Our cow’s “date with destiny” (as my DH calls it) is almost here. Next week Tom and our wonderful neighbor, Jim are taking one next door to our other neighbor and the other will be going to the processor in Cuba.
I’ve never owned livestock before. (Been with a jackass or two of the two-legged variety) I did my best not to get attached or have feelings for these cows, but it’s
hard impossible to spend time tending to an animal and not feel anything about it’s demise. Since March, I’ve fed these ladies grain every day, changed out their water while they eat and sprayed them with essential oils to keep the flues and ticks at bay. I’ve watched them grow from 300lbs to something roughly the weight of our car. I didn’t name them. We called them whiteface and blackface only out of necessity, it was confusing to remember which cow was Cow1 or Cow2. Despite not really naming them, they still learned their “names.”
They chase the lawnmower when I mow to get the cut grass blown in from the other side of the fence. Whiteface is the more cautious of the two, but also less skittish once she decides it’s safe. She’ll let you pat her neck and scratch her ears, which I’ve only done once at my daughter’s urging. No matter how fuzzy her ears are, I can’t pet something we plan to murder.
My daughter has no such qualms- she will hang over the fence, scratch the cow’s ears and pet her, then tell her, “You’re looking mighty tasty today!” I asked if this doesn’t bother her that we’re going to eat them, she just shrugs and says she’s looking forward to a good steak. My kid will make a farmer. I watched my great grandma once- walk out in the yard, pick up a chicken, talk to it and wring its neck. She then plucked it, cleaned it and put it in salt water to make fried chicken for dinner the next day. My daughter must take after her.
Yesterday our neighbor backed this trailer up to where I grain feed. The plan is to get them used to going inside the trailer to eat, so that we can get them in there on Tuesday, shut the door and that’s that.
Next year we may fence the field closest to the house and get two new cows and maybe a horse or two as well. I CAN be friends with the horse, so I’m looking forward to that almost as much as my daughter is. Maybe a little donkey to keep the horse company. Hopefully that takes some of the sting out of letting go our next pair of cows.
I’m afraid I’ll always be better with the garden and orchard. You would think I’d be great at compartmentalizing after almost 20 years in nursing and surviving multiple narcissists; but like it or not, I’m going to miss my cows. 😦