☆ May 24, 2016


Daisy had a baby! So… this happened really all of a sudden, or as “all of a sudden” as something that takes nine months can happen.

Backing up: Daisy’s last calf was Leila, in 2014. Daisy is always a bit challenging to breed back, but in early 2015, when it would have been time to start trying to get Daisy pregnant again, I was in the midst of dealing with my health baloney and I didn’t want her to be pregnant. I had stopped milking her because I didn’t have the energy (Leila was big enough at that point to take care of Daisy’s milk output on her own) and I couldn’t deal with the responsibility of Daisy calving again until I got my health back on track and reached a more functional state of being.

Last summer, we brought our bull Billy in to breed the cows and heifers that spent the summer here at home. (The majority of cows and bulls spend the summer on the mountain.) Billy is daddy to all the calves I’ve shared here this spring – Ixchel, Sid, and the rest – and he also got Leila pregnant for her first time. It was possible that he had bred Daisy, too, but I wasn’t terribly confident that it happened. It usually takes Daisy several cycles to finally get pregnant, and after about three months of having Billy in with the cows, we had to move him out again. One of the neighbor’s cows showed up and climbed through our fence and Billy bred her (I watched it happen) and we moved him out that very day. Because cows can have STDs.

There’s a bovine STD called trichomoniasis (“trich” for short) which causes cows to spontaneously abort, and it was not worth the risk to keep Billy in with our cows until we had him tested again. Since it takes a couple of months of dormancy for trich to show up on tests, Billy was out of work for the season. Mike was convinced Daisy had been bred, but I was skeptical… until earlier this spring, when it became apparent she was making milk! I was overjoyed. And I guess I didn’t fully believe that she was actually, truly pregnant until quite close to the end of the term, because I was going to post about Daisy being pregnant, but she had her baby before I even could.

A week or so ago, I started obsessively checking on Daisy and Leila for signs of labor. With angus cows, it’s pretty easy to tell when the time is near just by looking at their udder, but Daisy’s udder keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and it’s not a great indicator. This happened to be the case with Leila, too – she has Daisy’s genetics in that department, more so than Fiona, and her udder also kept getting bigger and bigger. Fast forward to Friday night: the sun was setting and all the cows were eating near the house and Mike and I went outside and, at exactly the same time, we turned to each other and said “Where’s Daisy?!!”

I found her off by herself in a draw. This is what cows do when they are close to having their babies. I lured her all the up to the house with treats and put her in the yard for the night, so it would be easy to check on her – Daisy’s last two calves had been breach and I was not going to rest until I knew all was well. I checked on her hourly till midnight, then at 2am, then at 4am. Nothing was really going on through the night, but at 4am, I got the sense that I shouldn’t wait another two hours to check on her again. So I checked on her at 5am, and she had hooves sticking out – and they were the correct direction! And I rejoiced, because the calf was not breach. And not five minutes later, Daisy lay down and had her baby in the light of dawn.

And two hours later, within sight of the yard but off on her own, Leila had her baby, too! Perfectly and easily.

I named Leila’s baby Pixie because she is so little and cute. And I named Daisy’s baby Roxy, which is a variant of the English variant of the French variant of the Latin variant of the Persian word for dawn. And Sid might get his own happy cow family after all…. but that’s a story for another post.


34 Responses to “MOAR BABIEZ!!”

  1. Barbara Malburg
    May 24th, 2016 @ 9:39 am

    How wonderful! Welcome to the world little healthy babies :)

  2. Joy
    May 24th, 2016 @ 9:51 am

    This is wonderful, happy news! Would you remind us of who ‘Sid’ is, please?

  3. Caitlin
    May 24th, 2016 @ 9:54 am

    How you can get me to care deeply about such a wide range of things I never did before is beyond me but I am so grateful.
    Welcome to the little Honey Rock Dawnettes!

  4. Jeff
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:05 am


  5. bp
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:06 am

    Precious Pixie, Regal Roxy.


  6. Vickie Zimmerman
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:07 am

    How wonderful!! What a wonderful life you get to have, with all of the animals. So wonderful and I’m so glad Daisy is ok and didn’t have a breech this time!!

  7. Marg
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:11 am

    I was looking at Daisy’s udder in the picture and thinking how uncomfortable it looked to be lying on that huge ball. Glad all was well with everyone.

  8. JoDi
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:11 am

    OK, I was laughing about all the action Billy was getting, especially the part about the cow climbing through the fence to get to him, and then I got to the part about the STD and just died! Not funny in real life, but definitely funny in the context of your story. Who knew steers need condoms?!?!

  9. Terry V.
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:12 am

    Yeah for more babies! I’m so glad they arrived without trouble. Thanks for sharing these stories and teaching us so much.

  10. Carol K
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:15 am

    Congrats on two beautiful new babies!

    I love that, the Honey Rock Dawnettes!! Cute! Do we sing or make chicken sounds??

  11. Carmen
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:23 am

    Yee Yaa. I love the details in your stories. You ought to write a book on your experiences. Something like a book of short stories. With pictures, of course. A camera in your back pocket at all times.

  12. LJ
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:25 am

    Shreve – a sign of new beginnings for these adorable babiez and a sign of good health and joy for you to come :-)

    Happy Spring everyone!

  13. LJ
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:26 am

    JoDi – LOL!!!

  14. ClaireB
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:37 am

    Congratulations on all your new babies. Daisy is always a favorite.

  15. Amy
    May 24th, 2016 @ 10:44 am

    I appreciate that the neighbor’s cow had no compunctions about getting what she wanted.

  16. Anonyplgrim
    May 24th, 2016 @ 1:13 pm

    I’m curious to know if you charge the neighbor a stud fee, or get some kind of trade for their clever cow.

  17. Deborah
    May 24th, 2016 @ 1:49 pm

    Double congratulations!!!

  18. Felyne
    May 24th, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

    For some reason I pictured us sitting around in a posh frocks, sipping tea from tea cup and saucer sets and you telling us about “that hussy from next door coming through the fence after our Billy! Well you know we had to move him out immediately, there’s no telling where those neighbour girls have been!” in the most english of accents.


  19. B
    May 24th, 2016 @ 2:51 pm

    Babies! So wonderful. :D

    (It’s really feeling like (city) spring in Baltimore, too: bunnies everywhere, fledgling birds leaving the nest…and local dogs keep going walkabout and I keep catching them and bringing them home. And it’s rained and rained and rained, so everything is muddy and green.)

  20. MollyT
    May 24th, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

    At this rate you’re going to have to start churning butter to freeze and deliver with your beef!

  21. KayB
    May 24th, 2016 @ 4:12 pm

    I’m so happy you now have a Roxy. My kitty, Roxy, crossed the rainbow bridge last week and now I know she has a namesake living with a special farmily. I couldn’t ask for a better legacy for her.

  22. Steph in Oregon
    May 24th, 2016 @ 6:04 pm

    Congratulations Dear Daisy and Lovely Leila! Welcome to the world Pixie and Roxy; you’ve hit the karmic mother lode being born in to this family:)

    I read this post this morning and have been thinking about bovine genealogy all day. It sounds like it can be complex, and then you’ve got to keep track of the neighbors cows who may or may not have an STD. Forgive me for being uninformed, but are there ranchers that are more conscientious than others about keeping their animals healthy, and others that are known for having iffy practices?

  23. Holly
    May 24th, 2016 @ 7:19 pm

    Happy, happy, happy….your farmily gets bigger and bigger. Such wonderful news. So great that Moms and Babies are healthy.

  24. rockrat
    May 24th, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

    One of the neighbor’s cows showed up and climbed through our fence and Billy bred her …

    Geez, that never happens in my yard.

  25. mlaiuppa
    May 25th, 2016 @ 1:04 am

    Good for Daisy!

    Leila and Fiona don’t know any different life, but I’m sure Daisy still remembers when they used to take her babies away.

    I wonder if that is why she’s had a difficult time breeding. Like her stress levels go up and mess with her hormones.

    But what a great Mama she is now.

    So is this just Billy’s year or does Sir Baby not provide stud services any more? Do you alternate the bulls to provide a larger gene pool?

  26. Ruth
    May 25th, 2016 @ 7:14 am

    Yay for Leila and Daisy! Because of your blog, I’m not eating meat at restaurants anymore. I just think of your pictures and it’s easy to turn down feed lot meals.

  27. shreve
    May 25th, 2016 @ 7:35 am

    J ~ Sid is my kitchen calf!

    C ~ I LOVE “Dawnettes!!” so cute.

    M ~ yes, it’s insane. Dairy cows are mutants.

    J ~ it cracks me up, too! :)

    A ~ nope. All we get is irritated ;)

    K ~ HUGS.

    S ~ Yep! And we all know who is whose because of the color of the cow’s ear tag and/or their brand, and act accordingly.

    R ~ count yo’ blessings!

    M ~ Baby’s babies are too big for heifers (first time mamas, like Leila) and smaller cows. Billy is what’s called a “heifer bull” – his calves are smaller and much easier to birth. I also wondered if the Baby + Daisy combo was causing breech calves, which is why I wanted Daisy to get it with Billy.

    R ~ THAT IS SO AWESOME. Brava!!!

    Thank you all for your happy words!

  28. DANA
    May 25th, 2016 @ 8:03 am

    We need a new farmily chart made up. I can’t keep up with who’s who anymore and how old they are! Daisy always makes such pretty calves and it looks like you have a year of girl calves.

  29. Lindsay in Oregon
    May 26th, 2016 @ 2:10 pm

    Yay I’m so happy everyone is doing well! Calves are so adorable! Thanks for linking to the post about Fiona’s birth from March; it was great listening to the mama-moos on repeat again :)

    I had no idea cows could have STDs. I remember Trich from health class in high school. Is that the only bovine STD? Do you have to test all your cows/bulls regularly or only if you see that someone else’s cow/bull have gotten into your herd? What happens if you learn one of them has an STD? Is it treated and then can go back to breeding once it is negative or is it done breeding? So many questions lol!

  30. MollyT
    May 26th, 2016 @ 2:28 pm

    So many babies! Did you breed Maia this year or is she just too much of a pill to deal with?

  31. Sandy G.
    May 29th, 2016 @ 7:06 pm

    Daisy looks so sweet and mellow, and beautiful, too!

  32. Karen
    June 1st, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

    I never tire of gazing at Daisy’s serene pics… and of course the calving stories!

  33. Maggie Yount
    June 6th, 2016 @ 10:49 pm

    Woohoo! Gosh your cow farmily keeps growing eh?

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