What herd share is complete if you don’t know your cows? Even in a big dairy cow herd you get to know certain cows and they may earn themselves a name. In a small herd like ours, and most herd share herds, the cows all have a name and a presence. We thought it’s only fair to introduce you to the herd share gals so you can love and appreciate our dairy cow girls like we do.
Today I want to introduce you to Ruby. Ruby has been with us nearly all her life as she arrived here with her mother as a 3 week old calf. She’s a pure bred polled Jersey cow. The “polled” means that she has a gene for “no horns,” meaning we didn’t have to dehorn her as a calf. Horns are bad in a dairy cow because they can be hazardous to the farmer who has to handle the cow all the time, they complicate the cow fitting into the stantion for milking, and can allow the cow to be a bully to the others and really hurt them.
Jersey cows are typically smaller in stature, thrive on grass and pasture, and give yellowish, creamy milk. Ruby does all of that. She is the smallest cow in the herd, but has out milked the largest cow by a long shot. She’s been in milk for over a year and is still going strong. We’ll have to intentionally dry her off in preparation for her next calf. At almost a year and a half of milking, the little gal is still giving 1.5-2 gallons per day.
Jersey cows are also well known for their independent thinking ways and stubbornness. Ruby has a gentle amount of that (her mom, on the other hand, was as “Jersey” as could be). She will show up in the barn to be milked at a regular time in the morning. She’ll give the kids about an hour or hour and a half to show up and do the job. Then she’s outta there. In the summer that means they have to retrieve her from the pasture, usually the farthest corner. In the winter she’s a lot closer in the barn yard, but she makes them work a bit for her cooperation. Her mom used to make the late milk man run for a solid half hour to punish him for not being on time, so it’s nice that Ruby doesn’t do that.
That’s our Ruby cow! She’ll be stepping out of the dairy cow herd share line up for a bit, but should be back sometime in February or early March and we’ll be sure to show off her calf!
Ruby does great on grass! She has a very classic Jersey coat and profile.
Ruby and CeCe have been buddies since they were calves!
Ruby’s calf should come any time!