Saturday, May 21, 2011

How's Violet?

We did get Violet inseminated In January, so we should have a calf right around my dear friend's birthday in October. Maybe we'll name the baby after her.

So, something funny that happened within days of the insemination is that our very exciting cow got very boring, but in a good way. From January until last week, she was easy to milk, she was reliably adjusted to our routine, she stood extremely still during milking, she gave me cues before she peed or pooped so I had more of a chance to get out of the way. Really, just the way you idealists might imagine milking a cow might be.

About two months ago, Chappy came into heat for the first time. What do you know about cows in heat? Well, if you don't want to know, skip this paragraph and maybe the next one. When in heat, cows mount other cows or they are mounted; it's called standing heat. Having a herd of only two cows means my dear, sweet little calf was mounting her mother. It means that she would nurse and then try to mount her mother. It means her mother got pretty darn tired of that nonsense and quit letting her nurse. The really fun part is that this recurs every three weeks. The last time Chappy was in heat, we took pity on Violet, and locked Chappy up for the day.

Every three weeks, Violet quits letting Chappy nurse, then after a couple of days she lets her nurse a little. We can tell when we milk whether Chappy nursed the day before. This past week, I'm not sure if she's nursed at all.

That's because our dear cows are now back on grass, and we have a new little excitement at milking time. Violet would much rather be on pasture than wait twenty more minutes while I'll milk her. We only had to force the issue one morning, but her attitude was so reminiscent of her pre-pregnancy behavior, that I'm sure glad we got her inseminated.

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