The Dairy Queen
One of the nice things about having a small farm is that you get to know each cow quite well. This is great from a management perspective, since any change in behavior could signal a problem and we will immediately check her (take her temperature, check her udder, check her feet, observe her breathing, listen to her digesting, watch if she eats/drinks/lays down, etc). The other benefit is that you get to know their characters quite well too. Most of them are quite similar to each other, but there are a few who have some interesting quirks.
One of these girls is easy to spot. She’s one of our two Jerseys and her name is Annabelle. She has been with us for almost 4 years, is 6 years old and is on her 4th lactation. Annabelle is nobody’s fool. She might be the smallest cow in the barn, but she’s the queen of the bunch.
Although she’s the queen, she’s extremely gentle and kind, and always comes by to say hello when you come into the barn.
When Annabelle came to the farm we were worried that since she was so small she might have an issue with the robot since it was built for Holsteins, not little Jerseys. The thing about Jerseys is that they are a little sharper than Holsteins, and after a few milkings she figured out exactly where she has to stand to make sure the inflators are put on properly.
Annabelle loves the robot. She’s a frequent visitor, even when she isn’t milked, and loves to lick up any grain left behind by other cows.
So, the next time you stop by to check out the new look EcoDairy, be sure to keep a look out for Annabelle.