‘Ashben Valley Fig’ came to live with us the same time as Butterfly and Fizz; the first three bovines to grace us with their presence. Also known as Figgy Pop when she is good, and Figgy Matilda when she is naughty. Fig was an 8 month old heifer when we got her. She was fairly timid initially, although warmed up when fed carrots. Even though she loves her carrots, she still takes them from you very gently, almost painstakingly. And she doesn’t like them cold, room temperature for her please! She has turned into a lovely cow; she is bulky and stockily built, and has a lovely nature after bit of a precocious start. She is purebred dexter, on a murray grey foundation a few generations back.
She was a bit of a naughty teenager. She used to run away to join the crazy circus cows next door. I think it was because she was in season, and they had a bull. We are so lucky however that she did not get pregnant to the big Hereford next door! Dexters as a small breed need a small bull, or there’ll be trouble with birthing. The fences between us and the other neighbour who has cattle are not very good, and she kept on getting through, we still don’t know where though! We’ve brought Fig back from there a few times, but now we have hot wired the rest of the boundary she has not got out again.
It was due to these escape artist episodes that we halter trained her, in the hope that A) it would quieten her down and B)it would make it easier to get her back if she did escape.
before she had her first calf this year, she absolutely doted on the other calves, she was very definitely the Aunty to G-Zeus and Hotblack.
Her first calf, Jim-Bob, was born last year. He’s a funny looking little guy, horned, and quite light framed. Apparently a cow’s first calf is not a good indication of what their future calves will be like, and that they improve on 2nd and 3rd calves.
Fig does not mind being milked at all, and will quite happily go into the head bale. Her teats are a little small to be easily milked however. Overall, she’s a nice cow to have around, and I am interested to see how her future calves turn out.