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September 15, 2011

Eight more full moons and we will have our own milk again!

All weekend I was on pins and needles, averting my eyes when I saw Jane.  I didn’t want to see her doing anything out of the ordinary like sniffing the air, holding her tail weird, looking extra alert or mooing in her squeaky “I’m in heat!” tone.  Of course, I was looking closer each day for other signs too, but those are the obvious ones from the kitchen window.

I know I shouldn’t announce a pregnancy before the first trimester is over, but I couldn’t wait.

Common Hawthorne – Crataegus mongyna

Health from the hedgerow, hopefully haw berries and leaves make for a strong pregnancy.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2011 1:06 am

    Eight months…holy cow! 😉 Does she go dry each year or how long are you able to prolong her milk after she calves?

    • September 15, 2011 5:01 am

      Tanya, this is her first calf, so my usual plan is milk for 9 months, 3 month dry period, rinse and repeat. Of course with a dairy cow many things can change the plan, so it’s my hope that my “plan” works out.

      • Anna permalink
        September 15, 2011 7:10 am

        Congratulations! Does this mean you’ll have a grandcow? 😉

        So . . . for those of us who are ignorant but curious (and looking to have milk animals someday soon!) . . . what do you do for all the 9-monthses that you don’t have milk? Do you can it, or just do without? Can you have 2 cows and stagger freshenings, or does that work?

        • September 15, 2011 7:23 am

          Anna, we are just doing without 😦 I occasionally get milk from a friend, but we are just like most, we’re buying milk at the store. From past experience I am just not a two cow person, been there, done that. Previously I would freeze milk for the dry period, and while not fresh, it was certainly our milk from our terroir. But there is more than one way to skin a cat, shorter dry period 8 weeks is standard, or staggering works too.

          As for grandcalf, I can’t wait to have a baby in the barn 🙂

      • Anna permalink
        September 19, 2011 7:43 am

        Oh! I think I understand–you have only a 3 month dry period–so Jane can be in calf and still milking? Then you rest her during the end of the pregnancy? (Sorry–I’m just a little slow!!)

        • September 19, 2011 11:56 am

          Anna, correct, a cow is usually bred to calve the same time every year. Best for all – cow, calf and humans consuming the milk – is to time the breeding for calving when the grass is plentiful. Cows can and do calve at anytime of the year, and many people like to perpetuate the false abundance of the store bought mentality, it’s in the store year round so I must produce “it” on my homestead or farm too year round. Nature always bats last.

  2. Hayden permalink
    September 15, 2011 2:49 am

    Congratulations to Jane! And to Nita, it’s your care and planning that makes it all possible. She is absolutely beautiful.

  3. September 15, 2011 3:29 am

    Aww… congratulations! I’ll second your woot!!! 🙂

  4. September 15, 2011 4:00 am


  5. Jessica permalink
    September 15, 2011 5:44 am

    aww, congratulations! I’ve been following your blog for years and I’m sure this means a lot to you!

  6. September 15, 2011 6:14 am

    It;s been fun to watch her grow and mature on your blog. Now we will get to see the process start all over again. – Margy

  7. Fid permalink
    September 15, 2011 6:36 am

    Moohoo! for BOTH of you! 🙂

  8. September 15, 2011 7:03 am

    Jane is growing into such a pretty girl!! Congrats and good luck!!

  9. September 15, 2011 7:56 am

    That’s great – she looks awesome. Are you hoping for a heifer so you can have two milking cows, or do you just plan to keep one? I have three walking around here bawling & squeaking…. it gets old, lol.

    • September 15, 2011 8:13 am

      AMF, thanks! Nooo, she’s bred to a Hereford for a half breed, I don’t want two milk cows!

  10. September 15, 2011 8:03 am

    Congrats! I don’t have a lot of experience with cows in season, so Jane’s behavior was interesting to learn about. Thanks!

  11. September 15, 2011 9:09 am

    Your baby is all growed up! 😉 We’re about to enter this same phase with our yearling does. It feels like I just delivered them yesterday!

  12. September 15, 2011 11:14 am

    Oh how wonderful! We are anxiously awaiting for our goats to go into heat for the first time.

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