Last Monday, Anthony and I officially got our start as hobby farmers. Anthony was approached by one of our friends and neighboring farmers about the possibility of raising a few heifers in one of our barns. I asked Anthony if we could think about it for a bit - we never really entertained the idea of having cows. Chickens, yes. Possibly goats and hopefully miniature donkeys, but not cows. But we didn't have much time because the person selling the girls was going to take them to auction the next day. So we talked about it and decided to go for it. My whole reason for moving to this place was to eventually have animals. Anthony told me we had a few weeks until we got them and showed me the barn where he and Kevin talked about keeping them. I figured we had enough time to paint and clean and remove rust, etc. Turns out we didn't, and I don't think Anthony ever really was on board with all of my remodeling/barn revamping ideas anyway. Anthony and Kevin put some hay and basic supplies in the barn, blocked off some areas and put up some temporary fencing in the pasture. Here's a few pics of the barn before the girls arrived:
The inspector had to check out the feed and the hay, of course
Kevin and Anthony working it all out
On Monday afternoon, we were off and headed to Johnson Creek. That's Kevin and his Dad Herb in front of us.
The plan is to raise these heifers on our farm and in our pasture. Next summer we will breed them, probably by way of artificial insemination. Approximately nine months later, barring any complications we will have two calves. If we have a girl, we can sell her or keep her and grow our herd, if we have a boy he will go across the street to Kevin's to be raised for beef cattle. So these are Kevin's girls as much as they are ours.
The amazing man we bought the girls from, Glenn Rummler
Kevin had told us what a kind man Glenn was, but I had no idea what a wonderful man we were about to meet. He is a real life cow whisperer, soft spoken and just a very sweet person. He even pulled some beets out of his garden to give us to take home. We eventually got everyone in the trailer and headed back home.
I was nervous about getting the girls home at night, but it all turned out to be okay. The first two days they mooed like crazy; I'm guessing they were missing their Moms and probably Glenn too. Meet Patsy
Loretta got a little crazy with the hay on her head. She's still learning and Patsy's always sure to show her the way. That's how I named them, after two of my favorite ladies of country music, Ms Patsy Cline and Ms Loretta Lynn. I know that Patsy showed Loretta the ropes, and that's kind of what is going on in our pasture.
Patsy = #5 Loretta = #14]
These girls were born in May, Glenn wrote out their family history for us to keep track of. Here's a few pics once they got to our place.
I think they're doing alright, and we LOVE having them here. The first night they were here I slept about 2 hours and jumped up first thing in the morning to go down and see them. It was difficult leaving the house the first few days, it felt strange just leaving them out in the pasture.
In my quick research about cows, late the night before we went to pick them up, I read that cows enjoy music, much more than the sound of human voices. As soon as we got to Glenn's farm, I could hear country music playing and it was inside the barn. Kevin's Dad pointed it out to me and said that it is always on for Glenn's cows. So of course we had to install a fancy sound system for Patsy and Loretta.
This wasn't something that we planned to do right now, the barn doesn't look the way that I want it to look and I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, but I think it's all the perfect storm and once again, everything happens for a reason.