Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meet Matilda, our universal donor

Well well well. It worked after all.

I refer, of course, to Matilda's gentle acceptance of Polly as her own calf. We knew this was accomplished this afternoon when we caught Polly greedily nursing -- and Matilda was perfectly happy to allow it!

We call Matilda our "universal donor" because she will willingly nurse any calf she can. It doesn't matter if they're hers or not -- she just likes to donate her milk. Polly, as you can imagine, had been snugging up to Matilda ever since we got her -- but it took a few days for the bond to complete. Now we expect to see Polly nursing a LOT. The poor kid missed that nice warm milk!

Here's Matilda with a calf on either side -- happy as a clam.

What was funny was when Thor decided he wanted to be on the same side as Polly.

But Polly wasn't budging! She wanted that milk!

We'll still keep Polly in her own pen at night. She's old enough to wean; Thor is not. Matilda easily has enough milk for two calves, but Thor should get an advantage. But I'm glad for Polly's sake that she has a new mama.


  1. That Matilda is just the best! What great pictures.

  2. I love it! I brought home my first Jersey a week ago Sunday. She has short back teats so hand milking is out. While I awaited my milk machine a friend brought a bottle calf over. It is amazing how they are so willing to nurse anyone! Polly sure is cute.

  3. Anonymous @ 6:46
    "Two finger tt's" can be hand milked. It is just a lot of work. A milking machine is not the answer though. The best thing you can do is get an older calf and keep them separated at night, milk out her front quarters in the morning and leave them together all day. Do this until she is not giving you enough milk, then wean the calf and take it all. By the end of this she should be at least "three fingers" and you will have a calf to continue raising up to put in the freezer. Just my thoughts.

  4. This brings back memories of when we had the farm. Thanks