Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good-bye Lilly

With the end of the school program year it is time to send Lilly up to Golden Oaks Farm for the rest of her lactation cycle. Something I bet most people don't know, dairy cows are on a pretty strict schedule. The way it is supposed to go, a cow freshens (giving birth), then milks for about 305 days. At that point she takes two months off and stops milking. In this period she is called a dry cow. At the end of that two months, she will again re-freshen and the cycle starts again. This little circle of life is fine when everything goes smooth. If a farmer is really lucky the cow will have a handful of heifers and then you can grow the herd. However, like everything in farming, nature plays its hand in the game. Lilly was bred a couple of times this year and did not take. This failure means she needs to keep milking until she catches. Here comes the trouble, the longer a cow milks the less she gives. At some point she will actually just quit making milk. Lilly gave birth to Daisy back in February. According to plan, she should right now be going into dry and having a calf in March or there abouts. Well, so much for planning. Lilly is one of those All-Star girls like Gibson that is a great milker and loves the public. Hopefully we will see her back down at WF soon.