Cow Seventy-Eight

This is Seventy-Eight. She’s a Salers cow and she’s my buddy. I should look up her official name on her cow passport. All cows have passports here, pink cards that list their details.

 

 

One year old heifers are usually jumpy, but Seventy-Eight is always the first to come and see me when I show up in the paddock. That grass behind her looks pretty good, too. I find it odd that the grass is in good shape when the trees still do not have leaves.

 

 

This is one of the old girls lounging as the sun rises. Tomorrow the herd crosses our road into a new paddock that we’ve been fencing. I like it when they move on, they get to play in a new space and touch grass that hasn’t been eaten for many months.

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7 responses to “Cow Seventy-Eight

  1. Do you call her Seventy-Eight or Soixante-Dix-Huit? Or is she bi-lingual? I love a friendly cow! Those are really impressive horns on the “old” girl!

    I’m curious about your paddocks? About how big is each paddock; how many cows do you put in each one; and how long do you leave them? How do you decide when it’s time to move them? We’re learning about rotational grazing and just getting started, so I have lots of questions!

  2. I call her Seventy-Eight, but she does have a real name beginning with F.

    They’re all learning English – I use ‘cowcow’ and whistle to call them instead of the usual Gascon ‘saisai’. Although the Salers are from Quercy and the Mirandaise are from Gascony so they’ve probably been called with different words.

    I can’t help you much with the paddocks because we’re figuring it out ourselves. I’m leaving them in enough space for three days worth of food to give me time to get ahead with the fencing. In a couple of weeks we should be able to go to daily moves but we still have a lot of fencing to do and water to figure out. We’re fencing in an old alfalfa field that is now mostly volunteer grass which will give us 8ha of space to try it out on.

    At the moment we have 25 animals and they’re getting something like a quarter of a hectare a day, maybe a little more. Where they are the grass is thick, so there’s a fair bit of forage. On daily moves that would be 40,000 lb/ac, but since I’ve giving them three days at a time that drops to a third of that. They’re still figuring things out with herd order and learning the electric fences.

    I walk around their paddock each day and check out the state of the forage. Spring is fun because the grass grows so fast. The area where the Mirandaise grazed a couple of weeks ago has grown hugely. I’ll be watching to see how well it does over spring before we get to regraze it. We’ve got two foot grass in some places and it is still March (just).

    Have you checked out agmantoo’s rotational grazing thread? That was an interesting read. http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=286704&page=4

  3. Thanks so much for putting me on to Agmantoo! I’m going to take some time and digest all that.

    I love reading your blog. I love the little tidbits you put in which probably seem quite ordinary to you, but they bring back so many memories of France for me! Like talking about your cow’s passports and the one whose name begins with F. My Camargue horse had a passport, and his name was Tsar because he was born in a “T” year, 1985 I think it was. But any horseman knew right away what year he was born in by his name. Not to mention how handy the passport is with all the medical and breed information. We should use that system in the US!

  4. Hello there,

    I have just found our blog and I love it! It is not only informative but humorous as well. I will be adding you to my blog list and if you have time stop by for a visit to mine.

    I love anything to do with France and farming is no exception!

    Kris

  5. Pingback: Heifers in the Mist | grasspunk·

  6. Pingback: Cows and Lucerne in Emerson | grasspunk·

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