I walked outside early one morning and saw a dark lump lying on the snowy ground and I was very happy to see the little lump alive! Soon everyone was up and out and admiring the cute little guy. Apparently, Mom knew, without seeing him, that he was a he and that he was to be named Gabriel, going along with our alphabetical naming of the cows. The snow was a boon, and Gabriel stayed relatively clean and happy. We hurriedly built a shelter for him, (see domed tarp shelter below) and he has adjusted to the cold quite well. In the bottom left picture he is one day old, and we put a halter on him as kitty (Speckles) watches attentively from under the hay tarp.
For many reasons, we decided to sell our cows and switch from half-beef to full dairy breeds. The main reason is that a dairy cow eats a lot less per gallon of milk produced than a beef cow - even one that is half-beef, yet gives the same amount of milk.
A dairy breed is more likely to have health problems and not be as hardy, but our family drinks a lot of milk, and they are more profitable if you need them to give you a lot of milk cheaply. We sold Blessing and Delight and Delight's calf Adam to a friend of ours who raises beef cows. We sold Caramel, Blessing's heifer, to someone near Kamiah. It was sad saying good bye to them, but we already had some new dairy cows (my and dad's Christmas presents) picked out, so it was not as hard. We can still go see them. Unfortunately we did not take any pictures of loading them up.
On the same day as we sold Delight, Blessing, and Adam, we got the new cows. One is a Jersey-Holstein cross who is going to calve in a few weeks and produces five gallons-a-day upon freshening. We named them Elation, or Ela for short (an 'E' name). The other is a Brown Swiss who will calve at the end of March and produces six to seven gallons upon freshening. We named her Feliz, since we bought her form a Hispanic family, and she was our Christmas present: "Feliz Navidad!" It was very exciting getting them. Dad's sister and Dad's Dad hauled them for us from Prosser, WA. Since they were not trained to hot fencing, we built a T-post and wire fence with hot fence on the inside. A couple of shocks and they haven't even tried to go through it. They are still shy, but they are doing well.
Josh: Founder, father