It's been an amazing time on the farm this past week.
One of my absolute favorite Jersey cows had her baby calf and it was a girl!
Most of you may have already met the cow that has brought me great joy - Pickles.
Photo by Kerry Hoffman
Pontiac is the latest Jersey calf to join the herd on the farm. She was born into a long line of Jerseys that started with our top Jersey Pinky. Pontiac’s mother is Pickles who has been shown at the County Fair for two years.
She may not win the contests, but she's the tamest animal I know and she lets kids sit on her and pet her. I actually let little kids come into the stall and interact with her.
Pickles is Joey's cow. He purchased her mother Pinky and every subsequent calf in that family line is rightfully owned by him.
Pinky did have another girl calf a few years ago, which Joey named Haf, (Welsh for summer) because she was born while we were on vacation in Wales. Haf was amazing too, but Steve and I neglected to give her the proper vaccinations, therefore, she contracted a doosey case of mastitis. She was sickened by the Klebsiella germ that causes cows to become so ill, they may die. Even if they do recover, they are never the same.
Talk about feeling like bad parents. It was terrible. Steve and I caused the death of Joey's cow.
I will never forget how heartbreaking it was when I had to go out to the barn with Joey for him to say his final good bye. (Sheesh, my eyes are filling with tears just thinking about it again.)
The following year, Pinky then gave birth to Pickles! We were so ecstatic. I was just tickled that Joey would have another cow in his herd, and she was from his very first cow Pinky.
Sadly, Pinky passed away shortly after giving birth from an irregular heart beat. Again, we had to make the trek out to the hospital barn to say our last good byes.
Joe does own other cows, but none of them have as much meaning to him as Pinky did.
So Pickles, at approximately two-years of age, calved Sunday afternoon. When Brandon called the house to tell us, we all jumped to our feet and put on our warmest clothing and ran outside to glory at the newest Jersey to enter our herd.
I guess the first thing I did was call Joey to tell him I would send him a picture, via a text message, if it was a girl. (You would be surprised at how many dairy farm moms I know that do actually call their children at any time to share this type of news.)
Then we began the process of naming the calf.
I like to keep the first two letters of the mother's name in the calf's name for easy identification should I ever need to know the name of the mother. So we had a rambling of names...Pimple, Pinto, Pie, Pit, Pike, etc.
Joey, after being bombarded by a dozen text messages, finally called me and said, "It only has to start with a "p" and that's enough texting."
"I really like Pimple," I said.
"Her name is going to be Pontiac," he said.
Well, I guess he does drive a Pontiac Grand Prix.
What happens if we ever name another cow Pope or Poochie?
Come to think of it we do have another cow here that is named Poochie, because she sits like a dog. She's a Holstein, and I would hope that I would realize they are not related.
Pickles, the mother cow, has been doing awesome in the milking parlor. Although she tends to get a bit confused as to where she is supposed to put her head. I think it's funny when she puts her head in the wrong way; Steve thinks she's "just stupid."
It's so exciting to bring another cow into the parlor that comes from Pinky. It's going to be a fun ride.
For questions, or comments, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.