Got red bull? No, not the kind that people drink for a caffeine rush. We borrowed a red bull to, hopefully, breed our cows over the next two months. He’s a Red Angus that, so far, seems more interested in the cows across the fence than our cows. It’s all about who’s in heat, of course.
We borrowed the same bull last year, so whether or not he knows it, he’s the father to almost all of the calves we have. Now that he’s in the same pasture as his calves, it’s easy to see the resemblance. However, I’m pretty sure neither he, nor they, realize he’s their daddy.
We don’t own our own bull. We tried once. It went badly. (Click here to read about the Barry fiasco.) So, now we just borrow a bull from my father-in-law, or bring our cows to one of his bulls. Right now, he has three to choose from: red, white, or black. The color of the bull will definitely influence the color of his calves. Since I’m not raising any purebred calves, the bull’s breed and color doesn’t matter too much to me.
I thought for a minute about having Sienna bred AI (artificial insemination). Most dairy cows are bred that way. Then I could have had a purebred Jersey calf. However, I’ve never done AI breeding before and didn’t feel like this was the year to start it. (I will again mention that I’m pregnant as an excuse for not wanting to start too many new projects.)
When it’s time for one of the bulls to be loaded, they usually load very easily. They know they are headed to “greener pastures” so to speak. Yes. They are excited to meet new ladies and do their “job.” I’m sure Mr. Red Bull was not overly impressed when he got to our place; however, since none of our cows were in heat. I think we had just missed some of their cycles by a week. How did I ascertain this? While I was at the watering hole filling up the tanks, I could see the cows interacting and, uh, jumping on each other. Even females will do this to each other when they are in heat.
Anyhow, be patient, Mr. Red Bull, their cycle will come around again. That’s why we keep a bull for two months — to make sure each cow cycles during his stay before he leaves.
When a cow does go into heat, she can act quite hilarious. They are almost bipolar how one day they want absolutely nothing to do with the bull and are quite harsh or indifferent. But as soon as they go into heat, they turn into the opposite. They become affectionate with the bull and adamant that he pay attention to them. Well, he does. This isn’t a hard sell.
I’ll leave you with that fun tidbit and post again when I return from vacation. Yes, the milkmaid gets a vacation! (Vacations from milking possible when you leave a calf on the milk cow.)