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farmlife Posted - Feb 13 2016 : 6:35:00 PM
So. . . look who followed me home on Thursday.

Okay, so maybe she didn't really follow me home, but we decided another cow was in the works for us. I think Elli is one of those girls who needs to be dried off to get pregnant again, so we thought it would work best to have two girls who we could alternate milking and calving. Alex is bred and they're thinking she is due somewhere around April. Time will tell, as we will get a better handle on that as she starts to bag up more.

Alex is a little more petite than Elli and definitely colored very differently. The best part is that we now have two beautiful female cows now with boys names. Elliot and Alex. That was meant to be, right?
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
NellieBelle Posted - Jul 03 2016 : 6:22:19 PM
Alex has grown up Keeley. Pretty cow and I like the white patches. Thanks for sharing her photo. Can't wait to see her little one.
farmlife Posted - Jul 02 2016 : 4:17:58 PM
My favorite spots on Alex are the little white ones above each of her hooves, MaryJane, although I can't wait to see what her calf looks like and if she/he inherits the spot on the forehead. I was thinking that she had grown up a lot since she got here as well. It's fun to look back at the pictures when she first got here and know that it shows.

I'm much more excited to go through the calving process with Alex now that we experienced it with Elli. It's a little more concerning for me with Alex because she's smaller, but the bulls they had in with all the heifers were mid-sized as well. I'm hoping the calf is appropriately sized. We got very lucky last time! I need to go back and look at Elli's before-birth posts and see is she was as wide as Alex is now. What I remember about Elli before birth was her massive udder!
txbikergirl Posted - Jul 02 2016 : 09:00:31 AM
keeley, she is absolutely gorgeous. i can't wait to hear all about your new calf when it arrives. it will also be a pleasure to hear about the birthing experience from a newbie since i have yet to go through it.

i am so happy for you. go farmgirl go!
maryjane Posted - Jul 02 2016 : 06:55:01 AM
She IS pretty Keeley. What a face! And I love her coloring and the patch on her forehead. Yup, she's looking wide. She's changed a lot since you first brought her home. She definitely looks adult now.
farmlife Posted - Jul 01 2016 : 9:06:36 PM
Here's Alex's update. She is looking quite pregnant now. If she doesn't calve until the end of this month or the beginning of August she is going to be waddling for sure.

This one shows her from the side next to our Red Angus heifer.

I can say that her udder has definitely developed more since she has come to live here, but I'm not seeing definite signs of progress towards calving at this point, although her coat colors sure have changed. I love her summer colors. She's so pretty!
farmlife Posted - Feb 23 2016 : 9:05:07 PM
It's just that my newbie is showing again. I keep waiting for that to stop happening. Hey, speaking of, it's almost time for Elli's udder to shave itself again. ;)
CloversMum Posted - Feb 23 2016 : 09:52:12 AM
Don't feel stupid ... we all learn as we go and it is incredibly hard to remember to ask every single question, especially after the previous owner made a blanket statement about dehorning all of his cows. The main goal anyway would be to have no horns which you got ... so you achieved your goal. :) Being polled is just icing on the cake!
farmlife Posted - Feb 22 2016 : 5:05:19 PM
It makes me feel a little stupid for not even checking before we got her home, but he said they had dehorned them all, so I didn't even check for the evidence of former horns.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 21 2016 : 4:37:22 PM
Some genetic testing ahead for Alex? How fun to discover that she is polled. I'm thinking one of our new goats is also polled ... so I understand the happy dance!
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 21 2016 : 4:31:08 PM
Not much gets by our cows. What a nice afternoon you spent with Alex. Sure is nice she is polled. Just keeps getting better Keeley.
farmlife Posted - Feb 21 2016 : 2:52:26 PM
Okay, so after my brushing session, I know two new things about Alex.
1. She is very smart. She knows exactly where the electric fence runs and grain will not get her past it even if a human is holding the gate open. We have work to do as the stanchion is on the other side. Up until we hit the fence line, she followed me all the way across the pasture without grain. She was just happy to have had time with the brush and me. We were best buddies.

2. Unless they did the most amazing horn removal job ever, she is polled. My happy dance starts now! So now of course I want to know "how polled" she is. Does she have one gene or two?
CloversMum Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 9:03:33 PM
And, Keeley, that is why there are other methods to impregnate Elli! You won't need to feed a bull the rest of the year either. You definitely have some advantages.
farmlife Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 8:10:15 PM
I only have 5 acres, so I can say that a bull wouldn't work for us here. Our neighborhood is full of small farms and houses on 1 or 2 acres. I can only imagine what it would be like if a Jersey bull got out and started impregnating beef cows. OOOOPPPPS! I sure can see the appeal though. I'd like to take Elli for a walk to have a date.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 7:36:52 PM
Cindy, You're already starting to s-s-s-slip down that s-s-s-slippery s-s-slope!
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 4:38:21 PM
ok charlene, i'll keep an open mind about it! let's just keep it between us though, no need to warn lover boy !
CloversMum Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 4:09:27 PM
Cindy, what do you mean you don't have enough room?? We only have 28 acres and have a bull? :) You are on a slippery slope ... Just one year ago we brought home Betsy to join Clover and now we have a total of five cows!! Granted Humble will be in our freezer next fall, but by then, hopefully, we'll have a couple of calves running around again.

Seriously, the no stress approach to breeding is fantastic for me. I don't have to worry about trying to find a bull and a farm that is willing to help me (MaryJane was incredibly patient and kind to help us the first time breeding Clover and I'm truly grateful!) or purchasing straws for AI-ing and getting the vets out to do it. We did that once with Clover and it didn't take. Not to say it doesn't work because it obviously does work. Seriously, though, we just watch for the cows' heat cycles and then walk her over for a "date" time with Mr. Tony. I love the same idea with my goats ... having a buck is stinky at times! but so worth it to breed my goats! And, just as an aside ... bucks get down to business much faster than Mr. Tony, the bull. :)
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 1:22:18 PM
oh no charlene, you are going to make a bull sound so easy that lover boy will regret your words when i start pondering the thought ;>

truthfully, we don't have room on our 23 acres for a "part-time" worker so no bull in the future for us. but it is always nice to dream...
CloversMum Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 11:49:57 AM
I think Elli and Alex look beautiful together because I love the contrast and yet the similarities as they are both Jerseys.

Maybe a Jersey bull is next in your future so you can breed right there without having your girls leave your farm? I was concerned about having a bull around our farm ... now I love having Mr. Tony here and it makes breeding much less of a worry.
farmlife Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 10:41:42 AM
I look out at my pasture with my beautiful girls and just smile. What a difference there is between my doe eyed Jersey girls and everyone else! I'm glad to hear that you think Elli looks good, MaryJane. She's hard to keep weight on. I can't say with 100% certainty that her last AI didn't take, but I sure can't say that it did either. I'm just going to let it go for now and wait a little bit to try again if she isn't bred. I can say that after her AI didn't take the first time, the vet did an ultrasound and said that there was no physical reason it shouldn't have been successful. That tells me it is either a nutritional, body condition issue, or we just keep falling into that 40% of AIing that isn't successful. I do really like our AI tech. He's very experienced and mellow. He's a big guy though. I don't see him being able to AI a mini cow. :)

Doug and Rob said that she could come back and be bred at their place by a bull (or 6), but the control freak in me isn't sure I want to let her go for a few months to do that. She would be with a whole herd of cows and I just don't know how I feel about having her be in the mix and the low cow on the totem pole. She would be bigger than most everyone else though, including the bulls. They were about Alex's size. I just have to consider all the options and I think I have one more straw of semen before I decide to try any other routes. I'm with you on the worry. If that was all it took she would be having quadruplets by now.
maryjane Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 10:15:59 AM
I can barely contain my excitement for you, Keeley. I'm like your son I guess. Smitten. Alex is a beauty. And I have to say, Elli looks good. She's gotten thin at times, but right now, she looks healthy and happy. I sure wish you could get her pregnant. I keep hoping. If my concern and worry made a difference, she'd be pregnant.
farmlife Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 10:07:21 AM
I realized I didn't answer your questions, Charlene and Cindy. This makes 5 cows for us. We have 2 Jerseys, 2 Red Angus, and 1 Black Angus. One of the Red Angus won't be with us too much longer. He's destined for the freezer, hence the name T-bone. The other should have a calf in the fall. I'll have to check my calendar to find out exactly when she's due. She and Elli were being AIed at about the same times. Her last AI seems to have taken. I'm not sure about Elli. The Black Angus is a bottle calf that my oldest raised off Elli's milk. She's a freemartin and he plans to sell her for meat at some point. She's about 6 months old right now.

I can't say that Elli and Alex are best friends at this point since they are still all figuring out their roles. Our steer is being really bossy with Alex as far as where she is allowed to eat. Elli also feels strongly that her hay has her name on it. Instead of putting hay only in the feeders, we are now finding several random places throughout the pasture to put small piles of hay so that everyone has space to eat. However, once the hay is gone I often find them all together in the same area of the pasture. They are getting it figured out. Time will tell, but I have often felt that Elli is the odd one out with the Red Angus and their interactions, so hopefully she and Alex will get along better.
farmlife Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 09:44:47 AM
Okay, so I actually managed to take some pictures during the day.

Here's Alex's other side that has more white patches.

Her coloring comes out much better during the daytime.

This one is to show you how different my girls look. Here's my Elli.

I measured Alex today. She's 48 inches at the withers which puts her in the mid-sized category for her age. My husband, Jeremy, says she's "just little." I'll be curious to see how everything pans out with her. My oldest son is completely in love with her. He thinks that he should be the one to milk her and he's calling her his cow. I have a feeling the infatuation will pass before it is actually time to milk, but in the meantime it is entertaining to see.
Andrea0509 Posted - Feb 14 2016 : 7:38:29 PM
Keeley, she's beautiful! I love her coloring. Thanks for sharing your pictures of her!
CloversMum Posted - Feb 14 2016 : 5:06:10 PM
Congratulations on the new cow! What a dark face with her eyes emphasized with the white circles. How is Elli doing with it all? Did you put them together right away?

I love having more than one cow to help balance out the milk supply! Way to go!
farmlife Posted - Feb 14 2016 : 04:14:52 AM
Cindy, you are right on. She's two. I got her from the same gentlemen I got Elli from almost a year and a half ago. When we picked up Elli they had a batch of calves that they had bottle fed and were raising. I never dreamed I would be going back to get one after she was "grown up." Time has a way of giving us new plans. I'll have to take some more pictures of her when it isn't dark. Her other side has a few more white patches.