Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Arrivals! Dexter Cows

These are Dexter cattle - a cow who is about two years old and her calf, who is two weeks old today. Dexters are "miniature" but not in the sense that they are bred to be so - they are just a naturally smaller breed, like ponies are smaller than horses. They are considered "dual purpose," good for meat or milk, and are very hardy, docile, and perfect for smaller pastures or more urban areas. They can give 1.5 - 2.5 gallons of milk per day instead of the huge volumes of larger dairy cattle.

I have always been interested in having cows and when I saw these needing a home, I decided to give it a try. They were in a very small space, so when they got unloaded in an acre of pasture they were *very* happy. The baby ran all day. I am still working on names for them.

Mom is not "tame" yet in that she fears people a bit. The calf was handled when born and after but stays close to mom, so for now we sit next to each other but I have to work up to getting them handled. I am thrilled with the new arrivals and so far, they seem mighty pleased at their life upgrade.


Anonymous said...

Okay, so are you going to start milking the cow? Maybe we can learn to make cheese! Knowing how well the goats adapted to life as pets, I don't think it will be very long before both of them are trying to get in some petting! Jaci

Jaci said...

Okay, I've spent some time thinking of some name possibilities.... Since the Dexter breed originates in Ireland, it makes sense to have Irish names. For the cow: MORRIGAN: Variant spelling of Irish Mórríghan, meaning "great queen"... and of course there's always Siobhan ("gracious") and Saoirse ("freedom")
And for the little calf:
LONÁN: Irish name composed of the Gaelic word lon "blackbird" and a diminutive suffix, hence "little blackbird."
LORCCÁN: Variant spelling of Irish Lorccán, meaning "little fierce one."
RÍOGHNÁN: Irish name composed of the element ríogh "king" and a diminutive suffix, hence "little king."