Hello everyone. Been a while since my last life post hasn’t it? But, with good reasoning. The week before last my family and I were able to welcome two new Jersey/Dexter mix calves into our family! Both of our Jersey cows gave birth within two days of each other, and we were so happy to come home from work those two days to find an adorable, healthy calf in our pasture, being carefully watched by it’s momma. 🙂 Zoe (our oldest Jersey girl) has a son, he’s all black and quite a lively one. He certainly drives her mad, prancing around in the nice weather we’ve been having. Meg (our younger one, and also the daughter of Zoe) gave birth to a precious baby girl, a chocolate brown calf with a coppery tinge to her coat and a white belly. She’s definitely the more docile of the pair, and we’ve decided to name her Juniper.
We’re so happy to have two cows in milk. This means we have plenty for drinking (it’s been so long since we’ve had fresh milk to drink, and we refuse to drink store bought), and plenty left to make cheeses and sour cream. I’ve also started meddling with some of our cream to make homemade creamer for coffee. 🙂 Right now we’re getting about a gallon of milk morning and night from Zoe, and anywhere from a half gallon to a full gallon from Meg morning and night. It’s quite funny because my mom and I are always trying to find somewhere to put the new milk while keeping enough room for food in the fridge and the cheeses my mom has been making.
We milk by hand, my mom doing Zoe and I doing Meg (it’s kind of been unspokenly decided that she’s my cow). It’s easy for my mom, who has years of milking experience under her belt and since Zoe’s teats are a better size for milking, even though she’s getting a lot of milk. For me though, well let’s just say it’s quite a journey. My hands aren’t used to the work, so they’re constantly cramping up during milking and they’re sore and shaky most of the day now. And Meg is still getting used to being milk, so she has to work on letting down (this is when the cow relaxes and “lets down” the milk, essentially making it easier for one to milk….though this may be gross, but think of it as how you release when you’re in the restroom. Make sense?). So for now I milk as much as I can before my hands give out (usually about half way) and my mom sticks around to finish the other half for me. We’re thinking I should get a stress ball to help strengthen my hands.
The babies are doing wonderfully, though they still sleep quite a bit at the moment, with small bursts of energy in which they frolic around and kick up their heels in the field. It’s very interesting to watch them, as we’ve never had more than one calf at a time before. So it’s nice to be able to watch them play together.