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Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 10:34:05 AM
Our little 3 year old Jersey Miss Persimmon was confirmed today to be pregnant!

It's her first time being bred, and was done via AI so I didn't know if we'd have to make a few attempts before it took. It's also my first time owning a cow, let alone the first time I've ever learned to track cycles and watch for signs...needless to say I was pretty surprised when I got the phone call today!! I couldn't be more thankful with the outcome.

She was bred on Oct. 27th, so will be due in early August. I went out to tell her she's going to be a momma cow and this is the look she gave me. Haha :)

17   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Andrea0509 Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 8:01:37 PM
Cindy, yes I have heard of that! I recently stumbled across the Facebook page of this farm; they make artisan cheeses out of sheep milk.
It can be done! Who would've thought?

And thanks, you're right about that. Even though it hasn't worked out perfectly having a cow on our little farm, I'm super excited about becoming more knowledgeable in shepherding. It's turned into a passion and something I absolutely love learning about!
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 2:33:44 PM
andrea, you know you can milk sheep too, right? i don't know if your breed is suited to it, but it was the strangest thing when i saw a documentary on it a while back. after the documentary it seemed the most normal thing in the world.

anyway, sorry about percy but the land situation is fixed so you are making the best of it. happy farming!
Andrea0509 Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 2:16:06 PM
Charlene, I'm going to be growing our flock with the same breed as the two ewes I already have. They're Olde English Southdown "Babydoll" sheep. There are only a small # of producers in our state and I'm planning to produce a small amount of lambs each spring for sale. (And likely keeping my favorite ewe each year too!) I've fallen in love with the breed and all things shepherding :) I'm also hoping to produce fiber and learn to spin wool. Love my woolies!
CloversMum Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 2:10:35 PM
Andrea, what breed of sheep are you hoping to expand your flock with?
Andrea0509 Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 12:49:31 PM
Thanks Charlene & Janet! Keeping a milk cow might still be something we'll do in the future. I'd hoped our pasture space would work well, but turns out it's just too small to work how I'd like it to. It's less than an acre total, which makes keeping a cow (even a small one) more of a challenge than expected.

I've sure learned a great deal on here, and went from a total newbie with cows, to knowing a thing or two! ;) You've all been so wonderful throughout the learning process. And even more I've enjoyed following along in each of your adventures. I will have to pop in once in a while to catch up on everyone's happenings. SO wish there was a group like this for the breed of sheep I'm raising and getting more involved with. We have a Facebook group but this format has been great for learning.

I'll go ahead a post an ad on here for Percy ~ never know if there's someone near Michigan who would be the perfect fit! :)
NellieBelle Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 11:06:52 AM
I'm sorry to hear you have to let Miss Persimmon go. But like you said, perhaps someday the opportunity will present itself and with more land it will work for you. It's been enjoyable to follow along on your journey. We none of us know what tomorrow brings and have to adjust as we go. I'm hoping the best for your little Miss Percy and family.
CloversMum Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 10:08:36 AM
Hard decision for sure, Andrea. I'm so sorry but do understand. Definitely post an ad in the classified ads on HJO. A pregnant heifer should be a wanted item ... hope you find a perfect home for her.
Andrea0509 Posted - Mar 11 2016 : 09:29:05 AM
So I wanted to let you all know that Miss Percy is going to be looking for a new home. This is something I'd been thinking about for a long time and was definitely not an easy decision to make, especially with all the time I've put into educating myself and getting her to this point. The main reason being we simply don't have adequate space to properly keep her on our less than an acre pasture. It's become very overgrazed and continually trampled and muddy. I've learned that the carrying capacity of land has to be respected even if I wish it'd support large animals well. Not to mention this is all in the front yard and for all to see (our land is almost all out front of our house)...huge piles of poop and all ;) I'll be expanding my flock of sheep over the next few years and sheep are much better suited for out little set up, since they are easier to manage on small acreage. I will definitely miss being able to keep a family milk cow (and all that milk!) but it's in hers and our sheep best interest. Maybe in the future if we have more land to utilize, we can get back into it!

I've posted her online locally and had a lot of interest, but nobody seriously interested yet. I would be so happy if anyone on HJO would be interested in her! Should I post an ad in the classified ads on HJO?
CloversMum Posted - Dec 29 2015 : 8:44:46 PM
So exciting to have barn plans in progress and wintertime is a perfect time to plan and make lists, for sure.
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 29 2015 : 8:25:02 PM
That's for sure! Our barn plans are underway and I've started my supply thankful for the time to prepare! :)
farmlife Posted - Dec 29 2015 : 6:48:44 PM
Congrats, Andrea! Now the real "work" begins. . .
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 24 2015 : 8:56:31 PM
Thanks everyone! I love being able to share the excitement with all of my fellow cow lovers on here :)
txbikergirl Posted - Dec 24 2015 : 04:50:11 AM
andrea i am so happy for you and the mommy to be! its wonderful to see other newbies getting it right, it makes us newbies hopeful ;>
NellieBelle Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 11:38:25 AM
So happy for you Andrea and Miss Persimmon/Samson. Your journey is ongoing and we will love going along for the trip. Enjoy. And MaryJane. Such a good feeling when the work comes full circle, such satisfaction, warm reflection, comfort and, grateful results. So happy for you too.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 11:37:53 AM
Congratulations Miss Persimmon and Andrea!! Hurray! What a happy Christmas gift!

Your cheeses sound divine, MaryJane. A full circle, indeed. Enjoy every bite.
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 11:34:07 AM
Mary Jane, yes we used Samson semen :) I ordered 5 straws total so now the extra 4 can be used for future breeding.

I've been doing a happy dance all day too and telling everyone who'd been waiting to hear. Sounds like such a perfect morning in the milking parlour with your girls. I'm now looking forward to that even more :)

Yours and Ashley's cheeses sound absolutely delicious, especially the Gruyere. Mmmmm! What a treat!
maryjane Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 11:03:34 AM
Samson semen, right? What an excited look she gave you:) I'm doing a happy dance even if she isn't.

And I just have to add that for some reason this morning I was ecstatic to milk my cows and enjoyed every precious moment of it. Eliza Belle was a total sweetheart; Miss Daisy melts my heart, and Fanci gave me lots of milk. And to top that off, my daughter put in a request for Gruyere, Swiss, Asiago, and Parmesan for dishes we'll be eating for Christmas so Ashley opened up some aged wheels to sample and the Gruyere was PERFECT. I would enter it in a contest and win I'm sure. And the others were divine also. But it was our best Gruyere yet.

Ashley made another batch of Swiss today and batches of yogurt and buttermilk for cheese making. It all feels so full-circle--the why and the how of it was completely answered for me this morning. And now to hear that Miss Persimmon is pregnant!