Monday, December 14, 2009

Taking it back a little..

I feel like a bum for not posting anything in over a week. It's been pretty busy/boring (at the same time) here. I guess you could say that I've been busy with some pretty boring stuff and I haven't cooked anything worth blogging about. That will change later this week since I will be making my annual Christmas candy. But in the meantime, I thought I would do an animal post to pass the time.
When I first arrived at UK to start my Master's degree program, these were the calves that I knew and loved: Angus.
I mean, look at them, what's not to love?

Shiny little black coats....gleaming little black eyes.....

Impecable manners....ok, maybe not that. But still, although not the most lovable of calves (probably because they don't need you for anything most of the time and they know that), I wanted nothing to do with dairy calves. Lo and behold, one of the first projects I worked on was.......raising dairy calves. Yep, I probably raised about 75 of the little suckers before it was all said and done. I raised 40 of them while doing a project evaluating probiotics. That was a chapter in my thesis. Here are some of the guys/gals:

My first calf ever was Willis. He was pretty awesome. Behind him is Henry, my 2nd calf. Henry was a character. He LOVED people. He couldn't stand to be WITHOUT people. Henry would hollar and hollar until someone came in the room....then he was fine.

I also had some Jersey calves....this one was Bambi. Jerseys spend a lot of time chewing and sucking on stuff. They are the "smart" calves and must be occupied with something all the time. Once, during playtime, I wasn't paying attention and one of the Jersey calves had been sucking on the edge of my tshirt and has stretched it about a foot its mouth....a nice slobbery mess.

I got some pretty random color/breed combinations. In the foreground is a Swedish Red x Holstein/Jersey cross and in the back ground a Brown Swiss x Holstein/Jersey cross.

This is George. I had my "Beatles"...John, Paul, George, and Ringo....but although Paul is my favorite "actual" Beatle, George was my favorite "calf" Beatle. He was such a sweetie. If you are wondering what that teal ball is in the picture, that is their "Jolly Ball." They loved their Jolly Balls....they butted them and licked them and chewed them. I'm sure it gets boring in a 8 x 8 pen.

I continued with the Beatle theme for a while...this is Sgt. Pepper.

Mean Mr. Mustard.....who wasn't particularly mean, so we called him Mr. Mustard.

Half of the calves I raised for my Probiotic project were heifers (females). This is Ethel. The heifers tended to be mean. They liked to kick ALOT! I think they were a touch sharper than the boys....but I think Dairy cattle are bred that way.

This little girl was very sweet though. Tinkerbell only weighed 45 lbs when I got her. She was a twin but her sister didn't make it. When she left 8 weeks later, she was 95 lbs (which is what most of the others weighed when they were born).

After the project, the girls went back to the UK Dairy to make babies and milk. The boys went to the UK Beef unit and were used in nutrition projects over the next couple years. This is Woodstock, the most wonderful steer ever created by God. Look at that wise face. He is almost a year old in this picture. He was the first calf in my research trial as well as other research trials. Everyone wanted to use Woodstock because he was so docile and loved getting hugs. Woodstock was an allstar....he could do anything. I miss him.
Although I still don't want to start a dairy farm.....I don't like Dairy cattle THAT much, I did gain an appreciation for them. They are a little easier to hug on then Angus calves....I'll tell you that right now.

1 comment:

  1. OMG this makes me want to laugh and cry and go get myself a calf! I remember so many of these little guys!