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Monday, March 29, 2010

Who Woulda Thunk....

My lovely wife, Deb, grew up with goats and sheep. Her dad had dairy goats for any milk the family needed.

Oh, there was the brief foray into life with a milk cow, but - from the stories I've heard - that didn't go so well. I'm not sure what happened to the cow, but it made an early exit from her dad's farm when Deb was 4 or 5 (maybe). She's told me that she has a couple deep, dark, repressed memories of SOME cow, but isn't sure if it was THE cow.

Her dad tells stories of trudging out in the thigh high grass to get the cow for the morning milking, and coming back soaked with dew, or tying the cow's tail to the wall with a twine so he wouldn't get "swiped".

Fun things like that.

Deb, got used to goats. She's been out in the barnyard when a big Billy goat came at her. It didn't take long for her to grab the billy, and put him in the dirt to show him who was boss.

Unfortunately, that tactic RARELY works on a 900 pound cow....


We had a neighbor when I was about 7. He was a BIG gentleman - I won't try to estimate his weight but - he had a Clydesdale horse named William. Charlie was big enough to give the horse a sway back.....

Anyway, one day my Dad and I were over at Charlie's house to help him load up some cattle. One particularly "friendly" bull yearling, decided to get playful at the wrong time, and slammed Charlie up against the side of the barn.

Dad grabbed a shovel and started to head toward the scene. Unfortunately, Dad was too late - Charlie had done slammed that bull around and drove his face into the barn. It's not often you see a mud wrestling contest between a man and a yearling bull go for a unanimous decision in the man's favor, but Charlie was the clear winner, that day.

The looser ended up wrapped in butcher paper, so I guess it's a good thing it turned out how it did....

Back to Deb -

Since she didn't grow up around cows, they tend to intimidate her a bit.

Last year, we got Mabel. Deb was less then thrilled, but caved into me wanting a cow. Mabel - even though she is a "special needs" cow, has turned out to be wonderful to have around - and Deb LOVES playing with the milk and making fresh cheese, whipped cream, and - of course - that wonderful BUTTER.

The REAL stuff, not that artificial plastic garbage that "Dietitians" tell you is good for you.

I was STUNNED at the transformation! Deb actually LIKED having a cow around. What was more amazing - she wanted MORE milk. The only possible way to increase milk production was....


Here she was, Miss, "I'm afraid of cows" actually WANTING another cow!

To make things even more strange, a couple weeks ago she told me that she wanted a cow FOR HER BIRTHDAY!

Who are you, and what have you done with my wife?

Well, after a few sleepless weeks of hemming and hawing, we decided that we'd get another cow.

Sunday morning, we got up bright and early, finished chores, and hit the road to see about buying a cow. It was a two-fold trip - we had bought a couple sheep for next to nothing (Cheap Sheep...), and it was time to take them to her mom and dad.

What started out as a simple 350 mile round trip, with a couple sheep, turned into a 600 mile round robin through central Missouri.

We actually looked at two cows, but this one seemed more to our liking then the other one. She is also LEAD trained! That alone makes things MUCH easier. When we got Mabel, it was a fight to get her in the trailer, then - once we got her home, it was an ordeal to get her into the pasture. With this cow, she followed us right into the trailer, and walked right with me when I unloaded her.

It actually worked out pretty good that we brought her home on Monday - we were able to stop at our local Vet to have her "Preg Checked". We never even unloaded her from the trailer. The Doc palpitated her and said she was about 5 months along (into the 9 month cycle, just like humans).

He didn't even bat an eye when I asked him "Boy or girl?". He just said it would be a boy and be red.

Doc Evans has been doing his job for a lot of years, so we'll see in a few months.
He's probably been asked that question a few times before....

Deb took this photo of me and "Daisy" - as we are calling our new cow. This was taken after we got home Monday afternoon, and lead her into a small pen. Notice how she is sticking her tongue out at the camera....

Galen & Daisy

Daisy followed me right up the hill, through the barn, and right onto the stanchion. She needs a little work at standing ON the platform, but she at least wasn't TOO afraid of the head stall.

Mabel was, of course, curious to see who the competition was, so she came over to the fence for a little "chat".

Jersey Standoff

I guess that Daisy met with Mabel's high standard of approval, because she ended up giving Daisy a "smooch" on the nose.

Greeting Kiss

It will take a little while of working with her, but she seems the type that is a fast learner. I have 3-4 months to get her comfortable with milking, before she calves, so I SHOULD be able to get her ready by then.

It all starts this morning.

It's just odd how, Deb - who thinks of cows as big and intimidating, actually wanted a cow for HER birthday! I guess what they say is true -


Cows Are Like Potato Chips....

Nobody can have just one.


  1. Lovely Cow! Just right that you have 2! Congratulations & Happy Birthday !

  2. Somewhere it's a law........... Ya can't have even numbers of cows, it's either 3 5 7 9 you get the idea.
    Got to get one more cow cause even numbers of cows just ain't right.

    Crane Man

  3. CALPC - Ain't that the truth. I started with a young, bred heifer and in short order I had become the home of wayward Jerseys with a barn of now 3!!! SHe is a very pretty girl, Congrats and Happy Birthday, Deb!


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