Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Exciting Developments: Playing Musical Cows & Aladdin's Lamp

You remember the game of musical chairs, right?  Where everyone runs around in a circle and when the music ends, they get whatever chair they end up on.

And you remember the story of Aladdin's Lamp?  His bride heard a peddler in the streets offering "New lamps for old" and traded the priceless genie lamp for a worthless brass lamp.  But in our case, trading new for old is a good thing!

Back in August I did a post on taking Sara to be bred, and I promised to keep you apprised of developments.  I can now share the exciting news that we're getting a new cow for an old cow!

When we took Sara and Tundra up to Hope Refuge Farm in Kentucky to breed Sara to Belle Fourche Rousseau, we had no idea that we would not be bringing them home again.  We'll definitely miss getting to see little Tundra grow up, and I'll miss Sara's oversized personality and photogenic qualities.  But we're REALLY excited to be getting a "new, barely used" cow, Sara's granddaughter, New Hope Ebony Belle!  (Just kidding, "used" is actually good in the cattle breeding and dairy world!)

The further exciting news is that Sara and Tundra will be staying at Hope Refuge Farm!  Kim understands Sara and is a much better "boss cow" for her than I ever was!  Check out Sara's "Welcome Home" page on their website.

Without further ado, meet our new cow!

Here's a photo of New Hope Ebony Belle and her dam, SHF Keira Hilldancer on the day Ebby was born, April 19, 2011.  (Don't you just love her mother's name?  I think Hilldancer was a perfect way to use the "Hilltop" from Sara's name in her daughter's name).   Keira, by the way, is a half sister to our Siobhan, which makes Siobhan Ebby's aunt!  I think it's fun that we're keeping family together.

Here's Ebby with her first calf, Zoie, a lovely little heifer born April 9, 2013.

Here's another photo of Zoie and Ebby in June of this year.  Zoie is undergoing the ordeal of weaning right now, so Ebby is staying in Kentucky until that's accomplished, but then she'll be coming to join our family.  While she waits, she's getting a bit of training in being hand milked (since I'm too cheap to buy an electric milker!) in addition to being machine milked, which she's already done.

While we're sharing family photos, here's one of Ebby's sire, Belle Fource Rousseau.  Check out his page in the New Hope herdbook.

Rousseau is an impressive bull, and the fact that he's homozygous for A2 Beta-casein is icing on the cake.  Unfortunately for us, we can't breed Ebby to him because he's her sire, but he's definitely "on our radar" for Siobhan in the future.

I took this photo of Kim and her sweetheart, Ebony Belle, when we were there in August, never dreaming that I'd be using the photo to announce the newest member of our Zephyr Hill family!

That's right, Ebby girl, show us your pretty face!  Now isn't that a kissable nose?  Ebby is AI'd to an excellent Dexter bull, Woodmagic Hedgehog III.  If she should have a heifer next spring, the baby will be going back to New Hope where she was bred, but all that lovely A2 milk will be ours to enjoy!  So there will be two families eagerly awaiting the birth of this calf.

I'll be sure to post lots of photos of Ebby when she actually arrives.  If you're interested in a Dexter cow for milking, Kim Newswanger is the person to talk to.  Hope Refuge Farm's stated purpose is this:   Our goal is to produce high quality, truly dual-purpose, purebred Dexter breeding stock, and to raise and train small family milk cows for sale at an affordable price.   Kim's blog has some helpful articles on having a family milk cow which I have really appreciated.  Ebby is the second generation of Sara's descendants that Kim has trained to milk and sold.  We're truly honored and excited to be on the receiving end of this exchange!

Hurry home, Ebony Belle!


  1. Wow, what a surprise, and what a pretty cow and calf!

    1. Yes, speaking of Aladdin, it's really a fairy tale ending for all of us! Ebby is pretty, isn't she? It will be fun to see her next to Siobhan. I think Siobhan is shorter and stockier, but it will be interesting to see. Too bad Zoie isn't coming; Macree will just have to do without a playmate, poor baby!


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