Wednesday, July 10, 2013

First Date Update

Karma's first date didn't go as planned. Doc Mary showed up. Ms. Karma made her way (albeit a bit suspicious) into the milk stall and I managed to get her mother's halter on her and lead her the rest of the way into the headgate. Cookie, her ever faithful friend, had to be coaxed out of the milking stall.

With the bribe of hay and sweet feed, Karma was positioned to meet her first boyfriend.

After a pelvic exam, Doc Mary confirmed that indeed, our little heifer was in heat. Karma is very obvious about being in heat. She bellows all day long and wants nothing more than something to pet her and rub her and whisper sweet nothings in her ear. She also jumped up on Cookie's back to let us know what she wanted done.

Doc Mary went to retrieve Karma's boyfriend, but returned to say there was a problem. Oh no! It seems the frozen miniature Jersey straw burst in the tank, spilling all over the bottom. Um ew. Karma was left with no date or...the second choice of a handsome straw of Dexter semen.

After some deliberation, we opted for the Dexter. We believe our previous steer (Baby Cow) was a Dexter. It's an Irish breed of cattle known for being small and also dual purpose (meat or milk). Doc Mary has both miniature Jerseys and Dexters at her place. She did say that Karma is a small Jersey and breeding her to a standard size bull was not a good idea.

The decision made, she went in from the upper hole to feel around and be sure when she was going in from the lower hole, that she had things in the right spot. Karma seemed pleased with this attention, which was a little weird, to say the least, but I guess she can't be too choosey as there are no bulls nearby to pick from.

Doc Mary found the right spot, pulled the trigger, and that was that.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

First Date

Karma eyeing me.

Karma has a date tomorrow. Her first date ever, and it's with a mini Jersey bull. Well, sorta. More accurately, Karma has a date tomorrow with Doc Mary's gloved hand and a straw of mini Jersey bull semen. She has been leery of the milking stall ever since the tattoo, ear tag, shot ordeal. So (pictured) I'm trying to convince her that the milking stall isn't always where bad things happen to sweet milk cows. It's a place where she can find alfalfa, bermuda, sweet feed, and mesquite bean pods before we quickly close the gate and the headlock and well... you get the idea. There a several reasons we don't want a bull to borrow or keep. Bulls are strong and when there's a lady cow in heat, they want to get to her. Like male goats in rut, they will push a person aside or plow through whatever is keeping them from their lady-love. I don't want a bull. I have enough trouble with my sweet milk cow getting her way because she's so big and strong and spoiled. We're trying AI this first time and opted for mini Jersey because that was what was available and because a smaller cow is a good thing.