OK. I’ll admit defeat. I blew it.
We really should have stuck with the “breed-her-back” after calving routine. This is another one for the books. Another one to add to the list of “listen to advice – don’t take the field trip.” Another example of “experience is the mother of all teachers.” Ugh.
I am a hard-head and unfortunately seem to enjoy learning everything the hard way. So, after 5 attempts at A-I (artificial insemination) we still have an “open” cow (not pregnant). Which is not what you want.
My 14 year old son said, “all she does is eat money and turn it into poop.” That pretty much is what she’s doing right now. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my sweet, adorable, wonderful cow. She brings me joy and my life is better with a cow. However, it would be even better if she was either giving me milk, or making a baby cow, or both. That is why she’s here, after all.
Here’s how we got here.
Our jersey cow had a calf. We knew that the “normal” procedure was to breed the cow back a few short weeks after she delivered the calf. I also knew that a milk cow can be milked for years without having a calf. I figured (wrong) that we would just wait a year or so, then breed her. We figured it would be kind to let her go 2 years in-between calves. We’d milk her for a couple of years, then have another calf. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I assumed if she can potentially have a baby every 2 years instead of every year and produce the same amount of milk for our family…… Why not? Why put her though twice the morning sickness, twice the “this baby is taking up too much space & I can’t eat or breathe,” twice the waddling through the last weeks of pregnancy, twice the deliveries – if it’s not necessary. Bless her heart.
LET ME TELL YOU WHY!
Because she is a cow, not a person. Her body thrives when giving birth to a sweet calf every year. This has been her cycle for the past 7 years. This is the program. This is the schedule. This is what a milk-cow’s life looks like.
Because I’m an idiot who decided my cow needed a break from the non-stop-birth-plan, we have ourselves in a pickle. She had a perfect little cycle going. She was on a 6 year rhythm. She was in her baby-cow-makin’ groove. Which I just threw a giant monkey wrench in. Because I’m so great at animal husbandry. Not.
I may have unintentionally mistaken my bovine’s pregnancy & deliveries for my own. I thought the cow would appreciate my efforts to give her a vacation from all the children and birth. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Well. She’s a cow. I’m a person. She’s made to have babies every year. We missed the blessed window of “breeding-back” and are now in no-man’s land with the cow. We aren’t milking her. We can’t get her bred. We’re in eat-money-and-turn-it-into-poop land. Which is really good for the garden. But not really good if you would like to have milk, butter, cheese, buttermilk, cream, and a baby cow.
So, here’s my thoughts.
We’ve called the A-I guy out 5 times. We are calling the vet next month to be sure Faith doesn’t have any health issues preventing her from conceiving. After that, we get to call the A-I guy again, and again, and again, until we get the cow bred.
I’ve heard you don’t have to call a bull twice.
I want a bull.
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