I will repost when there is a development in Thyme's strange reproductive difficulties. I am inclined to avoid the drug inducements, or a bull- as there aren't any nearby anyway and none of the shorthorns I would want to sire her calf. She is definately not a freemartin. So the wait goes on- though I have a feeling this will turn out to be a heifer inclined to her heirloom tendencies when heifers took longer to breed. Hearing that mooing to wake up the town from the top of mountain would be a great thing! , though I don't want to be in the thick of milking in the winter months. pictures of Thyme, the roan heifer as a bottle fed baby and teenager, available at Joshuasfarm.com Brigitte until then, thanks everyone.
Back to the mineral issue for a moment... I thought I would mention that in her book, Natural Cattle Care, Pat Coleby says that if cows do not come in heat fully, the most likely cause is lack of copper (page 157, under "Infertility"). She has recommendations for a mineral mix to help balance copper levels. She talks a lot in this book about different minerals and analyzing soils and all of that. Her base lick recipe (page 92) calls for 50 pounds of dolomite, 8 pounds of copper sulfate, 8 pounds of sulfur (99% yellow dusting sulfur), and 8 pounds of urea-free seaweed meal.
Has anyone else used this?
We have used this for several years, and have had pretty good luck with cow health, so we have stuck with it. (We also put out Redmond salt, baking soda, and free-choice kelp.)
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'