Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Brahmans are Home!!

In April, we wrote to you about how we wanted to acquire some Brahman cows for ISCOWP. The reasons were to rejuvenate the herd that is mostly middle aged now, utilize the potent Brahman dung and urine, and have an ox team that can work in the hot weather. Due to your donations to this project, we were able to arrange the acquisition of two Brahman bull calves and one female calf from William Fenn, a breeder of registered Brahmans located in Sweeny, Texas. Originally, we were looking at a breeder in a colder climate, but he did not handle his animals like William Fenn. The Fenn family is unique amongst Brahman breeders as they develop a personal relationship with their animals.

Dad and I left for Texas on Wednesday the 6th of August to pick up the calves. We had 1456 miles and six states to pass through from West Virginia. As we were getting closer, we were getting more and more excited to see and meet these new members of our family. It was totally worth the whole craziness of driving that distance when we met them for the first time. They just stole our hearts as soon as we laid eyes on them.

The weather was extremely hot, 98 degrees and a high humidity factor. We were sweating the whole time we were there even at seven o’clock in the morning. One of the qualities of Brahmans is that they can tolerate extreme temperatures. “A factor which contributes to the Brahman's unique ability to withstand temperature extremes is a short, thick, glossy hair coat which reflects much of the sun's rays, allowing them to graze in midday sun without suffer¬ing. In severe winters, Brahmans grow a protective covering of long, coarse hair beneath which a dense, downy, fur-like undercoat can be found. An abundance of loose skin, characteristic of the breed, also aids in its ability to withstand warm weather by increasing the body surface area exposed to cooling. In cold weather the skin is contracted, increasing the thickness of the hide and density of the hair, which aids in retaining body heat. A special feature of the Brahman breed is their ability over other breeds to sweat freely, which contributes greatly to their heat tolerance.”

Meeting Amrita, Priya and Sri
Balabhadra meeting the new team, Priya & Sri
Oswald, son of Bullzilla, is the father of the babies
William Fenn saying goodbye

The Fenns were such great hosts and friendly people. They have been breeding Brahman cows for three generations. The calves were actually staying at William Fenn’s parents home. It was a great pleasure meeting the Fenn family and spending time with them. They went out of their way in taking really great care of us. After spending a day with them and the calves, we said goodbye and started the trip back home. With our new truck and trusty trailer, which we acquired back in the early nineties, the calves had a plenty of room and a secure ride. Two days later, we arrived home late in the evening and the following morning introduced them to their quarters in the barn.

Bringing Brahmans to a cold climate will be a first for a cow protection program in North America. The New Vraja Dhama cow protection farm in Hungary just also acquired a bull calf of a similar breed. They have a climate like ours. Bringing the calves to our farm was time sensitive, as we wanted them to come in the warmest weather season so they could have a good chance to acclimate gradually as the weather got colder.

Greeting Daddy at one of the rest stops
Meeting Mommy and totally stealing her heart
Madhava asking “Got Brahmans?” (got to do a t-shirt like that)
Backing into their new home

Can’t wait to get out, just waiting for the door

Nice fresh well water at the grown up tank

The babies did very well on the trip, no fussing or complaining. The boys Sri and Priya sure love to lick my arms, neck and try for my face. Priya loves to try to eat hair. With Brahmans, you have to have lots of patience and move slow getting to know them. As a breed, they are standoffish and shy, but once they know and love you, they love receiving attention. The boys very quickly let us touch them, rub them and pet them. Things are moving slow with Amrita, but she is letting us touch her and she likes smelling us. One trick is to let them come to you on their own speed. They will come because they are curious; you just have to have patience.

Having breakfast at their new home
Checking out the barn

The babies have not met the rest of the herd yet. The herd has not come into the big barn yet for water, but they know the babies are here and will come and meet them in their own sweet time.
Sri Uddharan Datta Thakur

Sri Uddaran Datta Thakur, formally WF40, was named by Jimmy & Terry Devine of MN. There is a description about Sri Uddharan Datta Thakur in a book called Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates. We are going to be calling him Sri. He has on the top of his head, where his horns would be coming out, some red hair. Sometimes we call him Mr. Red; he is very outgoing and loving.

Priyavrata, formally WF41, was named by Anonymous C. He is so sweet and loves kisses. He loves licking and trying to eat hair and maybe licking the face, but arms will do if he can’t have anything else. Both he and Sri are supposed to be grey like their Daddy Oswald when they get older.

Her Royal highness, Amrita
Amrita checking out the feed aisle

Amrita, formally WF42, was named by Vrajavadhu dasi. Amrita means nectar of the Gods. She is the queen of the group; the boys follow her around even though she is the youngest. She was the first one into the trailer and the first one out. She is letting us touch her a little bit and getting friendlier everyday.

So far, they are adjusting well. We will keep you informed as the time goes on as to their progress.

Praying that this letter finds you well,

Lakshmi Devi Dove

Some of the cows have come to meet the babies.

Big Shyam meeting Amrita
Amrita, Sri and Priya, with Balaram and Krishna looking on


Krd said...

Congradulations! Balabhadra and Chaya. The three of them look like they are in perfect health... and so beautiful. You are blessed!

Kurma Rupa dasa
Care for Cows

Pandu das said...

Hare Krishna.
Incredibly beautiful cows.
I wonder if a waiting list has started for her calves yet. 8^)

Actually, our cow is expected to have her first calf any day now.

Hare Krishna.
Your servant,
Pandu das

Balabhadra das said...

Thank you both, Kurma Rupa and Pandu, for you encouraging comments. The Brahmans are adapting well so far. getting more friendly everyday. We will keep everyone updated now and then.

Pandu, has your calf given birth yet?

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