Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Dexter Cow Update
Four months have passed (almost) since Bernadette and Zena came to the ranchette and joined the family. It has been a learning curve, as when we get any new species. I always wanted cows though and I enjoy these minis very much. I have gotten used to the mooing and the low sounds they make to each other. They have gotten used to me, and I can make some physical contact.
I had to find a hoof trimmer, and that was an ordeal in many ways. No one wants to come to Boise to trim one small cow. But eventually someone did - and it was traumatic for the cow and for me. She gets flipped on her side, she is scared, and it is not extra gentle. I did all I could for her and next year I will know more what's going on. It's annual, thank goodness. It is much harder than goat or horse hoof trimming. And those who told me cows don't need trimmed were lying.
We also accomplished annual vaccines, though it took two tries. Turns out a big animal with horns who does not want a shot and is still afraid of people is kind of hard to work with. I did eventually get them calm and keep them safe but I also elected not to get a shot that requires an ear tattoo. It's needed if they travel but I don't see the cows going anywhere unless they live into my retirement. I think that is not going to happen but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Again, far more work to vaccinate the cows than the other animals.
Zena is almost as big as her mom now, and still nursing in addition to eating hay. I'd think she'd get a crook in her neck but she hasn't. I'm going to let mom wean her when ready - I am in no rush and it makes no different to me so let nature take it's course.