Horsey Therapist

Sunday, April 30, 2006

"I wonder why she's all bagged up?"

I said that a few days ago. One of the Dexter cows was bagged up. We figured her calf must be slacking, too busy in the spring weather frolicking around harrassing the lambs in attempts to have a flowing black and white blend of young animals flinging their bodies around in glee and abandon.

Yesterday RNB noticed something small and black in the field. Bigger than a breadbox. So, how did that happen?! Another calf born? I thought all the cows had young still sucking.

I dug last year's birthing records from the top file drawer. Thumbed through them, kids born, lambs born, chicks hatched, calves born.

Somehow I failed to note the arrival of the young heifer born this winter either during our trip in January or our trip in March. She's pretty young so I'm guessing it was March.

Then the bull calf born the end of October. And before that, a bull calf born ... aha! last May. So this newest surprise from yesterday would be out of the cow who birthed last May. Not much down time for this gal!

We don't have names for the cows. The sole bull is called Big Boy. Because he is big. And, ahem, he's a boy. Calm and friendly enough, but big and male. Our Dexters are horned so to the uninitiated, his looks can be intimidating.

The cows I've tried to identify by their horns, assuming that the longer they are alive, the longer are their horns. The coloration of the horns seems to vary with age and with the individual as well.

In any case, one gal I noted as "the youngest cow". I really should get pictures of them to back up my identification attempts. That was last May's birth. So, "Youngest Cow" (shall we call her "YC"?) had a baby last May -- May 10th to be precise -- and another about 11.66 months later, on April 29th.

OK, since I wrote this, I did get pictures. Here is YC:

The October 30th calf was born to, according to my stimulating naming scheme, "oldest cow". Hmmm, that would make her "OC" and by default, the third cow we can now call "MC". Phew, this is taxing my brain's production of creative juices.

I did have the sense last fall to include some additional descriptive information about OC. I noted "lots of white and black on horns". I later noted that we castrated her son. We took special care to attend to that because we failed to do so with the now yearling bull. Who is for sale.

I think I'll go capture some Dexter images with my camera -- some for sharing here and some for the next step in creating a slightly more sophisticated record keeping system. I have a moderate sized need to keep track of some few things that can be kept tracked of. Lousy English but you get the idea.


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