We brought home our first cow in the beginning of May. Neither Dave nor I have ever owned a cow before. Honestly, except for running into cows grazing out on public lands and seeing them on farms, I have never really been around cows. Its been a bit of a learning curve… this seems to be a theme with our little farm. Lots to learn about everything!
After reading about different kinds of cows, Dave really got to liking the idea of raising Dexter cows. Dexter cows are considered a miniature cow. They are smaller than most breeds but are not always as small as you would expect.
We found our cow, Sequoia, on a local classified add online and decided she would make a nice start for our future herd. She had been in with a bull in March, so she is supposedly pregnant.
When we went to get her I was very surprised at her size. For a Dexter she was very big, and oh so fat! It was very apparent that you can overfeed a cow on hay cubes! She looks a lot like an Angus cow that has been sawed off at the knees.
After a short rodeo, we got her loaded into our stock trailer and we drove home. She seemed to handle the 45 minute drive without a problem, but after we unloaded her into our pasture, she started hollering! She bellowed for 3 days! She liked to go to the corner of the pasture and stare at the neighbor’s horse and bellow. Mooooooo!!!!! as loud as possible.
That first night we were certain the neighbors were going to be pounding down our door with torches and pitchforks! She was so loud and would not give it up! The next morning I was awoke by a text from a neighbor who lived two streets away. Her little boys had heard our cow and had to go on a hunt to find it! They were so excited to see that the neighbors had gotten a cow!
At church that afternoon some of the neighborhood was chatting about the new sound they had been hearing. I overheard a conversation between two ladies, “Did you hear all of that noise this morning? What was that?! Did someone inherit a dragon?!”
Luckily no one confronted us about our noise-ordinance defiling bovine. And a few days later she settled down. She began to make friends with the goats and even began to get comfortable with us.
Each day I would give her a feed pan with a scoop of sweet mix in it. After a day or two she would come up to me when she saw that I had the pan. After about a week I could pet her head and down her neck.
By the end of two weeks she would allow me to touch her just about anywhere, her feet her rear and under her belly. But she would only let me touch her so long as her face was still in the feed pan. As soon as she was finished with her treat, she wouldn’t let me near her. Not to sure she will make for a good milk cow.
Also, by the end of two weeks, she had already eaten down our 1/4 acre pasture to the point that we needed to move her off of it. We knew she would eat a lot, but seeing how fast 1 small cow could eat down that amount of space was a real eye opener.
Since that time she has been the travelling cow. We have moved her between our pasture and friend’s and relatives pastures to mow down their extra grass and to allow ours to grow back. Currently she is enjoying a lush pasture on my uncle’s farm in Beaver, UT. We plan to bring her home later this fall so she can calve out on our little homestead.