Friday, August 12, 2016

The Red Poll Girls In August

I moved the Red Poll girls back across the road and into the south field, which is their home base. They seemed happy and contented:

Scarlet and Amy  were hanging out together when I took this photo. It is clear to me that cows, like people, form friendships based on their mutual personalities:

All six of them have been in high condition, perhaps even a bit fat:

Jasmine, number 32, has a distinctive face and ears which I can recognize at a distance. It has taken several years, but I've gotten so that I know them without even seeing their ear tags - well, usually:

The northern border of the field is soggy and filled with inedible Sedge. Nonetheless, the girls sometimes find some tender grass there:

Amy's udder is no longer swollen but it still shows signs of having been overfilled:

The girls usually stay so close together that they are touching and I have come to believe that is so they can rub the annoying flies off on each other's sides:

Life has been idyllic - except for the flies:

 Jasmine grew so huge and wide that I was anxious for her due date:

But one evening I saw Gracie and Jasmine in heat. They seemed enamored of each other, splitting off from the herd and acting amorous:

I got the artificial insemination man out the next morning and he confirmed that neither one of them had a calf inside and that Jasmine was most certainly in heat. Whether Gracie was in heat was less sure, but neither was pregnant and both acted like this was the time, so I had them both artificially inseminated:

Jasmine was locked inside the barn while Gracie was inseminated. Then it was her turn. They don't seem to mind the process at all, though they are a bit nervous about being restrained. So it's been a bad year for calves. The first calf died and then I discovered two cows who were not pregnant:

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