Posts Tagged ‘Dexter Heifer’

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Silly Heifer

January 2, 2009

As I mentioned previously I was given a couple dozen left over christmas trees to feed to the goats.  My Dexter’s also like eating browse occasionally and have trimmed all of the trees in the pasture to a very even height.

So this morning I decided to give them a tree to munch on and threw a smaller christmas tree over the fence into the pasture.  As soon as I did Maggie went nuts and attacked it.  At first I thought she was just trying to get a bite, but then she got it up on her horns and started tossing it around like a bucking bull tosses a barrel at the rodeo.

Meanwhile Matilda was standing at the fence looking for treats and occasionally glancing Maggie’s way with a look that clearly said “We aren’t really that closely related, she is only my HALF sister!”   I have no idea why Maggie was so riled up by that tree, but it sure was funny to watch!

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I survived the rodeo

December 5, 2008

First of all, yes I know I should have planned things a little better when I tried to loosen the heifers halters, especially Maggies.   I guess I was lured into a false sense of ease with Matilda because she was so easy.  At any rate Maggies halter was off and I needed to get it back on.

Maggie tolerates my presence because I bring her food and treats.   She is not what one would ever call a friendly cow.   So why do I keep her?  Mostly as a companion to Matilda and because I am hoping I can yet change her attitude and even more importantly that she will eventually give me a heifer calf.

Moving on to this mornings rodeo.   I brought them alfalfa pellets as a bribe and distraction and managed to get a rope around Maggie’s neck without too much trouble.  Then the real fun began.  To get a halter on her I have to get up close and personal with those horns of hers.  And she does like to use them!

She wasn’t purposefully trying to hurt me, but she sure didn’t want that halter back on.   We had a bit of a shoving match and at one point I had her on her knees, but eventaully I was able to wrestle the halter back on her and get it buckled.  It does fit much better, but as soon as I can afford it I will be ordering custom Dexter halters from Thomas’ Dexters.

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Continued Heifer Training

October 30, 2008

Now that I can get Matilida to stand still for touching if she is eating alfalfa pellets or apples my next goal is to get her to allow touching while she is eating hay.   Apparently hay isn’t good enough in her book to warrent putting up with being touched.   This morning she would snif my hand, but never did allow me to touch her.

As expected Maggie was even worse, she threw a bawling fit and kept running around the corral.   I finally managed to get her to at least take a mouthful of hay from my hand.  But I can clearly see that i have my work cut out for me moving them to the next level of acceptance.

Ah well, challenges are a good thing – right? 🙂

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Waiting in the Fog

October 22, 2008

So now the waiting to see if Matilda is bred or not begins in earnest.  Tomorrow is her rebred date, so if she isn’t bred I should start seeing signs of heat today.  Bet you can’t guess where most of my attention is going to be focused today.  🙂

We have been having the morning valley fog this area is famous for in the mornings.  Fortunately, it usually burns off by mid morning, and then we have beautiful sunny afternoons.  Temperature at morning chore times have been in the mid 30’s and that cold damp fog really chills a body in no time at all.  Makes me thankful I have a warm house and a hot cup of coffee waiting for me when chores are done.

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Personality

October 19, 2008

I haven’t worked with the cows in a week or so, since it has been raining and lets face it I’m not really into hugging wet cows.  Yup hugging!  Well at least Matilda will allow me to hug her.  While she was eating this morning I was able to stand right next to her and give her a nice back rub and a hug.  Just as long as I don’t touch her neck she could care less.   Of course she still won’t let me touch her if food isn’t invovled, but I’ll take what I can get.

Maggie on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with me this morning but did finally settle down enough to allow me to briefly touch her on one side only, but at least I didn’t have to tie her up to do it.   I need to start working with her on the stanchion again.   It will probably take the next two months to get her calmed down enough for AI and if Matilda settled then I will have Maggie AI’d in Dec/Jan.

Such a difference in personality between these two half sisters.

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So proud of Matlida!

September 29, 2008

I am so proud of Matilda!  Had a schedule change so I didn’t go out to work with the cows at my usual time.   When I finally did get out there Maggie was a bit of a pill.  But Matilda stood still like a champ.  I rubed and curried her back and belly on both sides.  Ran a hand over and around her tail area, ran a hand down a leg all the way to the hoof, and also discovered she has SIX teats!   She never moved a muscle, or showed any sign at all of being upset by the touching.

They have been here for 3 months now, and have made so much progress it is just amazing!  And I am so hoping for a recognizable heat in the next day or two.

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An udderly great training session!

September 28, 2008

I haven’t had the heifers in the stanchion for a couple of days now, but they both went in willingly.  Maggie was a little reluctant to get both feet up on the platform but once she did that she did just fine.

When it was Matilda’s turn she barely hesitated getting into the stanchion, and once she figured out how to get her horns through the head gate stood quietly when I closed and locked the headgate.  As long as I was feeing her apples she let me touch her back and hip.   Since she was standing so still I rubbed her belly a bit and then touched her udder area.  I eventually made brief contact with her udder and that resulted in a slight raising of a foot, and a shifting away of her body.  Not sure if it was the contact or my cold hands she objected too.  🙂

I am so excited that she allowed that much touch without objection.  I was thinking I was going to have to go the stuffed glove on the end of a stick, and I’m glad I probably won’t have to resort to that.

Matilda should be coming into heat about the 1st of October, so I am watching her closely and praying I make the call to the AI tech at the right time.