Homesteaders want to do it all. However, we all have limits and I think we have found ours. Her name is Bonnie. The last few weeks have been overwhelming and I am happy to now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You may remember this post where I mentioned that we would be getting a dairy cow and her calf in July. I have always wanted a dairy cow (what homesteader doesn't?) but hadn't planned on actually buying one for a couple of more years. Our plan was to keep our focus on the sheep and wait until the kids were older before adding on cattle. That all changed when a friend of mine offered me her cow in May. She is moving and won't be able to take the cow with her. The hubby and I jumped on board! When would a cow just fall into our laps again? We saw this as a great opportunity!
A dairy cow is a great opportunity, but I probably should have reread this post first. Once we brought the cow home I felt nothing but anxiety. She is a wonderfully gentle cow but we just didn't click. That sounds weird for me to say, but I just never felt as ease around her and I didn't feel comfortable with her around the kids. A lot of the daily animal care falls on me and I didn't like dealing with an animal I couldn't physically move or restrain by myself if necessary. She is a very large animal and I am just not ready to handle that yet, especially with two little kiddos in tow. Having another species on the homestead also required more work and planning. Once I realized I had made a mistake I talked to my friend, the previous owner, about it and we worked on finding Bonnie and her calf a better home. A home with someone who loves and most importantly has experience with cows. This weekend Bonnie and her calf will leave for their new forever home.
I am sad that this opportunity didn't work out but I'm glad it has taught us some lessons. The biggest one being that decisions shouldn't be made in haste. I still love cows and I am sure that one day we will own one. But for this season in our lives we will stick with sheep as our dairy animal of choice.
Sheep have my heart and the Woolly Homestead will stay woolly for now.
|Sally and Doughnut greeting me at the front door. "Hey, did you forget about us out here?"|
|Sally can be a pain in the butt sometimes but she loves her cuddles.|
P.S. This post may be linked up with the following blog hops: Monday- The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Tuesday- The Homestead Blog Hop, Wednesday- The Homemaking Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Coffee and Conversation, Thursday- Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Friday- From the Farm Hop, Awesome Life Friday, Saturday- Simply Natural Saturdays, Simple Saturdays.
Very good article, with a very good point! "Decisions shouldn't be made in haste" Now I just have to remember that... Lol! Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
It's so good when you can recognize a bad decision before it becomes a serious problem and right it. I'd love to have a fat steer here, but with young kids I don't think it would be very practical yet.ReplyDelete
It always stinks when things don't work out how you hoped, but at least you found her another home and were able to learn something from it. We are slowly raising our way up the livestock chain. We just moved onto our farm last August, so we started out with chicken again this spring...And just this week got our first American Guinea Hog! Turkeys are on the roster for next spring and I would love to get some sheep as well eventually!ReplyDelete
It's a bummer when things don't work out but I do appreciate the lessons. A hog sounds exciting! I'm trying to do my research this year so we can add pigs in the spring. Lamb is great but...Bacon!Delete
I feel your pain. We bought a milk cow (such a great deal on Craigslist!) about 3 weeks before she calved. She has been a lovely creature to work with, perfectly trained, calm about everything (kids, chickens and kittens in the milk barn don't even faze her). But. Her steer calf is the most aggravating bovine I have ever dealt with (and we come from a commercial cattle background, so I've been around a few bottle calves). The worst part is that we discovered she has Staph A mastitis in 3 quarters, which she almost certainly had before we bought her. It's nearly impossible to cure, which is probably why she was such a "great deal", and could potentially be transmitted to other cows. Instead of my dream of once-a-day milking, making oodles of yogurt, butter and cheese with the abundance of milk, and letting the cow raise her calf, I'm milking twice a day, bottle feeding a difficult calf, and feeding most of the milk to the cats and chickens because we can't use it.ReplyDelete
Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that! I hope things turn around for you. I can't imagine having to milk twice a day only to feed it to the chickens.Delete
I've done the same thing with goats :)ReplyDelete
The friend I got the cow from had the same experience with goats too! She clicked with Bonnie, and cows in general, but goats were too crazy for her lol.Delete
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