Friday, December 7, 2012

Gimme an L..

So I've decided to do something new that will be an ongoing process for the next couple of years (hopefully!).

                                          Meet my new baby girl, we'll call her BG for now!  

She was born on Thanksgiving day right before we were supposed to go in and eat (typical dairy farmer luck). She was probably about 50 lbs when she was born, a normal calf being about 70-90 lbs. But she was from a first calf heifer so it was not a surprise that she was that little. Her mom, Lacey, has been one of my siblings show heifers for the past two years and is also owned by non other than ME!

Vin showed Lacey as a yearling heifer this summer at the county fair

So needless to say I was really excited when I found her with her calf in the dry lot that morning, especially with it being a heifer. ( The dry lot is the pen where all heifers/cows that are going to calve in the next two months are, it's their vacation spot) . So right when she was born she had her naval dipped with an iodine dip to ensure that it didn't get infected and she was also orally given a immune booster to help jump start her immune system.

This last weekend when I went home I of course went to check on her right away, she was doing great! She had probably gained 10+ lbs in a little over a week and she was  a feisty one. It was a little unusual though because both her and Lacey were still in the maternity/hospital pen. I asked dad about it, usually cow and calf are seperated after 3 days so that the cow can have unlimited water,  feed, and more space also so that the calf can be moved outside for individual care. Dad said that Lacey had gotten really really sick in about the middle of the week so he kept her in the pen to watch her and be able to treat her with some antibiotics.
This was taken when Lacey was recovering from her sickness.

Lacey was treated with antibiotics and within a matter of days was feeling better and turned back out with the cows. We can tell she's feeling better by how much of her feed she eats and how much water she drinks. Also if you notice on her back feet there is a red band, she has one on each back foot. Those bands are put on cows who have either been treated with antibiotics or are 'fresh' (just had a calf within the last 5 days), we use them to let the milk help know that that cow's milk can NOT be put in with the milk for human consumption.

But glad to report that both are doing good, we just have one problem left, BG needs a real name that starts with the letter L for her registration with the American Guernsey Association. They don't always have to have the same first letter as their dam (mother) but on our farm we do it that way so it is a little bit easier to keep family lines in order. Being able to track cows back to numerous generations is incredibly important to all dairy farmers. On our farm we have a record of every cow that has ever been on our farm, when they were born, died, had a calf, and even how much milk they gave.

She's quite popular because she's so little and loves to cuddle!

So I'm going to keep track of what happens with little BG but for now I need suggestions for a name that starts with L?!