So, it’s Saturday and I’m just now getting around to posting “Fridays on the Farm.” But you know, that’s life. It’s been a lovely week here in Nashville. The weather has been sunny and warm, but not summer time hot. And the first few leaves are starting to fall. Just beautiful.
But anyway, let’s talk about our family milk cow, Elsie Marley (EM). We haven’t discussed her in a while, and I want to update y’all. We’ll start at the beginning though. We purchased EM- our first cow ever- from a local man who has a small closed herd of cows who are all friends and family and love each other. In other words, she liked it where she was… EM came to live with us immediately after weaning an older calf, and she was still in milk. She had also just been bred, and so therefore should currently be pregnant.
The original plan was for us to start milking her immediately, but she decided to head on home to her calf, thus escaping from our fence. Twice. After the second escape, we boarded her down at our neighbor’s farm while Farmer Dickie revamped our fencing situation. Now she’s got herself a large, real fence and several acres to roam as she pleases.
Now our only issue is that she’s scared of us. I originally thought she hated us and I therefore wanted to trade her in for a new cow, but then The Elliott Homestead said you’re supposed to treat family milk cows like dogs. Pet them, talk to them, socialize them. That really helped me soften up toward her- she doesn’t hate us, she’s just scared of us. Whew. We can work with that.
For now, she pretty much hides in a small wooded area when we’re anywhere nearby:
Here’s her little hole of safely, where those scary humans and the hot sun can’t bother her:
We’ve been slowly working on getting her used to having us around. We go out into the pasture several times per day and just go visit her and talk to her. She runs into her little hole, then goes out the other side of the hole, and then we stand at a distance she’s comfortable with and just talk to her. Next week we’re launching our official effort to win her over- we’ll be bringing her a small amount of barley for a snack a few times per day. A little bribe goes a long way with a cow, or so our dairy farmers say.
We think having the chickens out there is good for her too. I’m sure she’s lonely (we plan to get another animal for her to hang out with, it’s just a matter of time), and she seems to like having the chickens come eat bugs off her tummy (they do!).
We really enjoy our time going out into the pasture to visit her- especially little Bridger. The cats usually come with us- which he enjoys- and he gets to climb the gate, which is his new favorite thing. (By the way- the fence is electric but we keep it off now that EM has calmed down and is no longer trying to escape.)
He waits at the top for me to put him down on the other side, but I bet by next week he’ll be climbing all the way over.
And that’s what our days have looked like lately. You know, besides the usual cooking, cleaning, life stuff. It’s been pretty nice.
-AshleyPAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: To support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for supporting our efforts at Whistle Pig Hollow!