Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Evening Milking

These were all supposed to be part of Monday's post with the calves, but it was late and the computer crashed again and I was going to have to go to bed or take an ax to the computer.  I opted for sleep:)

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Milking time...



The prevailing wisdom says that livestock guardian dogs have to be raised with the livestock and NEVER treated like pets or they won't be any good as guard dogs.  We have never bought into this notion and Bess is proving it wrong every day.  Despite not having been raised with the flock, she loves her sheep and is incredibly good with them.  She flows in and around them like a harmless bit of cloud and they love her for it.

Shannon finally had her calf while I was away at the conference.  A nice, healthy bull calf.


I can't say that Shannon is the best mom as she is rather nonchalant about her baby, but she does like and feed him so it's OK.  She is much better than the last two.  Unfortunately, she is still letting one of the big steers from last year drink as well, but as long as the baby gets enough milk it's not terrible. Not yet anyway.  The mothering instinct has just been bred out of so many dairy cows.

These two boys are best buddies, playmates and troublemakers.

The mom of the year award goes to Violet, the herd matriarch.  She is the big black and white cow in the back.  The even bigger black mom-cow in the front with her calf is Queen Ann's Lace (aka, the Queen).  She is one of Violet's earlier calves.  Those ladies know how to do the job.

Don't you all wish you could stick your tongue up your nose too?

This is Rose, who will, unfortunately, be Violet's last calf.  Violet is getting quite old and her udder was damaged a few years ago.  She loves her baby, but does not have milk for her so Jane is helping to feed Rose.  Violet will retire and we will likely keep Rose.  Rose gets to be the recipient of that yellow pail and she too has the tongue skills to take care of that milk mustache.

Jane is still overly fixated on FB, but has calmed down and is being a good milk cow despite also being the most neurotic cow I've ever known.  We all have our little foibles right?


Jane does have interesting freckles.
 

And when the work is done, the puppy gets to lick the bowl.  Never, ever let your LGD be a pet right?

8 comments:

  1. Bess has a perfect life. Good for her. But I'm confused as to who Maggie is?

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    1. Maggie is Bess' beautiful sister (littermate) and she belongs to RB (riding buddy), who lives just a few miles from here. Bess is mine!!

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  2. Good for Bess. I agree that sometimes we (humans) get the darndest notions. What a lovely bull calf!

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  3. Wait, why is Jane fixated on Farm Buddy? Also, those are about the healthiest looking cows!

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    1. Jane loves me, and I love her, but not nearly as much as I love BESS!!!!!

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  4. For these animals, life is GOOD! Wonderful pictures, great post - it's nice to meet the extended fa(r)mily.
    Bess - "She flows in and around" her sheep "like a harmless bit of cloud" - you found the most poetic imagery, Kris! Perfect description of the ideal LGD - flock relationship.

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  5. Oh, my word. Those are the cutest calves I've seen in a long time. But then, they always are. What a handsome fellow that little red one is.

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  6. I was wondering about Shannon and her calving...what a handsome calf. I so enjoyed this post and it makes me miss my shorthorns a lot!

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