Above--Aris and her first calf
Aris' first calf (a bull calf) was born in April 2011. She nursed her calf for several months before he was weaned. She loves calves and tries to adopt other cows' calves at any opportunity. When RuthAnn calved, Aris was licking the new heifer calf (Buttercup) within minutes of the birth. Aris stole Buttercup from RuthAnn whenever she could and was pleased to help RuthAnn nurse Buttercup, who has grown big and fat.
Aris thrives on 100% forage--grass and hay. She produces one to two gallons per day on once a day milking, with a calf nursing too for part of the day at the beginning of lactation. She is a very steady producer--instead of having a high peak production and then declining in production as is normal for a dairy cow, she makes about the same amount of milk each day for the entire lactation.
She lost some body condition in the middle of her first lactation, which is normal. She is now slowly gaining some weight back as we head into the winter and approach her drying-off time in March, when she will have a two month break before her second calf is born in May. I have few concerns about her ability to maintain body condition, produce milk, and grow a calf on 100% forage (as long as it is oustanding quality pasture and hay) because Aris is naturally inclined to regulate her production for the amount of nutrients available to her.
Aris is a pleasure to hand milk. She has a quick, fast let-down and teats that are very supple and easy to squeeze. She will stand anywhere to be milked and can be milked in the middle of the pasture without being restrained in any way.
She is bred, via AI, to Grump, an A2/A2 registered Guernsey bull and is due on May 14, 2012.
Aris is not for sale.