Daisy's a calendar girl at age 18
At age 18 most cows are in their twilight years, but not Daisy, from near Bega in New South Wales, who’s now a national pin-up girl.
Daisy has been named ‘Miss January’, making her the inaugural 2016 Legendairy Calendar Girl, part of the dairy industry’s celebration of the connection between Australia’s Legendairy farmers and the special bonds they have with their animals
Owner Mary-Anne Lucas of Lucasvale Farm said Daisy, whose full name is Daisy-Daffodil, was raised by Mary-Anne’s mother Norma on their 445 hectare farm on the banks of the Brogo River, and used to hide in the flower beds of Norma’s garden as a calf.
“We run predominantly a Holstein-Friesian herd but have a few Jerseys,” Mary-Anne said.
“We always found the Jersey calves required a little extra care so we’d take them home to Mum’s garden and she would raise them for the first six weeks when they needed a couple of extra feeds each day before joining the rest of the herd.”
Daisy relished the extra attention and instantly become part of the family. It was clear right from the start that she was a special cow.
“She was always affectionate and demanded attention and a scratch when she was in the milking herd,” Mary-Anne said.
“As a dairy farm we’ve always had our favourites and find that when you’re working so closely with the cows we become too attached so we keep one or two for retirement on the farm.
“Daisy was one of those cows we just couldn’t part with,” Mary-Anne said. “She’s got a very cute face you just can’t say no to.”
While she was a good cow for the farm, Daisy hasn’t been a very productive milker for the past 10 years. Instead, she’s mostly lived in a dry paddock until 12 months ago when she was moved back close to the dairy and is now living with the ‘springing’ cows.
Mary-Anne said arthritis was starting to catch up with Daisy, so they keep a close eye on her. “She still waddles home once a day for a feed.”
She’s the oldest cow in the current herd, though the farm has had cows aged up to more than 20 years.
Mary-Anne and her brother David farm with their parents Guy and Norma Lucas, milking 280 cows year-round.
Mary-Anne said they were “over the moon” about Daisy’s sudden fame.
The winning photo submitted to the Legendairy competition was taken by Pete Unsworth who works for the Lucas family.
“When you’re born on the farm you can forget how privileged you are to have such a good relationship with the animals,” Mary-Anne said. “Pete joined us about seven years ago and has a different perspective on things. He has a good eye for a photo and it’s great that his work is now out on social media so everyone can benefit from it.”
Pete’s wife Cath has also painted a few of the farm’s cows and they sell images across the local region.
Pete said Daisy was still looking good, despite her advanced age. “She’s been spoilt most of her life,” he added.
He has photographed many cows on the farm and Daisy remains one of his favourites.
“I like to go out early in the morning. I just lie in the paddock and the cows tend to come over and say hello,” he said.
Pete’s winning photo of Daisy was featured on the popular Legendairy Facebook page this month.