One of the newest members to the herd. She is an Ayreshire Fresian cross. Absolutely lovely temperament and one of the smartest cows. She’s unfortunately at the bottom of the cow pecking order
Nina is a total sweetie. She got her name as she would often gently moo when I arrived in the morning to milk. Beautiful nature, always keen for a pat. She’s a kiwi cross (a specific NZ breed thats been bred from Jersey and Fresian cows).
Lacey is my milking short horn. This is the type of cow that I want the whole herd to become. They are great dual purpose animals which means they are good milkers and the bull calves are good to raise for beef. Lacey used to be a bit touchy in the stalls, known for giving me two blood noses but she’s calmed down a lot now.
Big Betty is a super wonderful Jersey cow. I got her a couple of years ago when she was the ripe old age of 8 (getting old for a dairy cow). She was a bit nervous when she arrived and charged me, but much more settled now. She’s a great milker producing on average 18 litres per day. Pretty good for the once a day milking that we do.
Henry David Thoreau
Henry might be the love of my life. I got him at 8 weeks old about a year ago. He is a Blue Heeler Kelpie Cross and I’m hoping he can help herd the cattle in those tricky moments. He’s got a good instinct and is also culling some of the pests we have on farm.
Kerry is the first of my milking cows that was born on the property. She jumped the fence grazing at my mates place and found herself a bull so started calving a year early. I like my animals to be whole animals so if they are born with horns I keep them on. This requires different management but with a small herd this is simple.
Ruby is Big Betty’s daughter. She’s a full Jersey. This will be her first season milking. She’s named Ruby because when she was born she had a beautiful light pink skin under her coat. I had to hand feed her when young because she wasn’t suckling properly. This means that she is friendly – almost too friendly…
I got Sheryl a couple of years back from another organic dairy farmer. She was a cull cow (which means she was destined for the works). She’s proved to be a great milker giving good production and milking out easily. Nice natured cow to have in the herd – full Jersey as well.
Laura’s been on the farm since it began in 2013. Bit of an all-rounder, mostly good natured though has a natural tendency to direct the herd where she wants. Up for sharing a cuppa or a beer…
Delilah is another kiwi cross cow but you can really notice the Freisan markings in her. I chose her because she had cute brown ears, not at all the best reason to choose an in calf heifer. She’s a bit nervous but easy enough to have in the herd.
Named after Frida. Kahlo is a gentle easy going cow. She is mostly Fresian. Freisan cows are noted for their high milk quantity. Last season I thought I had missed her calve because her udder was so so big. I bought her in to milk her a bit and reduce the pressure (it really was gynormous). She calved that afternoon. Kahlo won’t be in the milking herd this season as she didn’t get in calf. She’s such a good cow though that I am keeping her and will put her to the bull this year. This is called ‘carrying her over’.
Sami is one of the first in calf heifers I bought for my first milking season. She is at the top of the cow heirarchy. She’s larger than most of the other cows and just a bit more pushy. Every herd has to have a leader and she’s pretty good, just annoying sometimes when she decides to throw her weight around when I’m trying to herd them into the milking yard. Lovely nature and always keen for a scratch.
Harley was one of the bulls I used last season. He is a milking short horn. So great to have a bull on the farm, it brings a sense of completeness to the herd. It’s also handy as a farmer to know the dad and to be able to know his nature. The cows only get to see a bull once a year and they were positively sassy when he arrived.
Antonia is Lacey’s daughter so I’ve got high hopes for her. This is her first season milking. It’s great to start breeding the type of cows I want (milking short horn). It will probably take at least 10 years before I’m anywhere close to the perfect herd.
Che Che is a great cow to have in the herd. She’s another kiwi cross – I like them, they have good feet and good stature and aren’t too big. The first year she calved she had such a large udder she rubbed herself raw. It healed well though with regular cleaning and application of calendula cream. I’m looking forward to having her back in the herd she’s had about a year off.
I haven’t worked out a name yet for this heifer – any ideas? This is also her first milking season. She’s quite confident and taking some of the older cows on as she has horns and they don’t – I think Sami will put her in her place though.
Named so because of her generous girth. She is the most committed grazer of the herd and develops calousses on her knees from kneeling as far under the fence as she can to get at least a 1/4 more food then anyone else. Accordingly she is also a great milker.