five days or so it’s more creamy white color and what you think of as raw jersey liquid gold 🙂 Colustrum has many uses, my favorite is a preventive to getting sick if we start getting a sore throat or if one of us is sick. I mix Manuka honey (honey from bees that feed on Tea Trees) with the colustrum and freeze it as ice cubes. It’s the perfect medicine mix to boost your immune system to help you get better.
Day two of Faith’s colustrum.
That’s it! Now it’s a waiting game to see when Elsie will calf. She is our original Family Milk Cow and soooo very sweet. It’ll be interesting to see who we pick to milk this season. We haven’t decided. We might see if we can get one of them to nurse both calves and we will milk one. The hard part is we love milking Elsie (our first family milk cow from 2 years ago); she’d make the better Momma/Adoptive cow. She’s a devoted mother and never lets her calf out of her sight. Faith doesn’t seem to be as good of a mother as Elsie. She’s leaves her calf bedded down all day while she’s grazing and acts like she doesn’t care she has a calf.
Elsie is going to calve any second, her udders are HUGE! I bet she has 6 gallons of milk colustrum. Maybe tomorrow we’ll have another calf around here and Elsie will adopt Faith’s calf.