Remember this sweet, innocent face I showed you a few posts back?
Her name is Abbigail, and she our new Jersey heifer. She is around 10 months old, and scheduled for breeding around mid-winter, for a late summer calf next year. I was trying to figure out what type of bull to breed her to.
Now, remember this not-so-sweet-and-innocent face?
His name is Red Bull, and he is borrowed from a local breeder. He is here to breed my 2 Lowline cows for 2015 beef. I have been very careful to keep Abbigail and Red Bull separated, usually with electric wire, sometimes with several paddocks of pasture in between. I didn’t know when Abbigail was due to start cycling, and everything I read implied it could be anytime.
I forgot to ask Abbigail and Red Bull what they thought about the separation. After church on Sunday last week, I came home to find Abbigail in the same paddock as Red Bull and the Lowline cows. I don’t know if she somehow contorted herself under the hot wire, or if she (un)gracefully lept over it. My wire was all neatly in tact, just the way I had installed it. Abbigail, on the other hand, wasn’t so neat. No, my 10 month old heifer calf was no longer innocent. She had clearly been bred thoroughly and repeatedly by Red Bull while we were at church.
In a panic, I called the breeder, who is far more experienced with cattle than I. He assured me that because Abbigail is a standard sized Jersey and already stands taller than Red Bull, and because Red Bull is a very small breed bull that is well-known for throwing small calves, everything would be just fine.
Looks like, Lord willing, we’ll be eating that homemade butter and ice cream throughout the summer instead of having to wait until late fall! The calf is due in May, and would be considered a Jey-low. Heifers can turn into awesome milkers, while bull calves produce great beef. One less decision I have to make now. I’ll be monitoring her closely, but I have to admit, things are certainly easier now that I can house her and rotate her with the other cows now.