Friday, March 04, 2011

Calves and Currycomb Love

Heather's baby boy. Check out his eyeliner

In the next four weeks we have around eighteen head due to calve. It is with a mixture of awe and dread that I face this prospect. Among the "springers" are my beautiful Broadway and Liz's Fustead Emory Blitz daughter (whose name is Mendocino, but who is simply called, THE BLITZ...she gets caps even in every day life.) We care a great deal for all the cows, but there are always certain special ones that cause just a little more worry and heartache when calving time rolls around. As with any birth there is a lot that can go wrong.

Last year if you remember, Broadway had a gigantic heifer calf, breech, and it was one of the toughest deliveries I have participated in. We were thankful for the hybrid vigor of the shorties that day I can tell you. It looks as if she is carrying another big one.

I worry.

Evie, Verona, Egypt, the two Whirlhill Kingpin daughters, Zobaba and Bayliner, Heather, and several others have already had their babies, mostly bulls, alas.

Does anybody who milked cows back in the sixties remember any temperament issues with the Kingpin daughters? These two are both snarky little darlings I can tell you. They are from unrelated dams, but they are like the nasty devil twins. I have been lashed with more sodden, stinking tails and stomped at more by them than by all the other first calf heifers together.

Even Egypt, who was a real wild child all through her carefree heiferhood, is a little sweetie and loves to have me scratch her exceptionally furry head. I was currying cows yesterday and didn't even try to brush Zobaba (although Bayliner is finally liking the attention.)

You wouldn't believe how the cows are shedding. I could bed them with the hair I get off with the comb. And they love it so much! Always worth a laugh to see the heads waving and the stanchions clanging while they await their turn. I like it too. I can't even see over Lemmie's rump, she is such a big girl, and normally she is flighty and a little loony. However, when I have that currycomb, she is like a fourteen-hundred pound kitten, all cuddles and love.

Kinda like cupboard love, only this time it's currycomb love.


7 comments:

June said...

I know you said cows aren't anything like their reputation, but it still has to be a treat to spend time brushing them, and smelling them, and feeling their big warmth...

Oh, btw, I emailed the village clerk at Canastota to see what I could find out about The Country Creamer. I'll get back to you if/when she gets back to me.

DayPhoto said...

Oh, boy! Do I ever remember the nasty swat with the 'just manured on' tail. And the hoof that tried to paw off the milking pail (we used surge milkers) and that same hoof that would swing out to get me.

But like you say they love to settle down for the brushing. Or a healthy dolop of freshly ground corn.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Woodswalker said...

I just love how you love your cows! You make it all so real for us, the sights and smells and softness and warmth and meanness (sometimes) of cows.

Dani said...

Hehehe. Such a cute picture in my head of you brushing your cows.

Nursejoan said...

Kingpins in the 60's - dancin,prancin, then kick the living snot outa ya if you weren't paying attention - even in a parlor. Before the 60's, those ever-loving gutter soaked switches helped me perfect a sailor proud mouth . . .
Currycombing those itchy toplines give the girls a great comfort!

Gosh - those really were the "good old days" . . .

Floridacracker said...

I have no cow knowledge to share, but I can appreciate a pretty calf.

Kristen said...

May all go well with the impending deliveries. Love and hugs to you.