September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
It's all good
The other one is Elka, and she's my show animal for next year. She's a shiny black and white Holstein calf.
Elka came into this world about a month ago. Her mother is Cow Number 344. Steve calls her Super Cow.
She really is Super Cow. She's had five calves and she doesn't look a day over 2. Really, in cow years, that's awesome. If we look at the numbers, 344 is actually 6 years old. That's like 58 in human years.
I don't know if it really translates to 58 human years, but she's definitely not a youngster.
The problem is she looks like a 2-year-old. Nothing about her says, I have had five calves and my body is giving out.
Everything on her is perky and bright. Her back is as straight as straight can be and she's got legs that would make 72-year-old Tina Turner take a second look. (Can you believe Turner is 72? Can you say cosmetic surgery?)
Those are the reasons I chose Elka for a show cow: genetics.
While Elka is my princess, there is also one queen roaming our pastures. That queen is none other than Moose. She will live out her entire life here on our farm; never ending up with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Moose is also the want-to-be surrogate mother on our farm. If she lived in a neighborhood with tons of calves running around, they would all be at Moose's house. Moose wouldn't burn the chocolate chip bar she gives to all the kids with a fresh glass of milk. Not that I know anybody that frequently burns bars.
It seems fitting then that Moose formed a special bond with Elka. Of course, we helped arrange that relationship. Moose treats Elka like she is her own daughter.
You see, one day, Elka, being the rebellious princess she is, decided to throw down her locks and jump out of her white-plastic PolyDome hutch.
Elka ended up running around the pasture with our group two cows, which contains the one-and-only Moose.
When Steve and I wrangled up Elka, Moose was casually standing on the far end of the pasture; chewing her cud and watching us chase a robust 3-week-old Elka.
Because Moose has the special designation as permanent resident, and doesn't milk worth a hoot anymore (she's 12 years old), Steve decided to make her a wet nurse.
In other words, when we have a calf whose mother dies or doesn't produce milk, we can call in the back up - Moose.
After Steve corralled Moose into the calving barn, we introduced her to Elka and the two have been inseparable ever since. Even after we moved them to the pasture, they hang close to each other. Elka seems to be getting a bit wilder, but I will deal with that at a later date.
Having a wet nurse saves us a few bucks on manual labor. Instead of having to milk Moose into a bucket and then putting it in a bottle for Elka, we just let her roam around on the pasture with cute little Elka trailing behind. We don't have to milk Moose and we don't have to haul a bottle over to Elka in a PolyDome.
It's Moose's job to keep Elka well fed and she's doing a darn good job of it.
It really is quite endearing. Moose even does the cow version of Momma-speak to Elka.
Steve expects Elka to grow as fast as a giant ragweed; being she's getting fresh, warm milk directly from the cow.
Not only does Moose fill our hearts with happiness, now she's taking care of one of our favorite baby calves as well.
It's all good.
To Submit an Event Sign in first
No calendar events have been scheduled for today.