Monday, December 6, 2010

The Good

Name;  Susan
Age:  15+
Occupation: Family Milk Cow     RETIRED

The moment you step out into the field, you notice that "one of these is not like the other ones."           She stands out like a sore thumb.

She is a dairy cow, not a beef cow.
She is brown, not red.
She is horned, not polled.
Her shoulders wing out.
She is ancient. 

Susan was the devoted milk cow for the family that owns this farm.
When the kids were toddlers this cow came to the farm to supply milk, cheese and butter to the growing family.   As the kids got older and Susan aged beyond the capacity to continue to produce her creamy milk products, the kids made their dad promise to never ship this hard working cow for meat.

So here she is, a stoic monument to the past in a herd that does not appreciate her resume or her longevity.

The higher status cows usually kick her away from the hay rack, so I feed her hay seperately and I bring it to her so she does not have to walk far if she is way out in the field.
She likes it when I bring hay all the way over to her and I like doing it.  Makes me feel like I am honoring a special bovine in a way that they like the best...with food.

I also worried that I had never seen her actually stick her horned head inside the hay rack to eat.   I camped out at the farm last week until I watched her finally amble over to the rack and munch hay with the other low status cows in the herd.

I don't know how old she would be in human years but its easy to see that her legs are starting to give out.  She is also deaf.      I was checking fences one day, whistling as I usually do, when I came up beside her as she grazed. She jumped and attemped to run she was soo startled by my sudden appearance.
Are there hearing aids for cows?

I suspect her eyesight isn't too swell either.

I may have to get one of those special yellow road signs that says "Deaf Cow."

Ms. Susan is a real pasture gem. 

I hope she makes it through this tough Vermont winter.


  1. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to meet some of the others.She looks so sweet!

  2. Awww, I hope she makes it thru the winter too.

  3. I've never seen horns quite like hers. It was kind of them to treat her with such respect. I wonder how many cold winter days there was a face snuggled up to her flank or how many barn kitties stood for milk squirted in their faces. I can envision all the fond memories associated with such a generous old cow.

  4. I love Jersey's, always wanted one. Susan's a pretty girl too! Maybe you could use a horse blanket on her, to help her make it through the winter up there? :)

  5. May the Lord bless you thru your golden years for taking good care of that old girl.

  6. ME TOO!