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Lula and Lana update

April 30, 2009

If you’re looking for the Fight Back Friday post for June 12th here is the correct link:

Do you make plans and then change them?  Constantly?  I do.

Wanna run under the electric fence and freak out our moms?

Wanna run under the electric fence and freak out our moms?

We turned Lula and her calf, Lana out with the herd today.  The share milking was going great.  Lula is a trooper and dead broke gentle, even though she had never been milked by a human before. 

Sometimes I make a decision, and then a few changes come about, but in my mind I still am sticking with the original plan.  Milking Lula was the plan to fill in while Della was dry.  But Della lost her calves last year and didn’t re-breed.  My new plan is to breed Della one more time with AI in hopes of getting another Guernsey.  If she doesn’t take I will put her in with the beef bull and hope live cover is more successful.  What I hadn’t even thought about was Della getting too fat if I dried her up.  Fat cows don’t breed too well, so I have decided to keep milking her at low production to keep her at least at a fighting weight. 

The actual scenario would be if I continued to share milk with Lana, I could potentially be shorting her, sacrificing her potential for growth, and if I dried up Della she probably would get too fat and sacrifice her breeding potential.  One too thin, and one too fat.




Lula is soooo gentle – she has her mom’s personality. 


Lana is a little more feisty!


Sometimes it is best to keep the dogs from underfoot when there is a new calf around.  For their safety, not the calf’s. 

Butterscotch pudding for dogs...

Butterscotch pudding for dogs...

This is why the dogs are like velcro at milking time…  Healthy first poop from a colostrum fed calf.


Miss Della - age 11

Miss Della - age 11

Back in the saddle again!  This is my first participation in Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays!  Get in charge of more of your food – not sure where to start?  Read the great post at Food Renegade and the Carnival posts on Fridays, there are some great ideas!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. lisa permalink
    May 1, 2009 1:42 am

    Beautiful calf, love coming to your blog, you have such fabulous pic.

  2. May 1, 2009 2:03 am

    They are just gorgeous and so healthy looking! Congrats on it going so well. Maybe Della just needs the old fashioned way of getting preggers. 😉

  3. May 1, 2009 5:04 am

    Is that 6 teats I see? I didn’t know cows could have more than four! I’m soooooooo envious of your cows. I’d just love to have the space for cows (or even to breed up my goats). Just having the buck here made them look like a real small herd and it thrilled me to no end. Alas, I live vicariously through your blog!


  4. May 1, 2009 5:06 am

    Oh and yes, fresh, warm poop, yum. My dog loves it when I ride my horse over. We call it doggy take-out and Nick delivers!

  5. May 1, 2009 5:21 am

    Lisa, thank you!

    ChristyACB, I am in agreement with you on the old fashioned way. I rarely use AI, but if I want a full dairy calf that is the only way to go. Good dairy cows are hard to find, but I am looking. I would like to find a day old calf if possible – but the breed I want is hard to find so I have my fingers crossed.

    Maybe with the A1 and A2 information getting out, more Guernseys will be bred.

    HDR, sometimes they are born with 6, and you can cut them off, but they don’t give milk and aren’t usually a problem. Maybe in a full blood dairy animal it could cause some problems, but in this case they’re just there for looks 😉

    As for the fresh poop, the dogs get real excited when we have a new calf in the barn – we just have to remember “NO KISSING!” The coyotes hang out with cows this time of year too, just waiting for milk fed calf poop 🙂

  6. May 1, 2009 5:52 am

    I am a Guernsey and Brown Swiss fan. Love those girls. I also love the rich milk they produce, yummm.

    Coyotes are such a pain. I bring our cows in at calving time. We had one lose her baby AS IT WAS BEING BORN to the coyotes. Ugly animals.


    • May 1, 2009 6:03 am

      Linda, me too – I think Brown Swiss are even scarcer than Guernseys 😦

      We never have had problems with coyotes, they do a good job of rodent hunting, and clean up crew for the calf poop. Cougars are the cow predator here – and luckily the wolves have not made it here yet. I dread that…even if it isn’t politically correct to say.

  7. May 1, 2009 10:20 am

    Um, butterscotch pudding will never be the same for me again! 🙂 I think I may have gagged a little bit, too, visualizing their feast. (I can’t be the ONLY one, can I?) I am falling in love with Lula and Lana. I’ll probably call them by each other’s name for a while (I do that with my kids. sigh.) Della looks wonderful! Love her, too!

    • May 1, 2009 11:05 am

      Paula, gee sorry about that…we saw a vehicle yesterday that I described as Calf Crap Yellow and you should have seen the look on RL’s face! As for the gagging, just be glad this blog doesn’t have the scratch and sniff feature!

      I am surprised how aloof Lana is now, if she sees us, she looks the other way. Reminds of wanting your mom to drop you off a block from school!

      We miss her, calves can be sweet and unless someone has a problem, we won’t have any we have to take a hand in raising this year. Fingers crossed for Della on her big date!

  8. May 1, 2009 10:39 am

    O, I live in Brown Swiss land (Amish favorite and mine as well). Before I bought the dexters, I had originally planned on Brown Swiss. They are just lovely, gentle cows!

    Your photos are sooooo gorgeous. Even the poop one is beautiful! 🙂

    Hope all is well!

  9. May 1, 2009 11:06 am

    Gina, I am jealous, we are lucky to see a Brown Swiss at the State Fair. I love those cows.

    I kinda thought the poop one looked good too!

    Any calves yet??

  10. May 1, 2009 4:47 pm

    I love your pictures. My Aussie is way past her prime. It almost makes me sad to see yours looking so young and chipper.

    Thanks for sharing this today. It made me smile.

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  11. suziam48 permalink
    May 1, 2009 7:32 pm

    Beautiful pictures. Your animals all look happy and healthy!

  12. May 1, 2009 9:22 pm

    choke squak ralph bwaa. gwaaak.. the butterscot pudding for dogs. Oh my.
    It’s been years and years since I’ve seen that.

    (I do remember the scours tho.)

    Miss Della reminds me of our old guernsy — Janny

    She lived to be 17.

  13. May 2, 2009 1:48 pm

    Happy sigh…getting my cow and Aussie fix vicariously through your gorgeous photos 🙂


  14. May 2, 2009 5:30 pm

    calves are so freakin’ cute!

  15. kim1708 permalink
    May 2, 2009 9:48 pm

    Oh, so fun to run across your blog. We just traded 3 goats for a Guernsey/Angus heifer. She’s 6 months and I am planning on milk share also when the time comes. We are noticing horns poking through, and my husband is concerned. Do you know? is that a problem?

    • May 2, 2009 10:04 pm

      Doris, personally I would have her dehorned now. The sooner it is done the less traumatic it is for the cow. I have had cows with and without horns, and it just depends on the animals personality if the horns become a problem or not.

      Best of luck!

  16. May 2, 2009 10:00 pm

    Suziam48, thank you, we try to keep them that way, it makes things so much easier.

    Pamela, my bad, but I get questions frequently about calf poop – go figure??

    I hate to see Della getting older – she is so sweet, now.

    Robbyn, you should see the dogs and the kid on the air mattress now, all snoring away as we watch 3:10 to Yuma.

    Tansy, I hear ya’, when they are new their white is sooo white!

  17. kim1708 permalink
    May 2, 2009 10:54 pm

    Mom, (Doris) I think they are scurs, by the way they look and feel… I felt them the same night we got her, and thought I told you about it, but you must not have believed me, or you brushed it off. Or you forgot. Plus, I think 6 months old, is a little old for even a heifer calf to grow any. But I might be wrong about that, but I still think shes getting scurs, because they are so small, and just starting to poke through the hair. Not horns in my opinion. My advice for you mom, is to have the vet sedate her, and then we could have them burned off… I may be willing to wrestle a 50-100 lb goat to remove scurs, but there is no way I would even dare to try to wrestle a 300 lb wiley heifer calf. I will only use my disbudding tool on her, if our vet sedates her. But if you don’t want to pay the vet to do anything about it, then we will just have to live with funky little scurs on her. I just hope if you choose not to have the vet sedate her, you don’t regret it. Like I hope they don’t curl and grow into her head or her eyes and cause her pain. I opt in having the vet sedate her, and I shave the hair around her little nubs and get rid of the scurs, especially while her and her nubs are this small. They will only get bigger 🙂

    • May 3, 2009 5:46 am

      kim1708 and Doris, her horns are probably never going to get very large since she is half beef so they may not ever be a problem. As for the growing into her head, you can saw the tips off with a handsaw while the cows head is in the stanchion.

  18. May 4, 2009 6:31 am

    Lana and Lula have such beautiful faces that it makes me want a cow!

    Then I remember the milking part, and remember why I don’t want one. We’ll see. Maybe in 2-3 years I won’t feel the need for the “freedom” from milking.

  19. kim1708 permalink
    May 4, 2009 9:50 am

    I know, and too bad the Angus side of her wasn’t dominate enough, so she’d be naturally polled! hah… too bad.. sure was in color and her face. Her face is so Angus. And she’s all black except for her white belly, with the end of her tail all white and her back legs have white stockings. Her tail is so Guernsey. Its black, but the the bottom part of it is all white, with long curly hair like the Guernsey.

    BTW MOM, we don’t have a stanchion for her! Or anything to lock her into! So sawing would not be an option. Plus I don’t want to do anything that stressful to her. When we can milk her, I hope to be able to just walk up to her with the milk pail and milk her. I bet I could put that in my PE for stretching my haunches/ deep knee bends, and strengthening my hands. Hahaha… Trimming goat hooves, and milking goat hooves have immensely made my hands strong, but just wait until I can get to milk a cow! LOL.

    Oh, and I just love the heart shape on Miss Della’s beautiful forehead. She has a very lovely head.

  20. kim1708 permalink
    May 4, 2009 10:02 am

    “Trimming goat hooves, and milking goat hooves have immensely made my hands strong”… OOPS! I meant: Trimming goats hooves and milking goats have made my hands immensely stronger than before”


  1. Fight Back Fridays June 12th | Food Renegade

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