We looked around on Craigslist for dairy cows for sale. A few were for sale and we decided to go look at one close by. Of course, my mind was set already. We arrived at what seemed like paradise to us....green pastures, goats/sheeps/turkeys/lambs/chicks/dogs/kids running around. And we met the most wonderful family raising a family and its food. So we decided to buy Tilly not knowing much about what to look for in a cow. I mean, why would research a large investment? Cows produce milk and they are all the same.
|First Day at Red Fox Farm|
|Enjoying the shade of the Poplar Tree|
|Mother Nature strikes again on a Full Moon...|
So, I consult a woman (now a friend) who we bought our second cow from a few days ago. She is an expert in this field and wants to share her knowledge with the world. She is active in the WAPF chapter here and raises Devon and Jersey cattle to sell to families. Just love her. All along she had been telling me to invest in a good mineral program. Preferably Helfter Minerals. These are free choice minerals. Meaning the cow has access to these all the time and she takes what and how much she needs. BUT the price is steep. And I'd already invested around $2300 in this cow (if you count the used trailer we bought to haul her in, its more). How could I invest $600 in a mineral program? Will it really fix the issue? But we were at our last resort or we would have to cull her and eat REALLY REALLY expensive beef. When I spoke with the Helfter mineral guy, a salesman, I told him we had a salt block and a general mineral block for her. He then told me that Helfter is the only company with a patent for free choice Selenium (the mineral needed for excellent fertility). The FDA and USDA have a restriction on how much selenium is in general blocks. Hmmmm..... AND due to the mismanagement of grazing cattle and other livestock, selenium is near depleted in most of the US of A's soils. Imagine that. Lesson #30
|The free choice mineral feeder Shannon built|
Merry Christmas! Tilly was to come into heat on Christmas Day and never did. And she never has again. And her belly is wide and her udder is full. She is due on September 8th.
|About 2-3 months pregnant|
|6 months pregnant|
|About 7 months pregnant and TIRED..|
|7 months from behind...wide wide. That calf must sit on her right side...|
|And most recently, 8-9 months pregnant and walking slow. Remember your bottom gets big in the last month?|
To be continued....
You can read Part Two of this sweet story here!