Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure
For most families summer brings excitement. Pool time. Baseball games. And vacations. For our family summer brings cultivating. Flaming. Zapping. Walking calves. And rodeos.
Our blue-eyed girl and big little boy have worn a path along the road to the creek. With their calf in tow, they walk south to the creek. Visit the neighbor’s beef cows. And return. It’s usually an uneventful process. Once a year or so one of the calves gets loose and we have a roundup on our hands but otherwise it’s just a lot of walking. The new calves start earlier in the year. Yearlings returning to the show ring get a pass until the final month.
With 10 animals entered in our home fair, it’s a lot of walking. Returning to the show ring for our big little boy is “Burrito” his red and white spring yearling that stood fourth in her class last year. Yearlings walk a fine line between being a gangly teenager. An early bloomer. Or chunky. “Burrito” is an early bloomer, she’s tall. Deep chested. And walks on a great set of legs. She’ll be a hard one to beat in the show ring this year.
Our big little boy will also debut his first Ayrshire calf. “Sprinkled Donut” is a winter calf with a heart of gold. She’s all legs. Spots. And curiosity. The key to her is to remember that she’s a nine-year-old’s calf and prefers lots of cuddles. Treats. And little boy germs.
Our blue-eyed girl will return to the show ring with more calves than I care to count. But with some luck her prized cow Red Carpet Apple Crsip-Red-ET or “Crsip” will return to the show ring. “Crsip” is a granddaughter of KHW Regiment Apple-Red. In the dairy industry, “Apple” was truly a legendary cow in both the show ring and in milk production. Her genetics remain some of the most sought-after ones on the market.
“Crsip” delivered Red Carpet Apple Alamode-Red or “Alamode” in spring of 2022 and unfortunately suffered a displaced abomasum (DA). DAs occur when the abomasum, a compartment of the stomach, shifts out of place and occasionally twists. DAs can be caused by a number of reasons, but they tend to be more common in high producing dairy cows that recently delivered a calf. “Crsip” underwent surgery and recovered beautifully. After a prolonged rehab and being cleared by our veterinarian, she was bred to Woodcrest King Doc.
After almost 10 months or over 283 days, “Crsip” delivered a beautiful black and white calf. Had our blue-eyed girl gotten up with her alarm she might have made it in time for the birth, instead her dad spotted the calf before heading to work. Like her sister before her, she’s bright eyed. Curious. And absolutely perfect. Unlike her sister and mother before her, she’ll be our first “Apple” descendent without “Apple” in her registered name instead she’ll be Red Carpet Doc Crispy Potato and much to my blue-eyed girl’s displeasure I intend to call her “Tatertot.”
With a little luck and careful attention, “Crsip” will again grace the show ring, this time as a junior three-year-old cow. As the fair draws near, we want nothing more than our two kids to want to milk the cows. Drive the tractors. Farm. Just like their dad, grandfather, and great grandfather before them.