On having a milk cow... Part Two
A bunch of you have asked me to tell more about having a milk cow. If you missed part one, here it is.
We decided we definitely wanted the duo we met. Ophelia and her calf, who we called Oliver. Next step was getting the duo 2 hours south to us. We asked a bunch of friends, random strangers, the feed store. In the end the folks who we bought them from found us a driver.
You know, there's nothing like the flurry of excitement and nervousness floating around in our belly with these beginning stages. Am I crazy? When will we get them here? Where will we put them? Will I like having them? Are we capable of keeping them alive and thriving? Can I really milk everyday? Do I have what it takes?
I thought I was working through the to do list in getting ready for them. Only it all came crashing together the weekend of. I had brought my two kids and our fresh air kid to the store to get the materials needed for fencing. I had no idea what was needed to put a fence up. No one was available to help me, so I'm trying to read and figure out what I needed with overtired kids distracting me at 7pm. I did end up finding what I needed and had planned on putting up the fence that weekend. Only it also happened to be the same weekend that the farmer who hays our field decided to do his haying. Oh, it also happened to be just about the hottest day of the year. My husband hadn't slept in a full 24 hours (due to his job) and we were trying to figure out this fencing thing with our kids and an extra little boy distracting us every 3 seconds. I wanted to cry.
As it turns out, we just left the cows in the barn the first day and my husband did a great job putting up a small area for them to graze the next day. I guess this was my first lesson in the "It's all going to work out" book that we've been writing in our minds living in this farmhouse. Anyway, the duo arrived and we all were just so happy.
Let me share with you my tidbits.
-I about had a heart attack when the calf got out.
-I got really good at lassoing a calf.
-There's many parts to a fence and it's beyond frustrating when there's no electricity and you cannot figure out why.
-It's quite interesting leading a cow to pasture who doesn't have regular practice being led.
-Hungry cows go through our little corralled pasture sooo quickly that the movable fence needs to be moved daily. (Cannot wait for a permanent fence!)
-A woman can really surprise her husband, even after being together over a decade ,as he utters in disbelief "I had no idea you could handle an animal like that."
-A certain three year old thinks the calf is her chair.
-A certain 4 1/2 year old was caught a number of times that first week just looking at them and smiling.
-I get home from work and they come running to the edge of the fence to greet me, often with a moooo.
-I no longer have to lasso a calf. He comes to me willingly now. (success!)
-It's been me and only me who has taught these two to walk halter led. (And they both do beautifully now!)
-My 2 kids roll out of bed and head directly to the barn, which how neat of a childhood is that?!
Overall, their transition to our home has been a good one. It really feels nice having this duo on this farm. In fact, there's a special place in our heart for this bovine love.
Stay tuned for next time, I'll talk about milking.