Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vocabulary Lesson: Dairy Definitions

I'm always learning new facts about the dairy cows that is common knowledge to Bob. This summer has been no exception. So, I thought you might want to expand your dairy vocabulary to impress your friends. ( let me know if it really works!)

You read about Milky and her new calf. Milky is our heifer.
Heifer: a female calf. She's actually called a heifer until some undefined time before her 2nd calf. That way she is differentiated from the old cows. Around her second calving she'll be called a cow.
Bull Calf: this is Jerry, the Jersey who came from Milky. He will be a bull calf for several months until Bob turns him into a steer to grow for two happy, grass-fed years at which time he will be moved to the freezer. (if you know what I mean...)

Static: this was my new word of the year. Bob labeled Ghiradelli static after she had been dried up to finish growing her calf. Well, it turns out she wasn't with calf like we had thought when we purchased her. And, she had not been cycling to clue us in that she was not bred. So....we have a dairy cow that's not producing milk and not cycling so we can breed her. Hmmmm. That's not a good thing. She was destined for the freezer.

But wait! What's this? One morning Bob was out early checking the paddock grass and heard a bunch of commotion in the corner. There was the steer trying to jump Ghiradelli. This is a sure sign that she is in heat. Fortunately, we had supplies on hand for Bob to AI here the next morning; we'll be watching to see is she settled.

Settled: another term that means the AI (artificial insemination) was effective and 9 months later we'll have a calf.

Well, that's enough dairy and reproduction talk for today. There is a lot to know on the animal farm. I'm thankful Bob has a headful of knowledge to take care of these wonderful cows.