Yesterday I visited the farm of a friend of mine to check out the calves she has. There are some crosses, including this cute one that is mostly Charolais.
This Blonde/Salers cross calf below was abandoned by her mother and so has become well attached to humans. It is quite a shock to have a calf come and nuzzle you for attention when you usually deal with calves born and reared on pasture who remain a little distant. I wanted to bring her home for the kids! Those Blondes do get very large and she’d be a 1600lb pet.
The Salers calves look good. She’s thinking this guy might make a good bull. He’s young and it is hard to tell at this stage.
The herd is from a different family of Salers and the calves seem taller and less chunky to my eyes.
The cows are larger, too. They’re about 50-100kg (100-200lb) heavier than the average cow of our herd, which suits our respective systems. They do look good and meaty.
They use the model of cow feeding in common use here: make as much silage and hay as you can and feed it out the rest of the year as needed.
There’s no grass. The cows have been eating hay and silage since the start of June, three months ago.
Her farm isn’t an exception. This is the norm for the farms around here. June, July and August are dry. The rainfall for those three months in 2012 has been 50mm, 30mm, 20mm: an inch or two a month. With the high summer temperatures in the mid-30s (90s in Fahrenheit) the soils dry out again fast.
It’s all fun in the summertime. Here’s the sartorial elegance of Mungo Jerry.