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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"It's Fluffy Time!"

When you live on a dairy for very long the first thing you learn NOT to do is to name the critters. You never know when one is going to croak, or when you will have to get rid of them; either BEFORE they croak on you, or because they have some kind of problem.

However, there are times when a name or a nickname just happens. This one calf came along back when I first started my calfkeeping gig here. My husband went by her house one morning and said, "That calf in the last house is sure fat and fluffy looking." And that is how Fluffy got her name.

Fluffy just had her first calf this Monday. My husband was out there at 9 PM, stripped to the waist because he had to pull the calf. Fluffy was in no mood to cooperate, so it was quite the ordeal. He got her in the trailer, but she decided she didn't want to be messed with so she went after him and he had to climb the side of the trailer to get away from her. Anyway, he finally got a live heifer calf out of he. But she was so worked up she didn't want anything to do with it much. We left them together, but I thawed a jug of colostrum and fed the calf in the AM. It did seem really hungry.

That evening comes to milk her for the first time. I guess every dairyman's nightmare is having to deal with the new heifers. They are a pain. Fluffy was no different. She went round and round out in the holding lot before she came stumbling in. She kicked and bucked and put up a fuss. He put one of those over the back kick-stoppers on her. But we finally got her milked.

Her second milking: she didn't want to come in for that either. She did the same round and round game, plus she added a few bucks and full kicks in for good measure; I mean her heels were higher than her head. She pulled this just as she was going in the door. She slipped, skidded into the milking parlor on her belly, her head and one forefoot came out from under the stall bars.

There is nothing like the sight of 700 lbs of agitated muscle, hide and bone coming out at you to make your adrenaline skyrocket! Ha. But she righted herself and did OK, though she did kick a bit.

Then this morning, DH wants me to finish feeding calves so I can be there for: "Fluffy Time!" as he called it. Ha. Well, she did OK, believe it or not. There is nothing a bovine likes better than the promise of feed. Hopefully she will continue to do well.

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

jel said...

Sounds ya are having some fun over there! :)

I can't help but name them .