Our 13 year old jersey is in calf!
We thought our oldest jersey (13 yrs old) was no longer taking. Ruby has been like this for years & she just always seemed to be getting increasingly overly fat. A fat jersey is like a beach/medicine ball on toothpicks.
This winter we bought better hay. Our previous hay was certainly not poor quality, but all of our animals are now obviously much healthier. This hay is more expensive (so we thought not an option due to finances), but must have more stored nutrition. It is like eating empty "food" vs. real food. They are eating less hay because they are getting what they need, so it really doesn't cost that much more. Dairy certainly needs better feed quality than beef. We knew that, but didn't realize the feed was missing that something. We suspect that quality of feed may have played a big part in Ruby's weight gain & so lack of taking.
Through late winter & early spring we still thought she was just fat. Well, as of last week, she slimmed down rather noticeably and her flat udder was/is growing quickly. We were very surprised! Her belly has a different (healthy, calf containing-type) shape as well. We suspect that she will calve in approximately a week. And to think that we were "this close" to giving her to someone as a companion for a lonely horse so that she could live out her days in bliss. We wanted to keep her, but it wouldn't work if we were to get another cow. We don't have that much pasture space. We had just been talking about getting another milker...so it was a welcome & pleasant surprise! It is much cheaper too!
Anyway, we will soon be swimming in milk as we are still getting well over a gallon a day from the current milker & this old gal will give us 3-4. When we are done milking her, it will be a very sad day, but she still is wanted for a companion for that horse. She will live out her days being spoiled.
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