For years, I had wanted to own my own dairy cow. I can remember being a kid at the Appalachian Fair and going through the cow barn several times just to see the Jerseys because they were so pretty. Growing up, my parents always kept Angus cattle but quit a little over six years ago and we’d been raising Katahdin sheep for the last few years. In early 2017, I decided I wanted to get my very own dairy cow. I hadn’t decided on a particular breed but figured it would be a Jersey. On February 12, 2017, I found one that was a really good deal- she was a little over an hour and a half away from home, listed as a two year old Jersey/Guernsey cross, bred to a low birth weight black Angus bull and friendly. The man posting the ad even said she should make a good cow for hand milking so I called the number listed. It was a Sunday afternoon and I got an answer right away. He said I could come take a look at her but he didn’t sell animals on Sunday- fair enough, I would need to think about it anyways!
Josh and I get there, she’s in a lot all by herself and she’s a bit stand-offish but I wrote it off as her not knowing us- we are strangers after all. She really was a pretty cow, better in person than in the pictures. She’d come from an auction as a calf and they had raised her but didn’t have a use for her now since all they had were beef cattle. I told him I would let him know the next day if I wanted her or not. I called him the next morning to tell him I wanted her. He said he could deliver her for me for a little extra money so we agreed to it.
I had no idea what I just signed myself up for.
Valentine’s Day evening, I meet him at the interstate exit in Blountville so he can follow me to the farm and not have any trouble finding it. We arrive, open the main gate so she can hop off the trailer and be on her way… Hop off she did then she took off for the field. Seeing how I’d been told she was super friendly, after I paid him and he left, I take off after her with a bucket of sweet feed to try to get her to a barn for the night since it was going to be sleeting/raining/snowing that night. Josh and I also had plans to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day so I needed to hurry. Try as I may, I cannot get close to this cow. She wouldn’t come for feed, hay, nothing. So around 8pm, I give up.
6:45am the next morning, while sleet was falling, I take off to find her in hopes she’s settled more and *might* follow me home. No such luck but she was OK, albeit wet. That evening, upon arriving home, I find that she’s in the barn where we store hay in the loft. Ha! I’ve got her now. I can shut the gate so she will stay and maybe she’ll let me pet her and realize I’m not the monster she sees me as. Boy was I wrong, I got the gate shut alright but she JUMPED it! Not only is she wild, she’s a jumper too! I’m really wondering what I had bought and what I had gotten myself into this time. I take her a bale of hay; she eats it but is very wary of my presence.
This goes on for probably close to 3 weeks! I’m having serious thoughts of selling her to whoever will give me as much as I paid for her because I was fed up. I had been fooled. I bought a cow that was supposed to be tame as can be only to get an absolutely wild cow. Until things take a turn around the second weekend in March…..
Stay tuned for the next installment of this story!