It is with so much excitement that Shamba Shape Up can announce that Belle, the resident Jersey cow, has had her calf! The boy, who has been named Graccus, was born on Saturday last week, quickly and easily to the first time mother. Belle is a pure bred Jersey cow belonging to series producer Anne Marie. Belle has been featured on the show’s social media sites as a way of connecting with our viewers, farmer to farmer, who are learning as we learn. Belle arrived on Anne Marie’s farm 3 months ago, already pregnant. It was her first pregnancy. We had hoped the calf would be a heifer, who in turn would also provide milk, however the bull calf will still provide Anne Marie with a good sale as a stud bull when he is weaned. It is well known in the dairy world that Jerseys are easy calvers, however no one expected Graccus’ arrival both to be so easy and so quick! He was born 1 week early, and within the space of twenty minutes! Anne Marie left Belle tied to a tree to collect some more water for her. On her return she was surprised to find the calf quietly lying on the ground in front of his mother!
The calf will stay on Anne Marie’s farm with Belle until he is roughly 8 months old, after which he will be sold. He is already sampling early weaner pellets, and growing fast! Belle will continue to be milked, something she is a little unsure of (definitely not a fan – she broke her milking stall on the first attempt), and in around 3 months’ time, will be served with AI using Jersey bull semen.
However, until then, we are looking forward to seeing the baby grow and will keep you updated on his progress!