Updated: Mar 27
Let me tell you the story of Annabelle, our cow.￼
Before we even moved here, the first project we did it was building one of the paddocks so that we would be able to move our cows over to the new property. The next project would be to start on the house, but the animals had to be first. We brought our cows over and then bought another one from an auction. We had the driver bring her into the fence and unload her next to the hay ring and the cows that were already in the pasture. It was already nighttime by the time he came
though, but we thought that it would be OK and that she would meet the cows and stick around.
The next morning before work kenny came to the house to check on the new cow and couldn’t find her anywhere! ￼ Its’s not a call you wanna get early in the morning stating that a cow can’t be found. ESPECIALLY after you have put up a 5 foot cattle fence so that you never to have to worry about cows getting out. I told him I would be right down where could she possibly go? She had to be in there, or there would be a spot where you could see that she went through. He couldn’t see either so I threw on my clothes and ran down to that property. I started going around the perimeter of the fence and sure enough I saw where she had just walked right out over the top. We searched and searched for her for days. After about three or four days we still couldn’t find her. We stopped at all the neighbors￼￼￼ and put anyone on alert we could think of. We knew no one here, so its nothing like skidding into town sideways making a scene! 😂 HELLO! WE ARE HERE!
About a week went by and No sightings or even an indication she was around. Nothing like letting $600 walk away and be lost. We have so many coyotes around here that I started to lose hope that she would ever get back. I mean, why would she? She didnt know where home was... she hadn’t eaten or met her new herd. As far as she knew she was dropped off in the middle of no where and started walking.
One day we were bringing loads of stuff, moving in and we had a 3 car convoy. Just before our road, coming out of a meadow towards us was the cow! Kenny stopped in the middle of the road and jumped out of his truck. He looked for a rope and could find only a tow strap . Lil kenny and his friend stopped directly behind and they all closed in around the cow. She for the most part was not a problem. I think she was just done with her camping trip and thought the grass must be greener on the other side of that fence. Lil kenny took the cow, wrapped the tow strap around her neck and walked her home! “What ever you do don’t let go!” Kenny had gone ahead and opened the gate! She was home! She was not my favorite cow and I was not really very happy with her, but over time she grew on me.
A couple of years later she had a calf and around that same time someone gave us a calf whose mom had died at birth. We bottle fed her for a month or so and then decided she was big enough to go out in the big fence and we could take her her bottle our there. This way she could be with other cows and the calf and maybe she could join the herd. Shortly after taking her out I went out to feed the calf and she wouldn’t take her bottle! I was so scared she always took her bottle what was wrong with her? I called the vet, and waited what seemed like forever! The long of the short was they said she wasn’t hungry or dehydrated. She said is there another cow in here in milk? I said Annabelle, but I havent seen her pay any attention to the calf much less feed her. She said well I can’t tell you she is sick she seems fine. We watched and waited and we finally saw what was happening. When Annabelle’s calf would eat she would stand for her, but the new calf would sneak in behind and eat off the back 2 teats at the same time and she let her or didn’t know! Annabelle fed and raised the new calf also... even though it wasn’t completely voluntarily.
I have been milking my goats to get enough milk for this little goat. I have formula, but I sure hate to use that if there is an alternative. The first two goats I’m milking are not giving much milk anymore because they have been milking almost a year, but every little bit adds up. The second two goats are the new moms and they don’t have a lot of milk because they are already nursing 2 babies. Needless to say I don’t get much milk for belle.
I had asked kenny to make me a station or place to milk annabelle while she was pregnant so I could train her to come in and stand, but it never got done. Annabelle is an outside cow and tame to walk up to, but never been in a barn or used to being tied... I know that even though she is not a milking cow, I have on other occasions walked up next to her and milked a little out before. I think I could still pull this off and maybe get milk from her to help save another little one..
I asked kenny to help me and at least be there in case I got trampled. We got her into the little building, which was a hard task, and gave her grain. I ran my hand down her side talking to her the whole time... then I squatted next to her talking and started to milk into my little pail. She raised her leg a couple times, but not kicking at me. I think that her back teats are engorged and not getting eaten off from. I moved to the other side repeating the process and milked that side. I only filled my little bucket, but this is enough milk for a couple days for little belle!
Annabelle has by far exceeded all the expectations I ever had of her and she has become my favorite cow. Not once, but twice she has given life to an orphan. ❤️