Do you remember this post about Queenie? Queenie is the oldest cow in our herd at 14 years of age. ?It’s not overly old, some cows do live to 17 or 18 but she’s had 12 calvings which includes 3 sets of twins so her old body is getting a bit tired. Brian was thinking of culling her last year as she has a high cell count now, her udder nearly stretches to the ground and she is slow to walk. ?However, somehow, a gate was left open ‘accidentally on purpose’ and the bull that was being used to ‘clean up’ got to her when she was on heat. She scanned to be in calf so she got a reprieve. She was dried off early because of her high cell count and got a nice retirement in a grassy field and then in a comfortable straw bedded shed.
She averaged 1670 gallons per year which is pretty good for a British Friesian. The British Friesians don’t give as much milk as Holsteins. My dad never liked tall cows and neither does Brian as it happens. Holsteins give more milk but tend to need more feed and their fertility doesn’t tend to be as good. ?Her protein average is 3.4% and her butterfat is 3.5% which isn’t amazing when one compares her to heifers coming into the herd now but was good for a heifer here back in 2003.
She had a heifer calf today – lovely to have got a female from her for her last calving. ?She has had 15 calves which included three sets of twins. She had 8 daughters most of which are still in the herd. Queenie has 9 grand daughters and 9 great granddaughters currently in the herd. The cow beside her in the photo above is 1691, one of her granddaughters.
There’s a couple of good ‘cow lines’ in the herd now. Another is Guinevere’s mum who is the best cow in the herd – we really should give her a name as she’s pretty high in the ratings. ?Queenie has been the matriarch now for many years. It will be a sad day when she leaves the farm. Part of me really wants to be able to have a nice retirement field for her. Some cows are just special.