Sunday, 6 October 2013

a new cycle begins

We decided earlier this year that we wanted to get a second Jersey so that we could milk all year, so, a few months ago, we bought Daisy - we knew she was in calf, but had no idea when she was due.

Jersey is due to be "retired" from milking mid-October, 3 months before she calves so she can have a rest. With that in mind, a few weeks ago we bought Daisy down into the milking paddocks to start training - she's been coming in to the shed after Jersey for a bit of a treat and a rub down and to get used to the sound of the milking machine. We're not sure if she's ever had a calf, or been milked, but she has seemed remarkably unfazed by the routine.

Well, in a remarkable show of good timing, Daisy had her calf late Friday night (John had to give it a final pull to help her out) and had her first trial run at milking this morning - it went surprisingly well and we will start milking her in the afternoons to get her completely trained up before Jersey is put back in with the herd for the next 6 months.

When we bought Daisy she was pastured with a large herd that included 1 Jersey bull and 2 Friesian bulls, so we weren't sure what we'd get.........I guess that question has been answered - I wonder if the Jersey bull is surprised?

My plans for this little girl is to train her up as a house cow - either for ourselves (though I prefer Jerseys) or for someone else. It's a 3 year project, so I'll have plenty of time to work it out. For now I am making sure I give her a rub a couple of times a day and will start halter training this week.

The new mama and baby.