What’s in a Name?

We’ve welcomed nearly 40 new calves to Conebella Farm this season, and with each birth comes the choice of a name.  All of our animals are registered with the Ayrshire breed association, much like a pure-bred Border Collie would be registered with the American Kennel Club.  When we register the calves, we select a name that demonstrates the calf’s pedigree.

Each calf’s name starts with “Conebella,” followed by the sire’s name, followed by the calf’s unique name, so a cow’s full name might be, “Conebella Burdette’s Seren.”  Even the calf’s unique name shows which family she comes from.  For instance, we have a family that all have “M” names, a family of star names, a family of bird names, flower names, and more!  The newborn in the picture above will get a “B” name.

Why is it so important to tell a cow’s pedigree by her name?  It helps with both breeding and marketing.  For breeding, we want to make sure the cows are not closely related, so giving them a family name and including the sire’s name keeps everything clear for future generations.  If we decide to market a cow, buyers want to know the animal’s pedigree as well.  A name conveys that information right away.

Calf Lying Down

So, right now, we are searching for names.  You know how hard it is to choose one name you like for a new baby… think what it’s like for 40 babies!  It’s easy to run out of ideas when they have to be “M” names or star names, and we can’t always name them after their grandparents or great-grandparents because when we have a really outstanding cow, we retire her name.  There will be no “Celia,” “Prima” or “Starlight” because those were such good cows.