#Strongwomen. "I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful – for all of it." Kristin Armstrong
Every new day on the farm brings new life and new hope
I remember being upset a few of years ago when we lost a special cow and a well meaning person in the room making the pragmatic statement “when you have live ones you will have dead ones”. Lets say I didn’t find it very comforting.
As yesterday’s post alluded a bit of good news wouldn’t a stray. Sadly not only did we lose Simola in the flood we lost our beautiful princess the Divine Eileen to what the vet believes was snake bite. That was devastating for everyone on the farm
Eileen now has a paddock named after her
So you can imagine the excitement yesterday when the world famous Magpie calved and had a little girl
Watch her first steps here – just adorable
My first steps–how clever am I
Magpie is destined for fame with her mum attracting widespread media attention over the last couple of years
She also stars at the end of this video which won Emma the Heywire Competition
Emma and Magpie
and then her sister with Emma last year
and then there is her grandmother the most bizarre cow on the planet
Our little Princess Eileen is off on a big adventure to International Dairy Week the largest annual dairy cattle show and sale in the Southern Hemisphere.
Eileen says watch out world I am on my way.
Held in Tatura, Victoria, IDW as it is best known is indisputably the most prestigious event in the dairy industry, showcasing the best quality dairy cattle to over 4,000 visitors from every state in Australia and over 20 countries internationally. Australia’s dairy men and women bring their top stud animals to compete in a display of over 1,000 dairy cattle from over 6 dairy breeds.
This year for the first time Clover Hill Dairies will be exhibiting in the Jersey section represented by the gorgeous Eileen. You first met Princess Eileen at Christmas when she donned her Rudolph crown
Well since then she has been washed and blowed dried and washed and brushed and fed and led and generally pampered daily
So what does one look for in a show cow. Well this is what you look for and as you can see the stud cattle world has a language all of its own.
The animal needs to be long, stretchy, and of good size for her age and breed.
It should have sharp, clean withers; a straight, strong back; a long, level, wide rump; and feet and legs with correct set.
It should have a good spring of rib and be deep in the chest and rear flank.
This picture of Eileen taken by professional cow photographer Dean Malcolm shows off all of Eileen’s best assets
This picture taken by me shows how her udder measures up ( there is a lot of udder talk in the dairy industry )
rear udder should be high and wide with a well defined ligament throughout
fore udder should be snuggly attached to the body wall with four teats hanging straight to the ground
Months of preparation goes into preparing show cows. They have to be well fed. The nutritional needs of your show animal are of major importance and should include high quality hay and grains.
Now Eileen is quite tiny compared to our Holsteins but like all true princesses she knows how to get her own way and no-one but no-one beats Eileen to the best hay in the hay rack.
Eileen in the dairy scoffing down her grains whilst she gets milked just before leaving on the truck for IDW
Emma says “I will miss her whilst she is away”
Show cows have to be brushed at least once a day and have their feet pedicured. Eileen’s feet are looked after by the team of vets from Sydney University. The cows have to be clipped which improves the animal’s style and overall appearance.
Just as weight lifters strike a pose that demonstrates their taut muscles and fashion models know which profile to present a cow needs to be led and posed so as to show off her best assets The cow should be lead at a comfortable pace with the animal’s head held high enough for impressive style, attractive carriage, and graceful walk.
Come Wednesday evening next we will see if all the hard work has paid off. What ever happens Eileen will always be our little princess and doesn’t she know it