August and Milking Shorthorns

I hate August. No offense to those of you that I love born during this month, but August in Missouri is the bane of my existence. Everything’s dead and it’s too hot (and humid, to boot) to be outside for longer than 5 minutes. My poor Farmer… I usually like to help do things around the farm, but August has killed my motivation. Hence the shortage of blog material lately. It also discourages our cows from doing anything, including produce milk.

I used to at least like the end of August because that’s when school started back up. Yes, I am admittedly one of those weirdos that liked school. Now, I don’t even have that to look forward to. I can always remember the smell of going back to school and how excited I got everytime it was time to go school supply shopping. The smell of a new back pack, cardboard, wooden pencils, (although I was always a big fan of mechanical), crayons, notebooks. They all had a smell of new beginnings and impending mental stimulation.

 These days, all I can do is pine for the month of October when the farm becomes alive with fall foilage and the air is crisp enough for a hoodie in the evenings. I love the smell of Fall! October is my favorite month. The weather is perfect and it’s my birthday month. I would use this to it’s full advantage by constantly bringing up that fact all month for whatsoever thing I saw it fit for, but I just so happen to share my birthday month with the farmer….I was totally jipped.

Now for a total change of subject due to my lack of material: Milking Shorthorns. Not milking a shorthorn, but the breed, Milking Shorthorns. Here’s a pic for ya!

We have a milking shorthorn cross in our herd and I think she’s so pretty. She looks a lot like this. But, there are also cattle of this breed that look like this.

So, they can either have a lot of white on them or a little, but I really think the red color is beautiful. The breed was started in England, but came to America in 1783 where they were used as milk, meat, and power cattle. They are an average size breed with a cow weighing 1,400-1,500 pounds.

This breed doesn’t produce as much milk as some other breeds (about 6 gallons a day), but they’re excellent grazers. This means that they efficiently use what they do eat and require less grain. And let me tell ya, feed is expensive! Some dairy farmers like to cross a Milking Shorthorn and a Holstein to get a grazer that produces more milk. Holsteins are huge and some have a lot of black on their bodies. Summertime is not a time they like to be grazing. They would rather lay under a shade tree all day and stay a little cooler. Milking Shorthorns can take the heat better and will walk around foraging. So, crossing these two requires less grain (which saves money) and more milk (which makes money.) See, it’s really quite simple.  I threw in a picture of a Milking Holstein for good measure. (They’re not really called that. I made that up.)

According to my research, this breed is starting to become more popular because of the rise in farmers using pasture/foraged based dairying, therefore making Milking Shorthorns an easy breed to manage. They’re also well-known for high levels of fertility and ease of calving.

Well, that’s my lesson about North American dairy breeds for you today along with some complaining in the beginning. We’ve only got two more breeds until I’m finished and I know you all will be heartbroken. But as long as everyone knows that milk doesn’t come from the store, I will feel like I’ve done my duty. Over and out.

Trying to stay cool,

The Dairymaid

Advertisements

One thought on “August and Milking Shorthorns

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Lay it on me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s