Sunday, April 1, 2007

A New Baby

I have a new baby.
She's cute as a button.

Almost all black.

And I have no clue what her name will be.

See, yesterday (March 31) was the Cobleskill Dairy Fashion Sale over at school. I went with every intention of bringing an animal home. Didn't know exactly which one, but I had a few picked out. One was lot 44. A nice, slick and correct two year old, sired by AltaMerchant out of a Durham, with an absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous udder. She was also just fresh. Had a feeling she would go pretty high. Everything was pretty hectic Friday when I went over to look at the cows with Brandon, so I didn't even look for her baby. But I marked down a couple of hip numbers on some other heifers and a few cows, and headed home.

There were a few other little babies there that I liked, so I had Dad put the calf box on my truck, and went back on Saturday. First I ran into Staebner, aka the Boss. He recognized me before I had even noticed him. He graduated last spring, and it was great to see him again, even if only for a short while. I've taken a lot of classes with that crazy man. He went on the trip to California back in Spring '05, and we convinced him to eat some pretty odd foods. He must have a black hole for a stomach, cause he is always, and I do mean always, hungry.

After saying hi and chatting with him for a minute, I wandered down to the sale table and picked up a bidder's number and a fly-sheet. And no, fly sheets are not used to swat flies. They contain the updates on the animals or other items in the sale, so that everybody can know pretty much all there is to know on the animals they want to buy. After getting all that squared away, I headed down to look at the critters that had shown up over night. And there she was. This little itty bitty black calf, hip number 44 1/2, surrounded by hay bales. Which made her hip number 44's baby. Which was really really good. Because the little sign above her read, lot 44 1/2, heifer calf, registration pending. I wanted her...Heck, I was gonna have her. A long time buddy of mine, Eric, was cuddling and petting her, and I told him he better not have any plans to take her home, cause she was leaving with me. He just laughed.

By then a couple of my other close buddies had shown up, and we wandered through the barn, checking out the changes in the cattle since the crew had finished clipping, bathing and bagging up all the cows. The changes in some were drastic. Still, I kept wandering back to the little babies. There were two that I really wanted. Little 44 1/2 and a bigger, early March calf by Rubens. She wasn't bad looking, but Rubens is not really known for milk production (or in his case a general lack there of), and her dam hadn't been classified, and didn't have any production records. I did bid on her, but didn't buy her. I thought she went for about $200.00 more than she was really worth. I bid on a couple of cows and some embryos too. Didn't get any of them. The embryos I would have most liked to have were five #1's from Mud Pie, a daughter of Muddy Water, who was one heck of an awesome cow.

Right at the start of the sale they had some donated pies and semen from various bulls. Steve (a guy I've known since 7th grade) and I are gonna split the one rack we bought. 10 units of a young sire from Taurus, for 2 bucks, one money. In other words, we got the semen for about 20 cents a unit. Not bad. And although we had no clue what the bull actually was, we figured at the worst he'd make a clean up bull. The funniest thing was when they were selling the pies. The auctioneer put aside two of the carmel pecans. No body could figure out why. At least not until he read off the ingredients. 'Now folks, this here, is a special pie. Carmel pecan, with white chocolate, and perhaps the most important ingredient, Bourbon. You gotta be 60 to compete'. Basically, he put in a bid of 50 bucks on this pie, he ended up taking it home for 70. I cannot imagine wanting a pie THAT badly. The other one was the same thing, only with dark chocolate. It went for 75. Nuts, absolutely nuts, and I mean that literally as well as figuratively.

And then we sat, through about half of the sale, waiting for the calf I wanted to go. Steve and I got sick of standing around half frozen, so we headed in to see when she would sell, and who we had to see to get the semen we bought. Well, as we headed back, they brought her and her momma out, up in five animals. So we quick ran in and talked to Julia about who the guy was that had the semen. Ended up doing us not a bit of good as he had already left. Then we ran back out to get a good bidding spot. We watched one nice big black heifer sell, and then they brought 44 in. She went reasonable, about 2200, which for a nice fresh heifer wasn't bad yesterday.

Then Robbie and a girl I don't know pushed that little black baby in. She bucked up and down, tried to push past them and get back by her mom, and just generally made their lives difficult. Bidding started at 200, and I went to 550, cause I recognize one of the other guys bidding, and had a feeling he was just running us. Sure enough, soon as it was just him and the other guy, he backed right out. Bidding stalled out at 575, so I waited about 20 seconds, motioned to my advisor who was taking bids that I wanted back in, and walked away with a sweet little calf, for $600. Granted I got busted on pretty bad for buying such a newbie for 'so much money'. But the one guy doing the worst busting got shut up pretty quick by his dad, when he pointed out that they spent 750 a piece for a bunch of week old grade calves.

Now the waiting game begins. What will little black baby's name be? I've been calling her 'Sugar', but I doubt that is what her name will be. Though I would imagine it will start with an 'S' as her dam's name was Suzelle. Ah well. When we get her papers, which will have her name, I'll let you know.


Breezey375 said...


Paintsmh said...

Be careful. You now have a small calf, so just keep in mind this sort of thing works both ways...

kathleen said...

She's a beauty!

Paintsmh said...

Hi Kathleen. She is a little cutie. Thanks for stopping.

Cubby said...

Very cute. Good luck with her. Can't wait to hear her name.

Paintsmh said...

Hey Cubby. She is only getting cuter with age. I will have to take some more pictures of her. I am simply crazy about her. And I am filled with a lot of anticipation from waiting to find out what she's gonna end up getting named.

Robyn McMaster said...

Hi Paintsmith, I like the way you describe the animals. Does Sugar have her name yet?

Paintsmh said...

Hi Robyn. As of this morning Sugar does not have an 'official' name. However, the papers should come in in the next few weeks I would imagine. I promise to let everybody know as soon as I find out!