New Imports: Three New Additions to Our HomesteadJersey Bull Calf
In an effort to raise our own beef, we purchased 5 bull calves from a local dairy. Unfortunately, most of them died of complications with scours, pneumonia, worms or Coccidiosis in less than a month. It was a tragedy. We were devastated by this course of events (we learned never to purchase discarded dairy calves). By some miracle, one calf survive.
He had a backwards "L" flame marking on his forehead. The kids named him “Loser”. After realizing he was actually going to live, calling him Loser seemed inappropriate. He was then renamed to Loser La Bone and later affectionately called "La Bone". For good measure we gave him a de-wormer and probiotics for the first month he was on the homestead.
Red Angus Heifer
We picked up a beef heiferin trade for our 2 year old donkey, “Laby” (born here). The donkey was a sweetie but didn't fit into our homesteading goals. Her mother originally was acquired from the BLM as an animal in which would protect our livestock. It turned out that both mom and daughter spent more time dominating and chasing our goats, chickens, turkeys and dogs than protecting them. We read that donkeys were suppose to be good protectors but found that not to be the case for us.
Our new Red Angus heifer came with the name "Daisy". She is the largest animal we have ever had and were shocked at her size (which I'm sure is normal to most ranchers). We quickly renamed her "Duisy" (pronounced "Doosey"). We didn't want to become attached to her in any way so we called the meat packing company only to find out they were booked up for a couple months. Oh no! Since we were going to be keeping her for a while, we reluctantly let her in with the other animals. She chased the dog and goats but quickly took to the Jersey bull calf. As a matter of fact, she adopted him for her own.
Since Duisy would be providing the beef, we decided to look for a Miniature Jersey heifer for La Bone. That's when we found her.
Mini Jersey Heifer
Our real treasure is our Mini Jersey Cow. She was 4 1/2 months pregnant when we got her. We traveled to Kentucky as she was located close to my brother and his family. It gave us an excuse to visit and we brought back this wonderful heifer. We purchased her from a miniature cattle farmer named Scott in beautiful Kentucky. He has very unique animals on his farm (including a zebra!). We highly recommend anyone looking for miniature cattle to take a look at his website: www.cumberlandminiatures.com.
We decided to call her "Ellie" because she has a tuff of hair like the female mammoth in Ice Age 2. We all have fallen in love with her. She is friendly, curious and small.
We wanted a mini Jersey because they eat less than regular cows and produce delicious milk. This could potentially mean butter, cream and cheese!
We first locked up Duisy in a fenced area so Ellie and La Bone could get to know each other. To our shock, Duisy leaped a 3 1/2 foot fence to get to La Bone. We could not believe such a large animal could jump so high. The next day, we put Duisy in an area with a 4 foot high fence, and again she leaped it! Not to be defeated, we then moved her into a 5 foot high strong fence. This time she stayed. But, both Ellie and La Bone stayed next to her all day.
We locked them down separate at night because they eat different things. Ellie eats both Alfalfa and Bermuda hay. Duisy eats Bermuda Hay and lots of Mesquite beans (to improve the taste of her meat). La Bone ends up in one pen or the other.
After the introductions were over (a few days), they all graze together on grasses, mesquite leaves and beans throughout the day and are making quite the cute little herd.