Nature and nurture – how many of our characteristics and behaviour are learned and how many are inherited? People often debate this particularly when it comes to adoption and fostering. With cattle, it’s a bit of a different story. We want them to inherit good genes from their dam and sire, that’s why there’s so much research and money put into EBI, breeding, AI and more. But do they inherit the characteristics of kindness, shyness, greed, selfishness and charm from their dam and sire or do they just learn it? I’d often hear Brian refer to a cow or calf and say ‘her mother was just like that too’ – in terms of personality but also in terms of frequency of twin calves or milk yield and solids.
We tend to divide up fields with strip wire (temporary fences that are electrified with a battery fencer). Maybe our cows are spoilt as they go into fresh grass so often but it ensures that the whole field isn’t messed up before they graze it out. They graze it by section and then it’s relatively well grazed. There’s always one or two cows that will get down on their knees to eat the fresh grass that’s under the wire. This is one of them and although she never saw her mother do it (her mother was sold before this one came into the milking herd), her mother was exactly the same.
Both are good cows but I guess they’re both either greedy or just like the icing on the cake. Anyone else got mother and daughter cows that are alike in personality?