9 days to 6 months for Etta

Greetings from 50 degree Minnesota. That’s right, spring is in the air today!

A helpful reader, Rebecca, reminded me I haven’t done an update on Henrietta in quite a while.

The beautiful (and blinding) sun, plus my less-than-pro-quality camera skills made for some marginal pictures. But, Etta is still thriving and well.

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As she gets older – she’ll turn 6 months in just 9 days – she’s eating more and more hay in her diet.

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Above, she’s on the left at the feed bunk.

As a ruminant with 4 stomachs (yes, 4!) it’s important for a larger part of her diet to contain hay, silage, or other forages as she grows. The forages get digested through all the stomachs and in between each stomach that’s when the partially digested feed comes up, and she chews her cud.

If you’ve ever wondered why cows chew their cud it’s because they have those 4 different stomachs.

Another fun fact about Etta is her curiosity.

I tend to think of cows in general as curious animals. When you enter their pen they may step back initially.

Then, if you quietly wait a few minutes, they’ll come up and start smelling you. The more adventurous ones may nibble on your jacket or your ponytail.

Cow personalities within a pen usually fall into the bell-shaped curve. Most of them are in the middle of being somewhat curious. A few are always very timid, and on the other extreme, usually one or two animals will assertively follow you around when you enter the pen.

Etta, I think, is more curious than average, as she’s usually one of the initial animals to approach me.

Another piece of news I haven’t quite been able to convey to her is she’s going to be a big sister.

Her mom, 2093, is due on August 31. In nature cows would generally have a calf about every year, so Etta’s mom is right on schedule.

The beautiful weather is good for animals and workers alike, but goodness do we have mud!

Ah – spring…

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a quick date with my running shoes. Overall it shaped up into a decent running week, which I’ll update you on before too long.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Baby Calf Care, Cows, Henrietta (Etta for short!) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 9 days to 6 months for Etta

  1. Rebecca says:

    Yay, glad to get an update! She is looking good! I can’t believe she is 6 months old already.

    And congrats to her on the big sister! How long is a cow pregnancy? Off to Google…

  2. Etta! I knew you and I had a lot in common. I am also a big sister. And I am almost certain that I too have four stomachs! Go us!

  3. Terzah says:

    That prior comment cracked me up.

  4. Heidi Nicole says:

    Ahhh…the mud! Have fun with that! I vividly remember losing my boots in mud! Enjoy the weather!

  5. shelby says:

    Hay is dried grass, right? That’s probably a really stupid question. Sorry!

    Etta is growing up to be a beautiful young lady!

    • Lisa says:

      Actually a good question! Hay can be dried grasses (grass hay) but most common on a dairy farm is dried alfalfa (alfalfa hay). While it may look like a clovery grass, alfalfa is actually a legume. Who knew, right? 🙂

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