Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lippitt Farmstead in Winter: Cows

by: Marieanne Coursen, Agricultural Interpreter
The Marble Barn is home to our cows in the winter. Like Zeb, our horse, the cows spend their days outside where we feed them hay; then at night they come into the barn for more hay, some grain, and a nice bed of straw.

We keep two breeds of cattle, Milking Devons and Milking Shorthorns. Both were common breeds during the mid-19th century.

Begonia, a Milking Devon, is three and a half years old and has developed some very nice horns:
 She will be having her second calf this summer.  Her first calf was a bull who we castrated last fall.  He is growing into a fine beef steer:
Duchess, also a Milking Devon, is identified as a heifer because she is young and has not yet had a calf:
And then last - but not least - is Seraphina, our Milking Shorthorn.  Her dam is Daisy Mae and her granddam is Buttercup.  For those of you who have been here at chore time in the past, you may remember milking one or the other.  Someday Seraphina will be the cow that you come to milk, but for now she still has some growing up to do.  As you can see she is doing just that – she has gotten a bit taller since the blog post last summer when we showed her posing with Hugh McDougall, the winner of our naming contest.

She also had a mind of her own when we wanted to take the picture today and she dragged me all over the barnyard, but generally she is a very sweet heifer who enjoys attention.  She is my favorite!

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