Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Unexpected New Life On The Farm

Since we had our cow "Freezer 1" butchered last year we had not purchased another cow to replace her as we already had "Freezer 2" waiting in the wings and it is unlikely that we would need to have a further cow to fill our freezer before we moved to New Zealand.

So instead of buying another cow we borrowed one from our neighbour.  For a while we had a big dopey steer we called bozo and when the neighbour wanted him back to send to the sale yards he gave us an old dairy cow he had purchased as part of a group of cows.

Freezer 2 is the one at the front, Bozo at the back.
We called her Lady and she now calm and friendly around us (might be something to do with the hand feeding and treats).  We think that Lady must be really old and I am pretty sure she has no teeth left as sometimes you can hear her gums squeaking when she chews.  She arrived at the neighbours with a group of cows and calves that really should have been weaned already.  So when she came to our place I was kind of relieved for her.  I figured that she really just needed to be left to rest and retire in peace with out lots of other cows or calves trying to drink from her.
She has always been thin and no matter what we feed her she does not seem to put on weight.  We thought she was finally starting to look a bit better a few weeks ago which we put down to extra hay we have been feeding and the mineral block they have had access to for the last few months.
So you can imagine my surprise when I was out near the paddock today and I saw a tiny calf standing next to her.  I was speechless. Poor old lady had been carrying yet another calf. 
Now you might think that we just missed the signs or are a bit clueless but trust me I know what pregnant cows look like as I grew up in a dairy farming area.  I am not sure how she has managed to survive another pregnancy and the calf is very small so I am not sure how things will go from here.  She does not seem to have a lot of milk but the calf is doing all the right things to get it when she can.

We have moved them into a paddock where there is plenty of of grass so hopefully that will help with her milk production but I think we will have to keep an eye on them.

Oh boy, it has been a big week on the farm.  I am just hoping for a few calm and easy weeks as we lead into Christmas.

Have you had any big surprises like this before?


  1. That's so funny.......what a story given you are a farming girl anyway!! Me, I wouldn't have a clue. Cute photo of the new baby..... Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  2. Well,... that was a surprise for everyone it seems! She does look a bit poor, hope she picks up soon. Good luck with the new addition! cheers Wendy

  3. Oh shame she does look rather poorly - maybe the pregancy was sapping her energy.


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