food, history, rural life, and how we connect our cultural past and future
Milk Cow Retrospective
Here’s me and my favorite cow ever with her new heifer ‘back in the day’ on our farm in South Dakota!
It was the spring of 1982 and the calf was the first heifer after a run of 6 bull calves in a row from all the births over the previous two years! Mama Cello and her calf Flautine were the sweetest pair! Can you see why I feel the way I do about dairy cows? Cello gave milk so rich the cream was yellow, thick, and made the finest butter I ever churned. There is no way to explain the temperament of young dairy heifers; they love being loved. Boy, did I hate having to sell these wonderful animals when we left the farm.
When we originally bought Cello in 1981 she was pregnant by a Holstein bull – and we anticipated problems with the birth. We were not wrong. It took the help of the vet to successfully bring the huge bull calf into the world. When he was four months old he was so big and strong that when tethered with a line to a tractor tire out in the pasture he could make a running dash and pull that sucker for many feet at a time! He knocked me down a few times in his enthusiasm to get at the milk bucket.
Soooooo, come mid-summer we had him butchered for meat. Here we are serving the barbeque made from the rear quarter for my birthday feast.
Our friend, Morris brought out his cooker, all the guests brought yummies, and we had a wonderful day.