2009-02-21

Back in the Shed after calf nineteen springs a suprise on Dairy Farm Owners


Some cows are lucky after their useful life is over. Most old Dairy cows once they're past their productive life have a one way trip to the works and end up as sausages on someone's dinner plate. Not for Grandma though. The article above appeared in the Rural Advocate today. I've retyped it here so it's easier to read

Super Gran does it again!

After a long and productive life, Grandma - a cow in dairy farmer Gordon Kirkham's herd - was retired and put out to pasture.

But, unbeknown to anyone, the mother of 18 offpsring still had a twinkle in her eye and when she met a much younger, abeit injured, hereford bull a fulfilling, though brief romance ensued that came to light only very recently.

Mr Kirkham and the mamanger of his Waikato farm, Darius Culpan, said they had been discussing how well Grandma was looking, and that she seemed to looking exceptionally good on the the extra meal she'd been eating since she was put out to pasture.

"We joked about why she was doing so well, and even the possibility she was in calf," Gordon said. "However we'd retired her - she deserved it - and we thought she was 'past it'."

"We did put in a young injured bull with her for a short time. We called him Bentley because his knee was bent, and with the affirmities they both shared (her age and his disability) it never occurred to us that romance would blossom between the two of them."

But then, the reason for Grandma' good health emerged - her 19th calf!

The average New Zealand dairy cow has around five or six lactations/calves in her lifetime.

Grandma, a predominantly Holstein Fresian daughter of LIC Sire Maniapoto AB Mustang, was born in 1988. Over ensuing years she proved herself to be a reliable and fertile cow with a high production worth of 198.

After proving so convincingly that she wasn't 'past it', Grandma was returned to the herd, coming into the shed once a day with her much younger counterparts.

Gordon and Darius who milk 1600 dairy cows on 500ha (2.5 acres approx to 1 ha), they still planned to retire the old cow - provided she was ready to give up on romance.

- From the Rural Advocate

3 comments:

  1. LOL
    Proving the old adage "Old aint dead" ;)

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  2. Way to go Jayne! Yeah that old girl proved her owners wrong there. Heck I figured out that old girl is rising 21 years old this year so she's probably a July calf. they changed the calving dates in the 90's to the 1st of August.

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  3. Haha! I guess you are never too old. :-)

    Jennifer

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