We sold Easter, one of our 3 1/2 year old cows. She was gentle and built well for milking so I did some initial training with her and sold her as a family milk cow. I just received an update and she has settled in well to her new home. Kind people who will treat her gently. Withe her new home comes a slightly different name: Esther.
Easter was born while we were at church on Easter Sunday in 2007. We came home, changed, and went outside to do chores. My husband called over to me because he thought a dog was in Tara's corral. The 'dog' was actually a black calf, still wet from birth. Tara called to her with a quiet lowing. The sound is similar to that of a distant foghorn calling out to ships. A quiet, reassuring song written just for each calf. We moved the pair carefully into an adjacent corral. Then, I fed Tara some alfalfa hay while I checked the new calf. I dipped her navel in Iodine, to prevent infection, and looked her over before returning her to her mother. We watched anxiously as she searched her mother for a meal. It seemed like forever watching her move down her mother's body, searching her chest, behind her front leg, along her belly and, oops, past the udder to the tail. I whispered, "Come on, little calf!" Finally, she found something nasty, and then moved away. I resisted the urge to show her where it was again, trusting her newborn sense of smell to lead her the right way. At last, we heard sloppy suckling noises. What a relief!
Over the next few weeks, I marveled at the care Tara gave her calf. Always in sight of her and always ready to answer her call or run to see what might be upsetting her. Soon enough, April was born to Tina and the two calves romped in the cool mornings and rested together in the shade of the oaks. We weaned them together and halter-trained them together. April always a bit more bold, Easter always a bit more shy. Their own calves played together last year, and now, Easter has moved on to a good home. Tara has a new calf to mother but she called to Easter as we left in the trailer. Cows never forget their calves.