i love my minicows.
we milk them and make cheese from August until Christmas. Once a year we take one of the castrated males to the butcher and we put the meat in the freezer to eat year round.
meat, milk, and muscle - these Dexters are triple use cows - we could also be training our calves as oxen to help us pull downed trees from the woods to be cut and split for our winter wood.
i heard my mama cow mooing tonight in a way that made me worry. I said to the neighbor - i think something's wrong. She was due to deliver any day - and I worried that she was having difficulties, despite the fact that Dexters are notoriously easy birthers. Sure enough when I got to the back field, the mama was running backand forth and her new born calf was on the other side of the electric fence, in the vegetable garden.
I ran in the barn to turn off the fence and returned to find ... nothing! no calf... just an upset cow, with a woefully distended utter. We called in the reinforcements - friends, kids' friends, friends of friends. We scoured the woods for a new, wobbly, and absconded baby cow. We had enough people searching for him, that eventually one of the Burr and Burton Varsity Lacrosse players almost tripped over him, sleeping in the grass.
After we woke him up and because the fence was now off, he slipped through the exterior fence and was gone once again. The little beast was only a few hours old and was causing 20 adults and kids to march through the woods of East Dorset, looking for the calf.
Well, he's back in the field now and his mother is not allowing him to be outside of 3 feet of her swollen udder. We all had pizza to celebrate. Even though we have regular jobs during the day, it is nice to know that our friends will come out to help us with our farm, including the newborn animals, when we need it. It kind of makes you imagine that Vermont once had a society where people really felt connected to each other.
Just one more benefit of the minicow. meat, milk, muscle, and community!