Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Red Poll Ladies

Maggie and Tabitha are growing rapidly and play together often. Tabitha, the older, bigger calf, has become bolder and more friendly than any calf I've had yet. Of course she's not as friendly as a hand raised dairy calf, but for a field raised animal, she's developed quite a likeable personality:

The hay supply is dwindling rapidly despite my attempts to stretch it. These big girls need a lot of fuel to keep them going:

Tabitha is ear tag number 2, Maggie is number 12:

Tabitha comes into the calf feeder area for grain each morning but Maggie never quite figured it out. I now give Maggie grain alongside the big cows, but she has to eat rapidly because the big cows take her grain as soon as they finish their own. Since they're all on diets, I try to remove the food bowl before a big cow gets to it, but I'm not always successful:

The two lactating moms get four cups of grain per day and the others get two cups (the calves only get one cup). Little Maggie has begun eating at that empty space you see in this photo:

Scarlett with her own calf and her granddaughter. Scarlett always has a badly swollen teat which is too big for her calves at first. But as soon as they grow large enough, they drain all four teats:

Gracie is, I hope, pregnant but she's on a diet also. Her girth is from fat, not because she's carrying a calf:

A tender moment as Scarlett licks her calf, Maggie. Scarlett was one of my least favorite cows when they first arrived, but she's developed into my most productive animal and her personality has blossomed as well:

You can see the bale spear on the front of the tractor. I had just dropped a new hay bale into the feeder:

The hay bale feeder is not only a place to eat, it also makes a soft, dry place to nap - especially if you are a little calf who doesn't need too much room:

The horses are seldom seen at the bale feeder, but recently they've been giving it a try:

As I type these words, I am longing for the days when the pasture looked so green and welcoming. Since this photo was taken, we've had our first snowstorm - and it was a doozy! We are currently buried in snow and ice:

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