Monday, September 19, 2011

Abbey's New Calf

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Abbey, the black Jersey cow, joined our family last week and she came with her own little 3 month old bull calf by her side. She produces more milk that he and we can drink, so last Monday I went to the local cattle sale and brought home a little day old dairy calf.
Erath county has a number of commercial dairies. Cows have to deliver calves yearly to produce milk and very few dairymen keep the bull calves. The cows can't raise them because they are producing milk for US to drink. So they are sold at the local sale barns. Most are bottle raised to eventually end up in the grocery store or at McDonalds.
I am not found of raising pure-bred Holstein calves. Holsteins are bred to produce milk - not meat. And the survival instincts of the breed seem to be gone - if they get sick, they give up. So I looked for a crossbred calf - one that was part Angus (exactly like Abbey's calf) and that's what I found. In fact, the two calves could be brothers (meet Darryl and my OTHER brother Darryl). It's taken a week for Abbey to accept the fact that there are now TWO boys to raise, and she has no choice. The little one has figured out that the safest way to nurse is from the rear while Big Brother is going at it, and he has become relentless in his pursuit of dinner. Momma has no choice but to stand still. And since cows can't kick backwards like a horse can, he's safe, and all's right with the world.....
Isaiah 55:1
[ Invitation to the Thirsty ] “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
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T.Gomez said...

Thanks for opening my eyes regarding the calves of dairy cattle. Little ranches like yours are such a blessing to us all. I LOVE your line drawings - they would make a wonderful matted series!

PrisNasonShartle said...

Thanks Debbie for sharing a bit of your world in Texas with this Louisiana girl now living in North Georgia. Next time I pour myself a glass of sweet milk, I'll toast Abbey and her calves and you for touching my life with your stories and beautiful art. Love you, Pris

Susan said...

What an expressive drawing - and what a lively little cow family you have! I love reading your stories!