Sunday, September 23, 2012
Horse and Cow are Friends!
From the day we brought Buttercup home to live here at the farm, Lucy and she have been the best of friends.
Seldom did I allow the two of them to be together on the same side of the fence just because a purebred Jersey calf is so small in comparison to a 2,000 lb draft horse. I'd be heartbroken if anything happened to her, so we kept the two of them separate - except on those rare occasions when the cow would sneak in if I'd forgotten to latch the gate. I probably needn't worry - when they were together they were always very gentle with one another.
This past spring, Buttercup spent several months at another farm to be bred. If you haven't read that blog you can find Part 1 HERE. It really was a good article. The continuation of the story in Part 2 can be found HERE.
We had initially planned to have her artificially inseminated at our farm, but we have no restraining head stall, and because a bovine's heat cycle is so short - only 18 hours, it's too easy to miss. One indication that a cow is ready to be bred is that they will mount and be mounted by other cows. We saw that for the first time when we went to the dairy to buy Buttercup. They do not keep a bull on the property but watch their cows for breeding times. When they see herdmates mounting one another it's time to call the vet for insemination. Because the timing is so delicate and we don't have other cows on our farm a friend invited us to bring Buttercup to stay at his farm and be with other cows to pinpoint her estrus cycle. His son, who had been schooled in this field would then artificially inseminate her with Purebred Jersey semen and we would have a calf to register 9 months later. Well, things went awry and Buttercup apparently spent time with their Limousine Bull. For the next three or four moths she remained on their farm back in the pasture with the other cows but no indication of estrus was again noticed. By all apperances, I calculate that she should have a calf sometime in December.
Lucy was so happy to see her when she finally came home!
Dixie, however, had never met Buttercup before so she was a bit jealous.
This morning Buttercup decided that she wanted to visit her friend Lucy so she found a weak spot in the fence, pushed hard and went through - probably similar to what she did when she went to visit the Limousine bull!
But now, I'm afraid that she might not be pregnant after all!