Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Reassessment of My Abilities

For four years  I have kept cows.  Fed them, milked them, chatted with them, bonded with them, and sadly slaughtered some of them.  I have felt that I have risen high enough on the learning curve of cows to term myself a cowboy; a dairyman.  I realized yesterday that I was mistaken.  I am a neophyte.
On Thursday, the first day of the new year, Dinah 2.0 gave birth to a calf.  I was thrilled and took a great deal of pride in this even though I had only bought Dinah 2.0 the day before, had never seen her before that date, had neither raised her nor bred her.  I did not deserve to take credit for the birth of this beautiful calf. 
I took a look at this healthy, strong, lovely calf and quickly, confidently and sadly assessed it as a bull-calf, a male.  In the world of a dairy, a bull calf has a financial value equal to a large Reuben sandwich at the local cafe.  A heifer, a female, is valued more along the lines of a great weekend out on the town.  I concluded that this was an omen for the year:  healthy calf yes, but one of little value:  the year would be a B, not even a B+ and no where near an A.  
As I began working with Dinah 2.0, trying to get her to relax and let down her milk in the milking parlor, I began to bring the young offspring with us.  With her progeny in sight of her, I theorized that she would calm down, possibly she would even confuse the milking machine with its mechanical pulsating with the clumsy suckling of the calf.  With the calf stationed in sight of Dinah 2.0, myself trying to massage her engorged udder, I looked over at the calf. The small, yet fierce calf was peeing in the milking parlor, and peeing in a most un-male way.
In my rush to judgement I had mistaken his, well actually her, umbilical cord for a penis.  I would like to think that this is a simple mistake to make, although anyone with the moniker of dairyman would never make it.  I stand corrected. The calf is actually a heifer.  Jorge, noting the demi-lune markings on her forehead has named her Luna.  

As this is the beginning of a new year, a time of reflection, I still have a chance to reassess the coming year.  This farm now has the best omen:  a young heifer calf born on New Years' day, in the year of the Ox.  Most certainly this is an A+ in the world of an omen.
I have also downgraded my status to novice cowboy.  I have quite a ways to go and relish the trek.  


  1. Great news Kurt, congratulations, a wee hiefer is wonderful. I have made the same mistake but the other way around :-)

    Are you going to keep her? Will you raise her by hand or will she stay with her mother?

  2. It is very auspicious. Congratulations and Happy New Year!

    Ann Marie

    PS: came to your farm dinner right before New Year's w/ my sister, Amy -- see my blog for photos:


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