Thursday, May 27, 2010

Visiting Cow

A few weeks ago I got an inquiry from a lady in Ojai. It was about the possibility of bringing her cow to be bred by my bull. I let her know I was open to that, since I had already done that before. We made arrangements through e-mail and Monday her son and daughter brought their cow.
I let the new cow, named Nora, and Dakota get acquainted through the fence before I let them be together.
A while later I opened the gate to Dakota's pen and he wandered out. Dakota was willing to just nibble the grass and sniff curiously toward the newcomer.

She, however, was having none of that. She immediately put her head down and started some serious pushing. Dakota wasn't expecting that and he got pushed half way across the yard before he got himself together and started pushing back. This went on all day.

In the evening I noticed they had busted through the fence to my "orchard" and I chased them out. Now they are both locked in Dakota's pen until they stop pushing.

Meanwhile, I think my orchard is a goner.

What hurts the most is one tree that had lots of fruit on it (the apricots) has been stripped bare.

I don't think Nora was with any other cows for a long time, which may explain her aggressiveness. But being with a bull now may bring her into heat so she may get bred and finally settle down. She is a lot calmer already. She has been trying to "ride" the bull, which is usually an indication that she's coming into heat.

Cows are funny though. The timing has to be just right and they won't allow themselves to be bred unless they are in a "standing heat", which means they will stand still to be mounted and bred. And the time frame for that to happen is just a few hours. That's why when a cow is bred using AI (artificial insemination) it's very important to keep track of the time the cow was given the hormone shots to bring her into heat. If she is AI'd two hours too late it could all be for naught! But since Nora is with Dakota 24/7 now, you can be assured he won't let the right time pass without doing the deed.

I guess I'll keep watering the orchard to see if anything recovers, but I'm not going to replace any of the trees. I'll just have to wait til we get to Oregon to get a new orchard.

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