I have ONE WORD: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
Learned today that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT – yes, 100% of our dairy girls are pregnant! 🙂
So next year, Lord willing, we should have 14 calves. 🙂
Why AMAZING? Well, if you analyze: a summer drought; a new, yearling bull; a mostly hay diet when the bull was in with the herd (because the pastures stopped growing without the rain); several heifers who never showed us any heats to mark down; and one cow (the last one to calve this year) only having one heat while the bull was in… in our “man-wisdom”, we predicted a lower percentage of bred animals. How glad we are that God has His own plan, lol…
It was fun having Dr. Travis out today (from Sugarcreek Veterinary Clinic). He’s a joy to work with and shares our love of the Lord. 🙂
If you’ve never witnessed a pregnancy check for a cow before, let me suffice it to say: you end up with a REALLY messy barn afterwards. So glad we only need to do this once a year, lol!
Our milking days are winding down for the year now…only about 2 months left! We are a seasonal dairy, which means the cows are bred within a 6-week window, so they get their final trimester “break” at the same time – the coldest part of the winter. We do this for several reasons. 1) So WE get a break to re-energize & work on fixing/taking care of things we can’t get to in the other 36 weeks. 2) So the cows get a break and can use all their energy to grow those babies. 3) Because it’s really hard for an all-hay diet to produce enough milk during the winter, and we do not want to feed any grain. 4) Because it’s risky to walk the animals (and us, lol) through our hilly terrain down to the barn each day when there is ice/snow/mud everywhere. 5) and finally, because this best mimics what it would be like if we just had one cow – like in the “old days”…
Lord, we are AMAZED with the fertility of our herd this year. Thank You for this gift! We pray for these last couple months of milking – that the milk continues to nourish the bodies it touches… For our “break” – that it be a time of rejuvenation for us + the animals… And for the 2013 calving season – that we have healthy moms who can deliver healthy calves, so we can continue our dairy cycle. Prepare us, Lord, to be able to handle the unexpected – and may we do it in a way that will glorify You. Amen