Friday, March 12, 2010

Jules is on Deck.....

She will be the next to calve. Within 2 weeks, probably sooner. Wanna take a guess? She gets all " swishy -tailed " whenever I try to touch her udder. Not a direct windmill-action kick aimed at my head, but she's dancing around and thwapping me with her tail nonetheless. Speaking of which , I got groped by a 3 yr old boy at Ayla's gym class. That was new. I should have guessed what was coming when he sidled up next to me, patted my arm, laid his head on my shoulder and then went for the gold. Frankly, I have 5 kids--6 if you count Dante--( I can write that because he RARELY ever reads the blog! ) so I am pretty used to it. You Moms know what I mean. Your body kinda becomes public property. Newly weaned Ida May has taken to blowing " raspberries " on my chest. Whatever floats your boat, right?

Back to Jules, if she has a heifer she will be named Julia or Juliette. A play on the book/movie " Julie & Julia ". Only this pair will probably be " Jules & Juliette ". I can use the milk. Ellie's bull calf is officially for sale. He is taking ALL her milk. He will be excellent meat for the freezer for someone. We are gonna butcher our bigger bull, Wolfie, after he breeds the cows and is on grass for a bit. He is becoming a jerk, gets all snorty and grouchy if you even look at him these days. Teeny was in heat yesterday, or maybe it was Happy, all I know is it was a DANGEROUS proposition to get in between her an any immovable object! I tried to take some pics of Jules but was scared to turn my back on her! I had to keep my escape route in mind. She just had this love-crazed look in her eyes.....The ram we borrowed for tupping ( remember that is sheep-speak for breeding ) is also a bother now. He uses his horns to dart under the fence and is coating the bottom wire with wool. This is very annoying for Dante, and thus slightly entertaining for me!

Amazingly my business is growing concurrent with the cows freshening. It seems, just as I seem to be short on milk--BOOM! Another calf hits the ground. I couldn't have planned it better, and believe me it wasn't planned! This years calving schedule was all left up to the cows, bulls, and romance under the stars somewhere on the back forty. I would have LOVED to have at least gotten a heads up, but NO---the cows want me to spend weeks scrutinizing their nether regions and discussing it in great detail with anyone who will listen. Zoie lives in fear of what I will let fly, in front of her friends. Of course I use this to my advantage. She had a friend visiting, and we were watering the cows. One of the calves mounted another. This is normal calf behavior, they do it as a dominance thing and just practicing being cows. The little girl looks at me and I can see it coming. " What are they doing? "
" Oh, just playing..." I say. " It looks like they're HUMPING." she says. So I say, " Fine, they're humping." And that was that. When you treat these things as normal everyday facts of life, that's EXACTLY how kids grow up viewing them.

That's one of the great things about being a lady dairy farmer . Not only have I learned every swear imaginable from other farmers, ( when you are dealing with a steaming 20 lb mound of excrement that just came out of the south end of your cow named " Happy ", to call it " poop " or " manure " just doesn't do it justice. It's sh*t. Pure and simple. Call me uncouth, or not lady-like, but I am very feminine, in a not so feminine profession. ) You also get to say things like:
" udder "
" teats "
" vulva"
" springing "
" sliming "
" mucous "
" engorged "
" she's holding out on me! "
" I almost got mounted by a cow today! "
and nobody looks at you weirdly! Okay, they still look at you strange, but you don't give a hoot! I love my job!


  1. Hey Jess -- quick question -- does a bull's beef taste different than a steer's? I'm ignorant. Will you bring him to a butcher or do it on the farm? Congrats on getting groped by a younger man!

  2. I think it depends on if he's been actively breeding or not. I've heard mixed reviews, but eat him we will! I think it's possible that an older bull will be tough, but this guy is just two years old. I'd like to butcher him at home, but I'd need some brave soul to help me!
    Younger man for sure....

  3. LOL! Sounds like you are a busy girl! Our bull calf is taking all the milk too, and the cow is holding up fiercely. I am thinking of veal.

  4. Yeah, some folks just don't understand the vocabulary of a "lady" farmer! ;-) I try to be careful what I say around folks who don't farm but sometimes I just slip up. My niece and I were standing around after a meeting at church one evening and I was talking (in detail) about her husband AI-ing our cows. It was when I realized that everyone in the room was looking at us that it dawned on me that I probably should not have been talking about that particular subject at that particular time. I heard someone say, "What are they talking about?" I heard someone else reply, "I think their talking about cow reproduction." ;-) We got some strange looks.

    Glad things are working out so your girls are freshening just at the right time. I'm looking for a few more share members!

  5. We used the term "circus cows" for mounting behavior For repeaters B**ch in heat would do Lonnie

  6. Funny Lonnie!Aint it the truth!One time I was in the middle of the aisle in the barn, about 9 months pregnant myself, when a " double decker " cow train came steaming right at me. I remeber desperately shaking a locked gate and busting in with the sheep just as those cows were bearing down on me!
    Those crazy hormones....
    I've had that same experience where suddenly the room has gotten silent just as your getting to the good part about how your kneeling in the muck, helping with a malpositioned calf. It's really fun if your actually clean and in a dress, and people just don't know what to think!