Saturday, July 19, 2008

Trip to Stud Town

Dinah is on a great vacation.  She is the Head Cow here at Kurtwood Farms;  most senior milker.  She came in service four years ago this coming September, the beginning of the dairy business.
A beautiful cow, full of personality and one who takes her role and responsibility as Head Cow terribly seriously, she has always been my favorite.  Unfortunately she has had a health problem for the past year.  She was dried up to give her a break, and at the time she was not yet bred.  I anticipated breeding her soon after she stopped milking and she would calve nine months later.  After numerous failed attempts, I had her checked out by the large animal veteranian on the Island, who diagnosed her with ovarian cysts.  
Numerous hormone treatments were tried, some succesful, others not so much. I still was unable to get her pregnent.  The vet recommended a bull to breed her instead of the aritificial insemination I had been using.  A friend nearby had a bull and offered to have her stay there for the month.  And so, Dinah is on a vacation of sorts.
Harm Cord zum Spreckel's farm is not that far from Kurtwood Farms, but it is a trek -- maybe a couple of miles.  Originally I had planned to hire a truck and trailer to transport her there, but came to my senses and decided to walk her their myself.  
Together Dinah and I set off from the farm on our journey.  She was quite excited to be headed out and pulled me along as we headed to the road.  A bold bovine, she found the road exciting.
We marched along with cars slowing down all along the way.  I am by nature a shy guy in public, so people gawking at me is not truely in my comfort zone, but Dinah is a natural crowd pleasure and I rose to the occasion.
A short ways into the trek a trucked pulled over and as luck would have it a great friend hopped out and joined me for the journey.  It was a great time to chat and catch up, Dinah turning heads the whole way.  The fun thing was that for the people of Vashon Island, a stunning Jersey cow walking down the highway was a great sight to see.  It made everyone happy; a little extra treat that they could tell their families when they got home.  I was pleased to be a part of that.
Dinah made it to her destination:  a beautiful farm with Scottish Highland cows and a very eager bull. With a bit of luck, the deed will be done and we will have a calf next year.  The best part of it is that I get to go and fetch her in two weeks and walk her back to Kurtwood, meeting people along the way; making people smile as they drive past.

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