September 27, 2011 by dairycarrie
So if you’ve read this post you already know that I wasn’t born into the whole Dairy thing. However I think I have found my calling, caring for dairy cattle. Now considering as a kid I always said that I “wanted to have a farm with cows and critters like my Aunt M” but always added “No dairy cows, because I want to be able to go do things” this whole calling thing was a surprise to even me. However a few years ago shortly after Hubs and I got married, we started to talk about what we wanted out of our lives together and farming was a major part of it. I soon joined his parents on the dairy farm, after fighting hard to get the job. They were rightfully afraid to hire someone with very little cow experience but I eventually persuaded them. I became pretty proficient with the cows and calves and so long as they gave me a quick lesson and told me what gear to go in I could do field work as well. After a year of being on the farm Hubs and I started talking seriously about the practicality of his leaving his town job and joining us on the farm. Another six months later, thankfully with Hubs still having his town job, we were off the farm. Family friction is nothing new in farming. We both hope to never have to go through anything like that again, it hurt incredibly and still does.
But!… There is always a but… During the time we were on the farm I started buying calves… these are a few baby photos.
I bought most of these girls from Reynolds Livestock. Everytime I would get a little extra money I would want to go calf shopping, Hubs was not amused. Reynolds is my favorite place to shop! Picture rolling hills with 300 calf hutches full of all kinds of heifers! At first I tried to pick calves based on how I thought they would perform as cows, but as my husband pointed out, there was no way of telling… So I started just buying the cutest calves. Most likely not the best way to pick animals that will hope to base our entire herd off of but it made me happy.
We will be finding out soon if buying calves purely on cuteness factor was a good idea. They start calving in three weeks. Expect LOTS of baby pictures… I’m talking worse than a first time Grandmother…. I only have one that I am worried about.
This is Kiss. When I bought her she looked like a little Jersey and Holstein cross. Now she looks like a beef cow, or a tank, you decide. Hubs thinks she resembles a wiener dog with little Jersey legs and an Angus body. The best part of my big girls calving is that most of them are having heifer calves! Believe it or not we have our cows ultrasound tested for pregnancy and the Vet can tell us if we should paint the nursery pink or blue! It’s pretty cool. Of the five girls that are calving in the next month or so, four of them are having girls. Since we are trying to grow our herd of milk cows this is great news. Once the girls have their calves they will leave our farm and go across the road to be milked.
We are super excited to see the next generation of our herd. By we I mean me, Hubs is more mildly enthusiastic…
Update to our story can be read HERE