Patty had an unassisted birth late on September 5, 2011. The calf has a white star on her forehead, four white socks, and a white tipped tail. The calf is a beautiful pure bred Jersey heifer.
We won the lottery this year with both cows giving birth to heifers. Of course, we are not planning to increase the size of our herd and will have to think about what to do with these calves. These two heifers, with a little training, could make fabulous family cows for someone.
For the first few days, Patty’s new calf spent most of her time sleeping in the haylage. She looks in good condition and Patty’s high fat milk is making her gain weight every day. By the end of the week the little calf was running around the pasture with the other cows.
Patty’s bag is enormous this year! As usual, milking Patty has been a challenge. Presently, we are milking her twice a day. The first five milkings are considered colostrum. After that Patty’s true milk comes in.
After a week of milking, Patty’s milk fat is still yellowish orange. Even at this early stage, Patty produces more cream than Olivia. Patty appears to be letting down her milk better for us this year. She is still grumpy about milking. Her new trick this year is to wait until the milking pail is almost full and then she kicks straw, dirt and manure into the milk. Our hogs don’t mind dirty milk but her behavior is frustrating for the milkers. We are considering making up a hobble to stop this behavior.
Updated September 13, 2011: Shaen is away on a short holiday and I have been milking alone for the last few days. I had to hobble Patty to milk her. I used a piece of rope and a carabiner on one end to tie the leg she uses for kicking dirt into the milk pail. I wrapped the rope twice around Patty’s front leg and clipped the carabiner on to the rope. I then tied the other end of the rope to the fence with two half hitches. Patty didn’t like it very much but I was able to get through the milking without Patty contaminating the milk. Hopefully, when Shaen gets back Patty will stop fussing.