Dream For Three

A New Phase

We are about to embark on the newest phase of our food production chain.

That is the production of dairy products. This is  not a road we were originally planning, but as time went on, it just seemed to be the next step.

With soaring food prices this year we could not help but wonder how well we would of managed had we not been taking this journey on our little patch of dirt.

We had some good fortune that someone offered us the use of a nice quiet cow to learn on and also be sure that we wanted to go down this road.  That cow is Sweetie Pye

sweetie-pye-002-small.jpg

She has only been withus for a week, and already she is tugging at the heart strings. She is so quiet and sweet, she even talks to me whenever I go out to the paddock.

Unfortunately she has developed a limp that the vet is having trouble pinpointing, but thinks that she may have taken a fall in the truck on the way down and injured herself somewhere. Being so close to calving is hindering her treatment a little.

She is starting to bag up, so we wil be on calf watch in a couple of weeks and hopefully in a months time we will be in full milk production and on our way to making our own butter, ice cream and eventually cheese.

Our plan is to share milk with the calf, that way if for some reason we get too busy to milk one day then the calf can help us out there.

From the same lady we also got Sweetie Pyes calf from last year, Cricket, she is a white faced beefie, and will be future food for us.

And then there was Daisy.

daisy-001-small.jpg

Daisy also came from the same place and is 5/8 Jersey and 3/8 peidmontese. She will be our future house cow and we are working on quieting her down in preparation for this.

When she came as a 10 month old we could not get near her at all, and she could not bear to be touched. I spent some time in the autumn getting her use to having people around and having a halter put on from time to time. We reached that point where she would let me walk up to her in the yards and pat her. She tolerates being tied up and brushed, but she would not relax or eat while I was around. She still runs away if approached in the paddock.

Then she went out for the winter.

Today I decided it was time to see where she was at. Over the winter she had her horns removed so was very unhappy about going back in the yards. Sweetie Pye had to have her foot checked again so I brought them in together, delt with the foot and turned my attention on to Daisy.

Having watched Sweetie Pye being let out of the smaller pen on the other side of the race, she was only too keen to rush in there. At 15 months she seems so small after the very pregnant Sweetie Pye, and I could still climb in with her and brush and pat her.

I put the halter on with hardly a batting of an eyelid so it appeared she remembered her lessons from six months ago. I attached a rope to the halter, opened the gate and after only a little effort managed to get her tied to the loading ramp post. She didn’t pull much and very quickly remembered what she had learnt.

As we stood there with her tied and me brushing and chatting away to her she decided to explore the bucket of food I had left for her. Now I can’t say she ate it, although I am sure she had one mouthful, but she did lick the inside of the bucket while I was brushing her.

In fact things were going so well that I untied the long rope and just clipped a lead rope onto her.  The idea was for her not to pull against me, but to step towards me whenever there is pressure on the halter – and she did.

I came away feeling that we had taken the first step to having her being lead around easily. I am not quite sure if I will ever be able to pat her in the paddock, but time will tell.

Comments are closed.