Our Dexters are such a beautiful part of our homestead. They are the smartest, most wonderful livestock I have ever worked with and are such a joy.
This year like, every year, brought the anticipation of calving season. Because of the horrid heat and drought conditions last year, our girls did not breed until late fall last year, which meant we were having all summer calves. This was a huge concern for us. 110* is not a good time to be heavy pregnant, or to have a newborn on the ground that cannot regulate it’s own temperature.
We closely watched our girls, made sure that the had good, clean, cool water and made sure that they were kept in pastures with deep shade available.
We had three cows calving this year.
Leah was due first. We have had Leah since she was about 6 months old and we love her. We purchased her from Nonesuch Farm, (www.nonesuchfarm.net), with the anticipation of her wonderful milking lines. This was her first calf, so we were very eager to see how her udder developed and how she milked.
Leah calved a beautiful little heifer the first week of July. We named her heifer Ms Mable.
After a bit of adjusting to the new routine of milking, Leah is doing just great! We are very please with her. She has a beautiful udder and is giving us right at a gallon a day share milking with her calf. This is wonderful for a first year milker!
Next to calve was our tried and true Madaline. I milked Madaline last year through her first lactation. So, I was excited to see how she did this time around.
She had a beautiful little heifer the night we were at our hometown rodeo, so, of course, we named her Rodeo Queen.
Madaline is doing absolutely wonderful in the stanchion, giving about a gallon a day in milk. She is the sweetest cow on this place! She loves to be around people.
Polly was our last cow to calve this year. She is also a new addition. We purchase Polly last fall from a sweet couple up north of here. They had purchased Polly as a calf to raise as a milk cow, but just hadn’t had the time to spend with her. Polly was very skittish and wouldn’t come up to you without something incredibly tempting, like alfalfa hay, in you hand. I worked with her everyday, and slowly have built a bond with her. She will let me pet her all over now and will come to me when I call.
I just knew, seeing that we had been blessed with two heifers this year, Polly was going to have a black bull calf for sure!
She kept me waiting. I had her marked down as due the last week in August. She showed all the signs of calving. Swollen back-end, engorged udder, lots of laying down, goo hanging, but no calf.
Finally, the morning of Sept 4th, Polly effortlessly plopped out a beautiful little baby- a red heifer!
Polly was so proud, and she is a wonderful mother! I have not milked her yet, as her new mommy hormones are still raging and she is skittish of anything that might separate her from her calf. I have strong confidence, though, that by the end of the week we will be in a good milking routine.
We are just so very thankful for the great blessings that are on our little growing herd. In the last 3 years we have had a total of 6 heifers and one bull calf! I think Kooper deserves a big ol’ kiss, our Dexter ladies deserve some extra treats, and our God gets a big thank you for His great goodness!