Tag Archive | calf

Grace Has Gone to Heaven

This winter has been much, much colder than normal for Virginia, I think.  I can’t remember having a whole week of negative temperatures in our area.  We haven’t had an abundance of snow like I thought we would have (knock on wood) but the wind and cold temperatures have taken a toll.

Two weeks ago we lost one of my favorite cows.  She was a fifth generation  cow raised on the farm and though she was a headache until she had her first calf.  She was kept for breeding stock along with six other heifers and would lead those other girls through every hole in the fences or make her own wherever and when ever she wanted.  Hubby threatened to send her to market so many times.

Grace and her calf grazing.

Grace and her calf grazing.

Grace with her first calf to  survive.

Grace with her first calf to survive.

Grace with the herd.

Grace with the herd.

She lost her first two calves because her udders were so large.  Her great, great, great, grandmother was a holstein dairy cow and they can sure produce some milk.  All of her daughters were good milkers but Grace’s first two babies only lived about four days and we think starved because they couldn’t get the udders in their mouth and Grace was too unruly to pen up in a shed to milk.  We had planned last year to send her to market with the fall calves but something happened and she never made it on the truck.  She delivered a beautiful black angus heifer in early September but it took a toll on Grace.  The calf was sucking her to death and she lost a lot of weight but kept that baby of hers well fed.  During the big snow week before last, we think one of the other cows may have butted her down and she couldn’t get back up and froze during the night.  Hubby found her the next morning.  That’s the luck of farming beef cattle!  Just when you think you might get two steps ahead of the game, your forced to take three steps back!

Gyps new playmate

If you’ll remember, back in April I had an orphan calf, named Annabelle.  She was orphaned because her mom died shortly after her birth.  A few days before this,  we got a new puppy we named, Gyp.  Gyp was barely six weeks old when we got her and she made up with Annabelle quickly.  They played in the yard together and it was fun watching them run after each other.

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About two, maybe three weeks after this, we had another cow deliver a dead calf and she had so much milk and was grieving her calf bad.  Hubby decided to try a little trick he learned a long time ago and tricked the mama cow into taking Annabelle within 12 hours of losing her own calf.  Mama was happy, Annabelle was happy, we were happy but little Gyp was not allowed to play with Annabelle anymore.  Annabelle’s new mom did not like dogs around her little one.

We played with Gyp as much as we could and Sassy our cocker spaniel did not like this rowdy pup at all.  BUT, one of our new hounds, Roxie, loved horsing around with her and now that Gyp has gotten used to her, they are tried and true friends.  This is great for us because hubby is hoping that Roxie will teach Gyp all the tricks of running coons.  Everyone is happy!!  Here’s the two at play and we can’t believe how much baby Gyp has grown.  In one month, she has tripled size and doubled her weight.

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