Meet The Herd

On the first Monday of 2020 I started doing ‘Meet The Moo Monday’ on my social media accounts, you can find out about it here.

It’s become something both I and others look forward to each week. It seems, in a world full of stress and sadness, a little escape into the world of cows really can go a long way. So, I’ve brought the herd to here too, where they can be found much more easily and their stories can be elaborated on- some of them have quite a tale to tell!

Have a browse, and let the cows bring a smile to your face! I’ll be adding to the list each Monday, as another is introduced. Some have names, some have numbers; there’s no particular reason why, it’s just what suits each one.

Jump to a cow…

Elsa, 8-6-1, Splodge, Gertrude, Rosie, Essie, Glenda, Hilda, Ginny, Honey, Florence, Eeyore, 3-6-7, Flump, Gloria, Freida, Basil, No. 8, Edith, Pebbles, Hermione, Imogen, Ida, Maisy, Scruffy, Athena, 0-3-2, Izzy, 1-8-6

HALL OF FAME

Esther


Half a brown lincoln red cow's face peeping through a gap in a feed barrier, the left side in shadow behind a bar.

Elsa

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Reserved, never in a hurry, waits for a space instead of makes one, and starts to groan daily at least a month out from calving.

She usually has big, chunky bull calves, but this year had a delicate, little heifer… which took her 3 hours to calve, despite its small size and perfect presentation (I know because I waited in the cow shed the entire time)! She was very proud once shed had it though, and I’m not sure she’s ever let it out of her sight since.

She always loves a head scratch, and is a very good mother- definitely a Supermum contender.


Close up of a black cow's face with her nose almost touching the camera.

8-6-1

  • Breed: Aberdeen Angus x Holstein Friesian

Always first in line for everything. Incredibly nosey, forever searching your hands and pockets for food, friendly but can hold her own in a scuffle, and a little too laid back sometimes…

She tends to stand and shout when calving and wait for someone to come help her. Not that she needs it, she just thinks calving should be a team effort. Safe to say, she’s a lifetime member of the Too Posh To Push brigade!

She had twins a few years ago. They arrived early so she hadn’t yet got quite enough milk to feed them both without a helping hand. She took great delight in finishing off any bottles of milk replacer once they’d had enough of a top-up, and still searches my dad for more bottles every time she sees him.


Mahogany coloured lincoln red cow reaching her nose out to the camera with a part mouthful of silage.

Splodge

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Named due to a white spot on her flank, which we realised is only part of her summer coat when we ‘lost’ her during her first winter here. Her sisters are all named with ‘G’ names, but my dad said her eyes were beautiful so could he call her Gorgeous (yes, he probably should seek help for that)… Needless to say, Splodge stuck- sorry to disappoint you, dad!

She’s quiet and steady, never in a rush or making herself stand out, only just fits in the cattle crush due to her impressive width, and will mother anything. She fostered a calf a couple of years ago, no questions asked, after her own was born dead. Well, no questions from her… The calf was an older twin who took a little bit of persuading to let her mother it and absolutely hated her constantly bathing and mithering it!

She’s had twins herself this year and seems to have adopted the Free Range Mothering approach… If you spot a cow feeding two, one of them is probably a Splodge twin, and it’s very likely Splodge is nowhere in sight!


Dark brown lincoln red cow completely covered in bits of hay and straw, standing in a straw bedded stable.

Gertrude

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Meet Gertrude, or rather, her full name, Groaning Gertrude.
Yes, she really is always this scruffy.

You know she’s near as she moans/grumbles/grunts constantly. When she calves, her voice reaches deafening decibels as she tells the world she’s in labour, and then that she’s got a calf, and so on… She’s had twins three years in a row now, which seem to elicit twice the volume from her. A true Foghorn Mother, her calves must all be born with a headache. Luckily, she’s a really good mum, if a bit lackadaisical and food orientated…

I’m not sure she actually knows where her terrors are most of the time, but it’s probably best for her sanity that way. Each set of her twins are known as tiny but fierce forces to be reckoned with. Their small size can be deceiving, as many bigger calves have found out when being on the wrong side of their terrifically tenacious attitudes. They will always be the last ones standing in a fight, something they inherit from their mother.


Head shot of a shiny black cow standing in a field.

Rosie

  • Breed: Limousin (50%) x Aberdeen Angus (25%) x Holstein Friesian (25%)

Rosie was a calf which wasn’t actually meant to be kept for breeding, but she made that decision for us by accidentally being caught by the bull and calving just before she turned 14 months old… Talk about a surprise teenage pregnancy!

Three more calves later and she’s still here, although she’s always on thin ice… We’re not entirely sure she has enough milk for her calves, as everyone else always seems to be feeding them. But they’re as big as the rest come weaning time so, each year, she stays, but with a question mark over her head.

She’s mild mannered and very inquisitive. Not the bravest, or bolshiest, although, she can be tempted anywhere with a bucket of food, which is handy.


Brown Lincoln red cow's head looking through the bars of a feed barrier with out of focus black cow's head's eating silage alongside her.

Essie

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

A lover of scratches, food, and taking everything s-l-o-w-l-y. She happily sits near the bottom of the pecking order and makes no attempts to move herself further up, prefering an easy life instead. She’s an incredible mother though, who keeps her calves full of milk and spotless, literally

She raised a foster calf a couple of years ago, called Dopey Dave (he wasn’t the brightest of sparks, he once misjudged a doorway while playing with the other calves and ran into the wall…). He was black and white, as he was a British Blue cross calf from a local dairy herd, and she was constantly trying to wash his black patches off!

She unfortunately calved dead twins this year, and is now rearing another black and white foster calf from the same dairy herd. Essie is definitely the brains of the operation this time round as well.


Mahogany coloured, very large, Lincoln red cow, standing in a straw bedded shed with her tongue slightly poking out.

Glenda

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

The Ginormous Gentle Giant. And Essie’s full sister.

She’s the biggest cow in the herd, but also the meekest around the others, never pushing in or starting a fight with anyone.

She absolutely thinks my dad was put on this earth to provide scratches. She’ll seek him out wherever he is, giving him a gentle (for a 750kg cow) nudge if he doesn’t notice… She’s firmly scratched her place in his heart- it’s been made very clear that if ever she doesn’t get in-calf, she gets all the chances there is… I go before she does.


Very scruffy looking orange cow standing in a straw bedded shed.

Hilda

  • Breed: Limousin x Lincoln Red (Ermintrude)

Meet Hilda. She’s a homebred cow- her dam was the wonderful, ever-dependable Ermintrude, who sadly had to leave us last year due to having a tumour on her foot which couldn’t be removed and was beginning to cause her discomfort. She seems to stamp all her calves with her unkempt look, so it never feels she’s far away.

Just like her mum, she’s so laid back she’s practically horizontal. An old soul in a young body, Hilda was definitely the perfect name for her.

We worried she was a little too laid back when we noticed her calf, laid in the corner of the cow shed when everyone else had gone out to graze. But if we thought she’d forgotten about him, we were greatly mistaken. She had simply stashed him there safely, since he was the youngest of all the calves, and returned later to wake him up, feed him, and take him out to the field for a bit.


Mahogany Lincoln red cow peering down at the camera from inside a straw bedded shed.

Ginny

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Always sporting the most impressive bed-head. A laid back, pure Lincoln Red, with all the breed’s characteristic hairyness, and gallons of milk for each year’s calf.

She tends to just drop her calves and carry on her day, with no fuss or commotion. She does have some slight Scatterbrain tendencies though, and is easily distracted by something yummy, and so has been known to see the open gate you’re trying to move her and her newborn through and march off to investigate, completely forgetting about the small four-legged thing she’s meant to be keeping with her at all times…


Orange cow's head peering down at the camera through a barbed wire fence from inside a field.

Honey

  • Breed: Limousin x Lincoln Red (Honey Monster)

Honey inherited her name from her mum, Honey Monster, who had a love of sweet things (like black treacle from the baking cupboard). We sadly lost her due to a car accident a couple of years ago, but she well and truly lives on in her daughter!

Friendly, inquisitive, always at the front of photos, and forever wondering if you’ve got anything edible… The only difference to her mother is she’s a little more refined looking, thanks to her sleek and stylish Limousin father (as opposed to the dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards look the pure Lincoln Reds tend to sport!).


Orange/brown cow looking quizzically through the bars of a feed barrier from inside a shed.

Florence

  • Breed: Limousin x Lincoln Red (Ermintrude)

Meet Florence. Usually found at the front of everything, and game for any photo opportunities. She’s got a bit of a chip on her shoulder with the other cows and is determined to climb her way up the pecking order, the bosses have other ideas though, and she’s yet to come out on-top in any scuffles.

She’s Hilda’s full sister; another Ermintrude daughter. Ermintrude passed more than her good nature onto her though- she also passed on her addiction to milk, despite her being weaned a few years ago. Therefore, she is currently sporting a very fashionable green, spiky, plastic nose ring, the same her mother used to wear, after being caught sucking another cow. Hopefully, the plastic spikes will touch any udders she tries to suck and prompt the cows to kick her off.

Luckily, her saving grace (other than the butter-wouldn’t-melt look) is the lovely calves she has, even if they are always up to no good! She’s very much a “my darling can do no wrong, he’s just having fun” kind of a mother. Her current offspring is always found someplace he shouldn’t be, and she could not care less.


Close up of a brown, Lincoln red cow's head, with large brown eyes and long eyelashes.

Eeyore

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Meet Eeyore, or Queen Eeyore to have her full name. She’s quite a special one, and she knows it. Always getting scratches and extra nibbles from my dad, we joke her and Glenda are his other wives.

She’s one of the ones you hold your breath for each time she’s pregnancy scanned. The day she walks off this farm will be a very sad day.

Her calves are always one of the best, and the cheekiest. They’re the leaders of the gang of miscreants, yet the apples of her eye. We can’t blame her there though, each one is incredibly friendly and laid back, it’s her signature stamp she puts on them, so they always end up as a favourite around here.


Black cow reaching a dewy nose out to the camera, almost looking like she's smiling.

3-6-7

  • Breed: Limousin (50%) x Aberdeen Angus (25%) x Holstein Friesian (25%)

Sometimes sassy (with other cows, especially when her hormones are raging after calving), always sociable and wondering what food you might have, and a complete Supermum (with a tendency to be a bit of a Helicopter Mum at the beginning!).

She’s a homebred cow. Her father is the Limousin bull we’ve just sold, Clifford- giving her the genes to produce calves with Beyoncé-like behinds, and her mother was half Holstein Friesian (a Dairy breed) and half Aberdeen Angus (a very maternal beef breed, native to the UK)- so she thankfully inherited her milkyness!

She’s turned out to be a brilliant cow, considering we never meant to keep her… She was another accidental teenage mum who we couldn’t bear to part with once she reared her little accident ‘One-Ball-Billy’ (I’d say the name explains itself pretty well). I’m really glad we did keep her; we look forwards to seeing each year’s calf, they’re always cracking animls.


Head shot of an orange cow standing in a cow shed, her fringe is sticking out at all angles.

Flump

  • Breed: Limousin x Lincoln Red (Edith)

Perfectly described by her name- at 4 years old, she still hasn’t amassed many brain cells, or gained any elegance or spatial awareness!

When she first calved as a heifer, 2 years ago, she dropped the calf while standing then shot forwards away from it at 100mph! She seemed to think it was an alien descended from above. It took for one of the old cows to lean across from where she was laid and begin to wash the poor calf, who was laid in a heap wondering what was going on, for Flump to realise it was actually a calf, not an alien, and as nobody else was claiming it, it must be hers. And so, she gained her name of Flump.

She had her 3rd calf this year- thankfully, she’s slightly wiser now, so knew he was hers. Although, she did have him against a wall, so she’s maybe not that much wiser.


Brown, Lincoln Red cow with a serious expression, looking through the bars of a feed barrier.

Gloria

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

The tank. As wide as she is tall, and a cantankerous thing, not your average, laidback Lincoln Red- the others all know you don’t mess with Gloria! She’s all brawn, and so are the chunky calves she pops out every year.

She’s one of the only Lincolns who doesn’t truly trust my dad.

The first calf she had was about a month premature and so had a weak immune system and became very poorly during his first week.

We called him Tiny Tim and after a lot of TLC from my dad, he survived and thrived! By the time he was sold at a year old, he was the same size as all the rest, but Gloria seems to have taken from the situation that my dad is the reason her calf nearly died… She got very stressed when he was ill, to the point where her milk began to dry up, and wasn’t a fan of her shiny, new calf being constantly manhandled.

She’s never been quite as settled around him since. The others all come for scratches, but she prefers to stay at arm’s length. If the grudges she holds against other cows who get in the way of her food are anything to go by, she won’t forgive him any time soon. But there’s always hope she might become a big softie in old age.


Orange cow reaching her nose out to almost tough the camera.

Freida

  • Breed: Limousin x Lincoln Red (Essie)

Freida is a homebred cow and an incredible mother, who acts as a bit of a mentor to any heifers (first-timers). Although, she does have a bad habit of sucking other cows sometimes. Hopefully, she’s grown out of that this year.

Just like her mum, she too has raised a foster calf, after her first calf died, 2 years ago. It took weeks it took to convince her that, although it had changed colour and aged a couple of weeks, the little, white calf really was hers, and she was having it whether she liked it or not…

They were inseparable after a month or so, and that bond has never broken. We kept Pebbles to add to our breeding herd, and her and Freida can still be found together almost all of the time, just like in the photo of her here (Pebbles is on the left).


Dark grey, bazadaise bull standing in a straw bedded shed.

Basil

  • Breed: Bazadaise

Meet Basil the bull, or sometimes, Basil the… *insert less than flattering name here*. A loveable rouge, who arrived here a few years ago.

He didn’t act much like a bull at first, and we seriously questioned what we had bought…

He’s partially deaf, would huddle under a hedge when the weather was anything but sunny, was scared of his own shadow, often trying to run to the next county if you approached him, and could always be found licking the horses but didn’t seem to know what his job was when it came to the cows…

Luckily, he’s now unrecognisable, not least because he’s almost doubled in size. Once women and fodder beet (he’ll do anything for those sweeties) made their way onto his radar, all other worries went out the window. Although, I think his herd wish they could be a little more invisible to him again… He won’t leave them alone, especially since he’s just had a 7 month break from them.

As long as he gets them all in-calf though, and doesn’t get too big for his boots around here, he’ll be sticking around for quite some time- sorry girls!


Black cow with her nose stretched out to touch the camera.

No. 8

  • Breed: Limousin (50%) x Aberdeen Angus (25%) x Holstein Friesian (25%)

The matriarch of the herd.
She’s the oldest and wisest, and the boss, despite what some of the young upstarts might think!

A homebred cow from our old, old limousin bull, Leo (who was also homebred- there’s a lot of lost generations in this cow!), and a really cracking dairy-cross cow, No. 445 / Club Foot (she once got stuck trying to climb into a calf creep feeder and was left with a dodgy foot as a reminder not to do it again!).

You can’t find a better mum than No. 8. She doesn’t let you fuss with her calves much, but then again, she doesn’t need it- she’s got this mothering lark down to a fine art.

She has a fascination with digging holes in the straw in the calving pens (no idea why, it’s just her thing), so we try to put her straight into the shed or field with the other calved cows to stop her making so much of a mess!

Which is just fine with her as she keeps her calves separated from everyone else, she won’t even let them play with other calves until she’s sure they are old enough to not get confused amongst the sea of udders and forget which is hers. Once they’re a couple of weeks old, they can, and do, get up to mischief to their heart’s content and she turns a blind eye- in her eyes, her job only lasts 2 weeks.

We keep thinking each year might be her last, but she seems to be looking younger rather than older, so who knows how long she plans on carrying on!


Fluffy looking mahogany coloured Lincoln red cow standing in a shed.

Edith

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Every year, we discover a newborn calf causing absolute mayhem, with a mother nowhere to be seen, and know, almost instinctively, that Edith’s calved.

Her calves literally hit the ground running, then proceed to run rings around everyone else. It’s a good job they’re wick really, as Edith is a very laid-back mother who, after the initial burst of washing the calf until it’s spotless and filling its belly with her abundance of milk, just walks off to get some food of her own, without even a glance behind her. Expecting the calf to either realise it needs to follow her, or be babysat by somebody else.

We can’t really complain about her relaxed mothering technique, or her foghorn voice, or the fact that her uncontrolled darlings get up to all sorts of mischief… As, true to her Lincoln Red genetics, she milks like a train and always weans ginormous calves, especially compared to her relatively small self (one of those being Flump). I just feel sorry for all the other cows who have to put up with her rascals running riot!


Black and white cow, with a mostly white face, black ears and black patches on her body and left eye, looking over a gate straight down to the camera.

Pebbles

  • Breed: British Blue x Holstein Friesian

Pebbles arrived here as a foster calf for Freida, 2 years ago and we got a bit attached so she never left!

She sticks out a bit in our herd of solid reds and blacks, and boy, does her personality match her striking looks! We spent most of last year cursing her name and wondering why we ever decided to add her to the breeding herd… She was flighty to handle, always the last through the crush, and usually moving at 100mph; it was as if she was going through the ‘rebellious teen’ years.

Just like a rebellious teenager, she didn’t like being told what to do, and quickly learnt how to use her giraffe legs to jump any fence in front of her, changing fields at her will to rejoin the herd her mother was in, regardless of where she was meant to be- they can always be found together, it’ll be interesting to see if that’s still true now Pebbles has her own calf.

But, this winter she’s turned a corner, she’s just had her first calf, pushing out the hefty bull with no help, and is shaping up to be a fantastic mother. Hopefully, she’s matured, or her calf’s first lesson will be fence scaling and running down roads, in the opposite direction to home… I guess we’ll soon find out!


Orange/brown cow laid in a straw bedded shed with a light golden calf laid next to her.

Hermione

Always perfectly preened and impressively round- she was as wide as she was tall but seems to have grown some legs as she turned 3.

Hermione is exactly what we look for in a cow… An attentive mother with ample milk, a perfect udder- not hanging low to the ground and with 4, medium sized, teats which are evenly spaced out and all pointing south (instead of some pointing at all angles like someone played ‘pin the tail on the donkey/pin the teat on the udder’), and a broad pelvis for easy calving.

One of her only flaws is she has a bit of that Limousin ‘fight or flight’ in her, courtesy of her dad. She once managed to try and double back in the cattle crush, slipped her head under one of the bars and basically picked it up and carried it a few yards, before realising her escape wasn’t really working!

She’s getting less flight and more ‘stick around to see what food is on offer’ as she ages (and grows in size and strength), thankfully.


Mahogany coloured Lincoln Red cow, standing in a shed looking very fluffy and a little confused.

Imogen

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Imogen is best described as a well-meaning, Scatterbrain.

When she had her first calf, she fell in love with it instantly. She was so obsessed she worried it might evaporate into fresh air if she turned her back, so decided the safest thing was to not leave its side for the first 24 hours. She didn’t eat, drink, or do anything other than stare at it for a whole day. It was a tad worrying when even the temptation of a piece of fodder beet wouldn’t break her gaze from it.

When she finally did realise it was ok to leave her, we realised why she’d been so hesitant… Imogen has a teeny bit of trouble in telling her calves apart from the others (even the ones who are a different colour )

Every time she glances away for a second, she then rushes up to every calf in sight, giving them a frantic sniff, trying to find her own- even if her own was next to her all along.

So, if you see a cow wandering around, calf-less, with a confused expression, it’s probably Imogen.


Brown Lincoln Red cow with her head through a feed barrier from inside a shed, she's got a fringe reminiscent of a bowl cut.

Ida

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Ida is one of 5 Lincoln Red heifers who we bought in 2019, she’s also Splodge’s full sister.

She had her first calf in March 2020 and took to mum-life like a pro… until she found out what Brewers Grains were (a by-product of brewing beer). Then, her calf could’ve run away to the next county and she wouldn’t have noticed. Her brain definitely resides in her rather large stomach.

Then again, food is life, so I can’t really blame her!

She’s quiet and mild mannered, but the promise of food makes her toughen up pretty quickly. She’s a wonderful mother and will feed anything, literally– she was even found feeding a very naughty cow! But her mothering instinct and milkyness means she’s doing her first calf really well and will definitely be a staple in this herd for many years to come.


Black cow looking through the bars of a feed barrier from inside a shed with silage and grains on her nose and up her face.

Maisy

  • Breed: Aberdeen Angus x Holstein Friesian

Lazy Maisy gained her name when she gave birth to her first calf and gave up mid-way through; choosing to wait for someone to come finish the job and pull the calf around to her head, so she could wash it before having to get up (basically, she’s a pro at energy conserving).

She’s built a bit like a giraffe, food orientated and always friendly with people, but quite nasty to others’ calves when her maternal hormones are in full force. Beginning life in the herd at the bottom of the pecking order, she’s successfully trampled and shoved her way up a few places and clearly has her eyes on the top.

She produces gallons of milk. It was her downfall at first, as she milked all the weight off herself and needed some extra TLC to put it back on. But her over-supply meant, when a heifer accidentally calved too young a couple of years ago, we were able to get Maisy to rear the calf (under sufferance, the cantankerous devil that she is) alongside her own.


Orange limousin bull, with a brown lincoln red cow standing in front of him, feeding an orangey brown calf. All standing in a grass field.

Scruffy

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Meet little Scruffy, also known as half-pint because she’s half the size of everyone else- more akin to a 13hh pony than a large, Lincoln Red.

The reason behind her name is basically self explanatory… but what she lacks in stature and finesse is made up for by her character.

She loves scratches and fuss, milks like a train and is usually found feeding more than her bodyweight in calves, and is much stronger than she looks when another cow gets in the way of either her food or her calf. She reminds me a bit of a scrappy, loveable terrier.

She’s a great mother. You could never call her a mollycoddler, but when her calf became poorly after being turned out, she hardly left its side and kept trying to get it up with her deafening bellows. Although, her worry didn’t stop her sulking when she had to be shut back inside until it recovered (I’m sure the whole village could hear her disgruntled bellowing, then)


Black cow standing in a straw bedded shed, sniffing a golden calf curled up in the straw.

Athena

  • Breed: Limousin (50%) x Aberdeen Angus (25%) x Holstein Friesian (25%)

Athena is a heifer who wasn’t supposed to be kept for breeding, but who accidentally calved at 16 months old, cementing her place in the herd.

She gained her name after we realised, we’d unintentionally been naming other calves born from her Dam and Sire after various Gods or Legends. There’d been a Goliath and a Titan in the years before she was born here, so it seemed fitting to keep the theme going.

Named after the Goddess of War and Wisdom, she’s quiet and gentle, but can also be strong and feisty if she feels it’s necessary, loves food, isn’t a fan of being told what to do, and is turning out to be an incredible, doting mother, despite her age. You can read all about her and her first calf, Thor, here.


Black cow's head looking through the bars of a feed barrier with silage in the trough.

0-3-2

  • Breed: Aberdeen Angus x Holstein Friesian

Always weaning one of the heaviest calves thanks to her overproduction of milk, passed on from her dairy cow mother, 0-3-2 is definitely one of the best here.

She’s exceptionally quiet, never at the front or pushing in, and despite being a hefty size, is happy to blend in and sit somewhere in the middle of the pecking order. She’s easily spotted for most of year as she waddles around the field with an udder that looks fit to go through a parlour- nobody gave her the memo about controlling your milk supply, and we regularly freeze her spare litres of both milk and colostrum, in case we need to top something up.

It’s magic milk, as our friend’s foal can attest to, since 0-3-2 donated some colostrum to keep her going before she could feed from her mother. I’m not sure what we’d do without this cow, her ginormous udder, and her good natured-ness that means she’s happy for my dad to just walk up to her and fill up a jug at any opportunity. She’s definitely one in a million, so it’s nice to know we’ve now ended up with a daughter of hers, Athena, to keep the line going.


Brown Lincoln Red cow standing in a grass field.

Izzy

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

Meet laidback Izzy (Isobel when she’s in trouble), who always has the most teddy bear-like winter coat you have ever seen. When she had her first calf, she took to motherhood with ease… then was let out to the field and rediscovered her first love- grass- and promptly forgot the calf!

After my dad reminded her about him, off they ambled up the field, side by side. Only to be brought back inside the next day, because her calf got a navel infection.

They ended up sharing a pen with Scruffy– an old hand at this mothering malarkey. After a week’s crash course in parenting, including being glared at for laying down when the calf wanted to feed and getting thrown across the pen for giving Scruffy’s calf a knock, Izzy’s calf was back to bounding around. So, they headed back out to the field, together this time. Hopefully, she’ll remember these lessons for all her future calves.


A headshot of a black, limousin cross cow, with her mouth half open, mid-moo. Standing in a grass field with brown, lincoln red cows in the background.

1-8-6

  • Breed: Limousin (50%) x Aberdeen Angus (25%) x Holstein Friesian (25%)

A wily old thing, with more brains than most- you’ll never catch 1-8-6 at the front when anything new is happening. She likes to stay at the back and assess the situation before she commits herself, and always has her eye on an exit route.

A typical Limousin X, she has a firm belief that human interference is unnecessary when it comes to calves. She’s usually right, but having to lay in a hay feeder, hidden from sight, and silently reach into the shed to give a calf who can’t find her udder a push in the right direction, isn’t quite the ideal situation if any help was actually needed! She certainly makes us thankful for the trusting Lincolns, who would quite happily just palm their new calves off onto anyone who would take them.

She’s never dangerous though, or I’d have ended her breeding career long ago! She just commands a healthy respect from both humans and cows alike. Her protectiveness fades as her hormones do over the first 24 hours, but she still never let’s her calf out of her sight. Ever.


HALL OF FAME

A red/brown Lincoln Red cow reaching her nose out to the camera with her head through the bars of a feed barrier.

Esther

  • Breed: Lincoln Red

This was Esther- a pure Lincoln Red who we lost due to an accident in the field in Summer 2019. She was one of the bosses, not just of her tribe of Lincolns (second class cows in the eyes of the Limousin and Angus cows in our herd) but of all the others as well.

She had long legs and could (and would) jump a stable door or two to get to either her calf or food, depending on her mood. She was gentle and soft with people, always at the front and happy for a scratch, but was a fiercely protective mother towards other cows.

She had dead twins one year, and not wanting to lose such a brilliant cow, we swapped them for a little white foster calf. The second he ambled into her pen she fell in love, there was no trickery or bribery needed. He was a bit slow to get going and she’d have to wake him up to feed, then position herself so her udder was right in front of him, as otherwise he’d be busy butting her brisket. She’d then turn around for him to suck the other side!

Any foster calves are always bullied by the other cows, but not Esther’s. She marched into the group shed with him and promptly beat up the first one to look sideways at him… Everyone left him alone after that!