Tuesday, May 24, 2011

birthing..babies?!

Homer and I love ice cream. LOVE ice cream. And fresh mozzarella. And cheese of all kinds. We have solved the question of cheese and where to get it: Keswick Creamery is a closed Jersey herd, pasture based dairy..and the cheese is delicious too. Their cows get lots of fresh grass, some additional stuff, but most of the feed comes from their fields. They have yogurt, chocolate pudding, hard and soft cheeses. That part of the equation has been solved.

But the ice cream. And the mozzarella cheese..with tomatoes and basil, olive oil, cracked pepper. The sources for those remain mysterious..how do those cows live, what do they feed them, what other additives. When the federal government lays down a law that says the dairies that do not give steroids to milk cows have to comply with exact wording or not put it on the label..it tells me that most dairies are using hormones. In milk cows. Ick.

So Homer decides we need a cow, a milk cow of our own. He does work for Keswick Creamery over the winter, and they pay him with a cow. She is beautiful, you have seen her head in an earlier post, where she pushes 2 smaller beef cattle out of the way to get to the best grass in the paddock. Sybil, our milk cow, came to us with a baby on board. A calf that has clearly been growing inside her since her arrival at Sunnyside Farm.

In order to get milk a cow has to have a calf. It is a must. In order to have the calf it has to get from inside Sybil to outside her. And we wait and watch and hope all goes well. Sybil came with wonderful instructions from Melanie Dietrich at Keswick Creamery: "put her on the field. do nothing." Well, those are directions I can handle! Good luck Sybil, we are cheering for you and have the ice cream maker ready and the rennet in the fridge. You go girl!

Mel tells us Sybil will get physically different before she births. It seems like she has been changing. Her with her tail in the way:

and here where we can see more of her:

and the next pictures you see will be of Sybil and her newborn. I think a gal needs her privacy. And there are plenty of you tube videos that show in more detail than you might want a cow getting a calf out. Keep a brown paper bag handy, for breathing if you hyperventilate or just in case you lose your lunch. We are all about multipurpose uses here at Sunnyside Farm.


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