Jacqueline Jackson>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 28
|<-Previous Segment||Next Segment->|
- They kept records of what bulls produced good milk-giving daughters. The family bought a bull from the west named Lochinvar, named after the Sir Walter Scott poem. They had to get rid of Lochinvar because he was not a good producer. The breeder service had to get records on the bulls. If a bull turned out to be a good one they would bank the semen. The gestation period is nine months for a cow. The mother licks the calf dry after giving birth. The other cows come and stand around. The mother tries to hide the calf and eats the afterbirth to protect it from predators. The mother and calf would be kept together for a few days then separated. It would be fed its mother's milk for ten days, then it would be fed whole milk for six months, then skim milk for about a year. The heifer calves are very desired. Freemartins are usually infertile. The calves are separated from each other to keep them healthy. When they are fifteen to eighteen months old they are ready for their first breeding. You have to change the cow's diet to "dry them out." Jersey cows have the richest milk. Their farm had Guernsey cows. Later they got Holsteins. Cows will bloat if their first stomach has too high protein content. Young Sudan grasses are high in protein. They cows build up methane in their first stomach. They simply burp up the cud and out comes the methane. If they have too much protein they can't get out all the methane and they bloat, and they can die. One time her grandpa left the farm and left her dad in charge. There had been a frost the night before, which makes the Sudan grass grow rapidly. The cows got into the Sudan grass and started bloating. Her dad took his knife and stabbed the cows in the belly to release the methane. They lost about six cows that day. Her grandfather was upset, but not with his son. It is something even an experienced cow man wouldn't be ready for.