Friday, March 9, 2007

First Ever Show Cow

Just about every kid who has ever shown cows will be able to tell you all about their first show calf. Mine was a little white intermediate Holstein heifer who was as sweet as they come. My dad gave her to me to show when I was six. Frieland Sonora was a wonderful start for me. She wasn't a fancy calf by any means, but she was a whole lot of fun. We spent the whole summer getting ready for the fair, and were rewarded by getting our pictures in the paper as I unloaded her off the trailer, and standing in the middle of the lineup for her class. She went on to have three daughters. Frieland Rex Star is still alive and milking at over 12 years of age, which for those who aren't familiar with cow ages, is about 9 years over the average age expectancy for todays dairy cows. Sadly, Frieland Astro Savannah, Sonora's Paclamar Astronaut daugher, and Frieland RORAE Sierra, her Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation daughter are both gone. Savannah was the dam of Frieland MGLEN Sequioa, who is the dam of Maqua-Kil Zander Spruce. Sierra's only daughter is Maqua-Kil Lewis Sedona. Star has one daughter still in the herd, Frieland Soir Noir. She has one daughter, Maqua-Kil Lewis Soiree. They're an interesting group of cows. Star and her daughter and her offspring tend to be totally INSANE. Star has calmed down, but she's old so she may just not have the energy any more. Soir is just plain nuts. Third lactation and you still can't safely milk her. Soiree isn't too bad so far, but she also is just a heifer and not yet in the milking herd. Savannah and Sierra were both fairly gentle. Savannah didn't have the best udder and had some health issues, but for the most part she was only a little kicky, specially when you take into account that Astronaut daughters were a bit, as one old timer at a Select Sires meeting said, 'touchy'. In other words, they liked to try and kick the stars out of the sky when you worked with them. Savannah wasn't even remotely that bad. Sierra was a whole nother story. She was born WAY out on the hill, and it took us about a week or so to catch her and get her in. So as a calf, she was insane. Dad had to tranquilize her just to get her in the barn when she freshened as a two year old. Then, it was like someone turned as switch on in her brain and let her know that people were pretty okay. She went from being so flighty that you couldn't get near her in the field, to being one of my pets that I could walk right up to and scratch under the chin.

The family is still going strong. Spruce will be two in the fall, and should (we'll know for certain on Monday), be bred to calve in September with an Ocean-View Marsh Swain baby. We've got a lot of daughters out of Swain, and so far I really like them. I'll let yah know if she's gonna be giving us a bundle of joy when we are hoping she will.

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