Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Groundhog Day...

I know. It was a month plus ago now. But I'm talking about the movie. Bill Murray? Andie MacDowell? Yeah. That one.

I've been living it, these last two weeks. When I wake up in the morning...there is a cow in my front yard. Enjoying the rising sun. Its warmer you know, in the east, first thing in the morning.

I have hoofmarks in my yard. Big deep ones, thanks to the rain we've had and the nice thick clay soil we have here. I have hoofmarks on my front porch. On top of my lawnmower. All over every pathway. In the chicken coop, of all places. Because chicken feed is apparently very tasty to cows, dontcha know?

I have *lots* of hoofmarks.

Now, I am sure you are thinking, "Rachel, silly girl, get yourself outside, put the cow back into the pasture, and have it done and over with!".

I have done that. Every. stinking. morning. And sometimes, in the afternoons, too, when I go to get the twins up from their naps, and she is sneaking peeks in their bedroom window.

Admittedly, Annabelle is a good girl, other than her Houdini tendencies, her inability to get pregnant (okay, so we've only tried once so far), and her general dislike of doing anything other than what she wants to do. Really. She's quite pretty. Black brown, with a nice red highlight down the middle of her back.

But the E&E she's been doing lately (that's "Evasion and Escape" in military-ese)...well, its at best a bother, at worst, a health hazard (for her, and the general public). Yesterday, Miss Annabelle not only got back out of the pasture--again--but decided to go force her way through a spot *I* would be hard pressed to get through...and go onto the road.

Now, fortunately, our road is not a busy one, and a kindly passerby stopped to help me get her headed back into the property, and up the driveway...but....

And I've had to put Annabelle onto strict confinement in the corral, something I really do not like to do. El Husbando spent the greater part of Saturday trying to firm up fences...only to have her jump, push through, and otherwise make it known she was laughing at the paltry human attempts to cage "HER"...she who is (in her own mind, at least) SUPERCOW.

Annabelle is just her mild-mannered everyday persona, in case you had not already guessed. I'm sure that somewhere in the pasture is a cape, tights, and some sort of a body suit. Maybe some special bracelets like Wonder Woman has...

Regardless of costume, however, we have really only got two choices as far as Miss Annabelle is concerned. Even further, more tiresome work on the fences (which will need to be done regardless, but this makes it an immediate necessity), or...Miss Annabelle joins Master Willie as 'freezer bait'.

Lest you think I am coldhearted, bear in mind, we've had her for almost a year now (11 mos). She's lived a very nice life out here. Lots of clean water, fresh air, and good native grass pasture. She even was granted a 24 hr stay with the neighboring stud bull...only nothing has happened as result, it appears (if it has, she's acting convincingly *not* pregnant).

Personally, I'd be more than happy to trade her off as a beef cow (she is probably 1/2 Angus) for a good Jersey, Brown Swiss, or Dexter cow. We've got Willie (Annabelle's pasture mate, confidant, and steer extraordinaire) for the freezer. She'd be ready to butcher now, and some farmer wanting to rid himself of a dairy cow, could have a freezer full of grass fed, as organic as we could get her, beef. That being said, however, we bought her to breed her and make a milker out of her (being 1/2 Angus and 1/2 Jersey, well, we had our hopes). That, however, may not be, and if we cannot find some sort of accomodation that we are all happy with, well, it will be a very very very long spring/summer.

If you know anyone in southern Oklahoma or north Texas, looking to find some grass fed beef still on the hoof, and is willing to trade off a good solid, youngish dairy cow for it, well, email me. I think that we can come to some sort of arrangement.

Cause right now? I'd much rather have fresh from the cow milk, than more hoofprints in my yard.


  1. We have no cow, but would be happy to split the butchering costs with you.

  2. That, m'dear, is an idea. Another idea I have had, is to 'pasture' cows for other people. We have excellent native grass pasture. They buy the cow (there are always cows for sale down here), get them onto the property...and let them eat. When they are ready to butcher, they get taken to the butcher south of here, who does vacuum sealing/packing, and enter into the world of 'Freezer Bait'.

    Of course, I don't know how much that would all cost, if anyone in the city would be interested (depending on how old the steer is, they can be real cheap, or several hundred dollars), or not. But this way, folks could come out and visit "their" steer--say "boy, he's gonna look on my grill!" and go home.

    The ultimate in low-maintenance cattle care...lol. We've got loads of fresh water, sunshine, fresh air, etc. Two cows don't eat the pastures down enough. We could probably put 2-3 more on it, without overburdening the grasses, esp if we did rotational grazing...