Buttercup…

Now if your expecting new lamb pictures, I might have to disappoint you but this maybe better!   Maybe? ;-D

Too exciting isn't it?

Too exciting isn't it?

Mark just took this picture with his phone camera…she is half Dexter and half Jersey.  She is only a month old and she is on her way here tonight with Mark, Sawyer, Garrett and Hayden.  Thanks Eva!
 
Our plan is to eventually milk her by AI’ing her to a miniature Jersey.  Hopefully this will create smaller offspring, making them less intimadating to the kids. 
According to the American Dexter Cattle Association…

Dexter Cattle

    The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland where they were bred by small land holders and roamed about the shelter less mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature.  The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when more than twho hundred Dexters were imported to the US between 1905 and 1915.  In recent years there has been a worldwide surge of interest in Dexter cattle.  They thrive in hot as well as cold climates and do well outdoors year round, needing only a windbreak, shelter and fresh water.  Fertility is high and calves are dropped in the field without difficulty.  They are dual purpose, being raised for both milk and meat.  Dexters are also the perfect old-fashioned family cow.  Pound for pound, Dexters cost less to get to the table, economically turning forage into rich milk and quality, lean meat.

    According to the guidelines, the ideal three year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than 1000 pounds.  The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than 750 pounds.  There are two varieties of Dexters, short legged and long legged.  Milk and beef production and other characteristics are generally the same for both types.

    Dexters come in Black, Red or Dun.  Dexters are horned or polled, with some people preferring to dehorn them.  A milking cow can produce more milk for its weight than any other breed.  The daily yield averages 1 to 3 gallons per day with a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent.  Yields of cream up to one quart per gallon are possible.  The cream can be skimmed for butter or ice cream.

    Beef animals mature in 18 to 24 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little waste.  The expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is slightly darker red than that of other breeds.

    No other bovine can satisfy such a diverse market.

Jersey Cows:
The Jersey cow is quite small, ranging from only 800 to 1200 pounds.  The main factor contributing to the popularity of the breed has been their greater economy of production, due to:

 

 

 

 

 

  • the ability to carry a larger number of effective milking cows per unit area due to lower body weight, hence lower maintenance requirements
  • high butterfat conditions, 6% butterfat and 4% protein and to thrive on locally produced food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lambing Stories…

                                                                                                     

Last Saturday when I checked the ewes, I noticed Kelda doing some excessive groaning and figured she was in labor so I went back to the house to grab a quick bite of lunch and to grab the camera.  When I got back to the barn about 20 minutes later I seen this… Kelda, in labor...

and thought neato, I can photograph her giving birth.  Then she stood up and I noted which way the babies toes were pointed.  I knew right away that the baby was coming backward…I kept trying to make it the right way in my mind and even tried calling Mark on my cell phone to get his opinion(Which way are those toes suppose to be pointing?) Anyway he was at a birthday party with the kids and out of service.  So I ran back to the house (with the neighbor watching and I’m sure splitting a gut at watching this out of shape momma run the length of the pasture) to get Sawyer to help me.  When we were back at the barn a few minutes later, we caught her and I checked her hoping to find a nose right there, but no such luck.  So we got busy pulling.  I held the ewe still and Sawyer gently pulled the lamb out to it’s butt and then paused a second and pulled furiously to quickly get the lamb out.  When a lamb is born, the umbilical cord gets crimped/broke and it stimulates the lamb to take it’s first breath, which when coming head first is great!  But when it’s breech it will take its first breath and still have it’s head inside of the ewe and breath in amniotic fluid.  Not good!  So it’s a good idea to get it out ASAP.  When the lamb came out she didn’t even move and had tons of fluid around mouth in the sack.  We wiped her mouth quickly and swung her downward, rubbed her vigorously, and all we got from her was a little gurgled glub, so we swung her again and rubbed her ribs more and plenty of pleas (demands) from me to “Live little lamby, live!”  “Come on little lamby!”  Finally she purred to life and started to move a little, when mom decided that that was enough funny business and started in on the work too, by licking her all over.  I wonder what the neighbors thought?  LOL!

Kelda's new lamb Bianca.

Kelda's new lamb Bianca.

She was our first moorit lamb to be born into our flock, I thought she was black at first but as she dried she was definitely brown!  So much for taking birth  pictures. lol!
We had barely got Kelda and Bianca moved into their jug when Lukka started up, too!
Lukka in labor.

Lukka in labor.

Lukka really working hard...

Lukka really working hard...(You can see the lamb starting to emerge!)

Her labor was picture perfect.  No problems with her, her first lamb just slid out easy as can be (from my perspective anyway, she might disagree!)  The first one was a nice little moorit badgerface whom we named Blíð, which means warmth, mildness, kindness in Icelandic.  By this time my mom had showed up and Mark had gotten back from the birthday party so we all hung out and waited for the second lamb to be born.  She was so intent on getting Blíð clean I was thinking that she must have forgot to finish lambing.  She would would have a contraction every once in while but was just enjoying her lamb.

Lukka and Blíð...

Lukka and Blíð...

Lukka was so big that I was hoping for twins out of her, so Mark checked her real quick to see what was going on.  He could feel another one inside her and it felt positioned properly so we just hung out some more.  After about 45 minutes she decided it was time for the next one and laid down and pushed about 3 times and the next one was journeying forth.   This one presented properly too but had a *really* thick bag still covering it when it was half way out, so Mark tried to quickly puncture the bag and pull it away from the lambs mouth.  It took him a few seconds to actually poke through it, it was so thick.  Aside from that though no other intervention was needed and Bletta was born.  Bletta means spotted in Icelandic as she has a single white spot under each ear.  She too was a beautiful moorit lamb!
Lukka and her 2 lambs...

Lukka and her 2 lambs...

Egg Count:

Egg Count:

All week we got 8-10 eggs