Thursday, April 5, 2012


kar·ma  n.
1. Hinduism & Buddhism The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.
2. Fate; destiny.
3. Informal A distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling.

Last night when we went to do the chores, we found Gucci waiting for us near her new calf. The little one was still on the ground, still wet and a little slimy from birth, so we must have just missed it! Gucci was very attentive, groaning and licking, licking and groaning. We did the chores and let her take care of business. The little one was shivering, so I headed in armed with a towel and helped out, rubbing the calf dry. Which of course, Gucci immediately undid by licking the baby all over again.

I snuck a peek to see if we had received a girl or a boy. Girl! Four perfect teats and a pretty white patch on her forehead and one on her side. I named her Karma.

We looked up how long it should take a calf to stand after birth and it said anywhere from ten minutes to two hours. With a little help after about an hour and a half, Karma stood on wobbly legs. She fell and stood a few more times before she got the hang of things. We hung around long enough to be sure she knew where the milk was.

This morning we showed up early to check on her. Karma was up and moving, following her big mom everywhere. I had read that a dairy breed cow will make far too much milk for a calf to drink up, and that milking should begin 12 hours after birth to keep the udder relieved of pressure. And believe me, it looked like there was some pressure going on. It was the perfect time to try out the (almost done) milking area. I got Gucci in there and gave her a flake of food and some grain. She happily worked on that while I hosed off all her baby muck and washed her udder thoroughly. I used a solution of water with bleach to disinfect the teats and bottom of the udder.

I have never milked a cow until today. It was much easier than a goat. Her udder was full and the milk came right out. She didn't kick or fuss or seem to care much at all about me. I got three quarts and figured that was enough for the first try. Gucci headed back to her baby who was happy to receive her and finish off what I had started.  
This is Gucci's udder last night.

Karma having breakfast this morning.

Gucci having a rest with her baby nearby.
Farmer K and Karma

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