Never once did it cross my mind that I would one day own cows (let alone 6 of them..going on 8). Naturally, I knew that I would ultimately live on a farm, raise a family and live this idyllic country dream (ahem..crazy…) life. Its funny how we leave out so many details in our daydreams. Prior to this farm journey of ours, I had never milked anything. Or actually raised my own food. Our choice to homestead has in so many ways risen from necessity brought about from the deep mistrust I harbor toward conventional food. So here I am- the crazy cow, chicken, goat, anything-with-fur-or-feathers-or-hooves lady.
That’s ok… Its how I roll.
(Krista still had her winter coat in the above picture)
Shortly after moving it became apparent that our Krista cow was becoming lonely. She always had our large Saanens to keep her company and now with their newfound freedom to roam they have found better uses of their time than co-occupying the same pasture of hers (namely because we haven’t built a pen or pasture for them yet and they are taking advantage of the situation heavily… but that’s another story). And as a result, said Krista cow has become a tad noisy–letting us know all about her discontent from evening hours on.
Naturally and because I had a million other reasons to support this logic- It was time to purchase another dairy cow.
It did not take long to find what we were looking for.
We drove for just over three hours to a dear friend and keeper at The Silk Purse a rural farm in Redmond, Oregon. We stayed for a few hours looking at her set up, milking parlor (which let me just say was ah-mazing!), talking farm and exchanging experiences and wisdom. The kids got to ride her friendly mule Katie. It was such a pleasure being with another person who loves cows and has a deep understanding about them. After a while we went out to her pastures to meet our newest friend.
She is a gentle, pint sized bovine indeed.
Nearly 3 years old, Sweetie is half Jersey and half Dexter. I can easily rest my arm over her shoulder…she is ridiculously little and cute. She is polled (no horns) and is due to calve mid September. We have forth worth been praying to the heifer fairy (an imaginary fairy /related to Murphy/ One who grants boy calves when you want girl calves) that we get a girl. She produces A2 milk (easier to digest than conventional milk) is wonderful to work with having been almost completely lead trained (walks with a halter and takes direction) and is a breeze to milk.
And of course I am just elated that I now have two dairy girls and am hopeful that by timing their pregnancies just right I will never eeeever be without milk again. Its been painful this buying milk thing. If I would have really thought about it, I probably would not have dried my cow off prior to moving–alas at the time it seemed the wise/prudent thing to do. And I am happy to report that we are getting 1-2 gallons a day from Sweetie and though she is nearing the end of her lactation cycle (we must dry her off in preparation for her September calf come this June) I am aiming to at least store enough butter to get me through.
I think Krista is overwhelmed with joy- the herd animal that she is. She has not bellowed once since we brought Sweetie home. and that friends is a sweet thing indeed!