Saturday, April 20, 2013

Growing and changing

Skookumchuck Farm is growing and changing, little by little!

As mentioned in my last post, our youngest cow, BEM Xaralyn ("Sara"), delivered her first calf, a beautiful, bouncing dun bull, on March 4th, her due date. The little guy continues to be one of the cutest calves we've had. We may keep him intact as a future herd sire. To that end, naming the little bugger has been a challenge. Paul and I have yet to come up with a name befitting a potential bull, and one that we both agree on. We're calling him Bullet for now, but it's not feeling quite right. (If you have any suggestions for names that start with either F (our farm's 2013 letter) or B (our national association's tatoo letter for 2013), please leave them in the comments!)

On Easter Sunday (also my birthday), we headed over to Blueberry Meadows Highlands' leased pasture in Covington, WA to check out BEM Arianna, a coming yearling heifer. We wanted a friend for Elodie, Xoe's October 2012 calf, as a bull was coming soon and Elodie needed to be separated, something not easily accomplished on our leased pasture, where the big girls (and the little bull calf) were. Plus, we would like to grow a little bit! I was enamored with Arianna's personality...she's a very calm, gentle girl, plus lovely to boot! We bought her for my birthday, and have called her my "birthday heifer" many, many times since. :)

Arianna was delivered to our place on April 7th, about an hour and a half after Paul retrieved little Elodie from the leased pasture and brought her back to our house. Poor little Elodie...not only was she separated from the rest of her herd for the first time, but she was also, unbeknownst to her, beginning the weaning process. True, she was only 5.5 months old, a bit early, but we wanted Xoe to maximize the grass she was on (she looked like she could struggle a bit to keep up condition, like Bridgit did years ago as a first calf heifer), and while it's not likely she could cycle while the bull was here, it is possible, so better safe than sorry.

Arianna and Elodie's introduction went fairly well, although Elodie pouted for a few hours and seemed to take it out on Ari (bashing into her side, etc., even though Ari is quite a bit larger and several months older). Elodie's bawling for her mama began in earnest by that evening and lasted about 48 hours.

Today, though, the two are good buddies, spending all their time together whether grazing or napping. Elodie still doesn't care to be touched. We're hoping that'll change for handling purposes (at this point she'll likely be beef rather than breeding stock). However, I must confess amazement at the fact that she apparently jumped right into the trailer for Paul on the 7th when he went and picked her up from our leased pasture, only her second time ever in a trailer (and the first, while she was a pretty good girl, was probably a little scary!). Maybe she won't be so bad after all. We'll see.

Last weekend the leased bull, Bitterroot Lord Morac, came for a 45-day visit. It was almost an anti-climactic introduction. The girls were interested but calm, and Morac, being a gentleman, didn't wig out, either. They're all happily co-habitating on the nice spring grass, and, fingers crossed, we'll have three nice calves next March!

BEM Arianna ("Ari"). She's a pretty girl!

Skookumchuck's Elodie, mid-bellow (missing mama). You can see her brown top coat starting to shed out, leaving her black undercoat. She'll be all black eventually.

Xara's bull calf at 1 month, 3 days old. Isn't he adorable?!


  1. Names are hard! Is he going to stay brown, do you think? Maybe Bruno, then, which I'm 99% sure means brown? Jeez, lady, i dunno. That's a tough'n...

    Ari is gorgeous! Congrats and happy birthday, Amy!

  2. I would go with both the F and the B and call him Ferris Bueller ;)

    That bull caff is adorable! But I think all the calves are adorable.

  3. Why not give him a classic name: Ferdinand

  4. NANDI (known as transport mean of God Shiv)

  5. Fergus gets my vote. The letter works with your farm, the meaning is great for a bull. And it's Scottish which is what he is. Pulled this from Wikipedia:

    Fergus or Feargus is a popular Irish, Manx and Scottish given name. It is both the Old Irish spelling and the anglicised form of the modern Fearghus or Fearghas, meaning "man-strength" or "virility".[1] The name Fergus was a royal name amongst the Celts in Ireland and the Picts in Scotland. Although a relatively rare name, it is still very popular among the Scottish nobility and gentry. No fewer than three current Clan Chiefs are named Fergus.


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