Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunday Surprise!

Lately we have been running our own personal baby calf nursery at Orange Patch Dairy. As of this morning we have delivered 4 sets of twins in a row!!! 5 sets of twins for the year and we know of a 6th set of twins coming in the middle of April! We usually have a couple of sets of twins in the spring but this has been the first time in 4 years that there have been so many in a row. As a result the calf barn is bustling with hungry infants and the milking barn is filled with mother cows that need special attention. We have had 3 sets of twins where both calves were heifers (females), 1 set where both calves were bulls (males) and one set where the calves were mixed-one male one female. Below is a picture of one of the sets of heifer/heifer twins...Pixi and Pippi. They were in the calf barn for a couple days, staying warm and waiting for a clean calf hut to stay in. They didn't mind the time to chill out and get to know each other ;)

Pixi is the whiter calf on the left, Pippi is on the right...different colors but still twins, and they act like it too!-daughters of Precious, born 3-19-00

Sunday's are usually a busy morning for us....try to finish chores quickly so we can make it to late mass, go out to eat afterwards and enjoy a Sunday afternoon nap! I love my Sunday naps! BUT....this Sunday we had a SURPRISE! When we got to the farm in the morning, there was a calf in the dry cow yard! Much to our surprise Cow 57 calved and had a little heifer running free. 57's calf, now called Alex was a very tall and very happy calf! After moving her to the calf barn and moving her mother to the milk barn...we were running a little late. We had to rearrange our schedule and settle for some Subway after early mass and then back to the farm. Below are some pictures of Alex and her mom....both of which are doing VERY well!

Alex, sleeping in her clean bedding, after a HUGE first feeding of colostrum. She drank over 13 pints of milk! She had quite an appetite!

Cow 57, in the milking barn, enjoying some fresh TMR (total mixed ration)! She also has quite an appetite! She milked over 40 pounds during her first milking, so we had more than enough milk for her calf, and chose to freeze some for future calves who's mothers may not make as much milk...see picture below:

Our freezer full of frozen colostrum, to be thawed at a later date for calves who's mothers didn't make enough milk for them, or in the case of all of these twins....a little extra for the second calf!


  1. Yeah it's been VERY hectic at the farm. I am hoping that's it for the spring. We usually have a couple sets in the spring, but this has been a lot of twins!


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