Alonzo, a registered Devon, came to hang out with the cows for a couple of months. He settled in just fine the first day, went to work the second day with a red Angus heifer, and has been courting another of the black Angus cows today.
When a heifer (female bovine who has not produced a calf) or a cow (female who has previously calved) goes into heat/estrus, everybody in the neighborhood knows. Such mooings! Such commotion! She is restless and mounts the other cattle, and they mount her–heifer, cow, or steer.
Now with Alonzo, the cows seem calmer. He smells for the pheromones in the cow’s urine and vaginal secretions and gauges her reception to him. He has been grazing near today’s cow and pretty much keeping her to himself. If she starts to wander off, he follows right along, asking if she’s ready for breeding by putting his chin on her loin or rump to see if she’s ready to stand for him. When she is in standing heat, she will allow him to mount. He has about a 15 hour window.
We’ll keep him around long enough to allow the cows to cycle three times, and then it’s back to his own herd at Dharma Lea.