I find venting my frustration and emotions through blogging helps, alot. Today I had the morning milking off. Felt good to sleep in til 6. Got alot of house work done, I can see the kitchen sink again! Almost forgot it was there. Everything was going well, that is, until my husband David came in for lunch. When I asked how the morning milking went he just replied "ok." From the tone of his voice I could tell something was wrong. In a quick motion he wrapped me in a big hug then let it out: My cow, Adela had died.

When you see my picture on here with a jersey cow, that's her mother. Adela was her first calf born 4 days before our wedding. She had just freshened 2 weeks ago and gave me another heifer calf. We thought she would be a kicking mule in the parlor. She wasn't. She was stubborn, as I had made her a pet, halter broker her. So for the first few milkings I led her into place in our parallel parlor. But she learned very quick. Soon she was in in the first 2 lines of her group.

Today, I learned she had died last night due to fumes from the pit under the slatted floor in the barn. The manure was being agitated to pump and then be applied to surrounding fields. This happened almost a month ago, we lost a cow to the same thing, but it happened on the hottest day yet this summer, it was 102 degrees and the pit was full. We thought the mixture of the heat and fumes did her in. Last night was way cooler and the level of the pit wasn't as high. How could this have happened? Why her? Out of the 65 cows in that barn, why my Adela? She was an awesome cow. Sired by one of the best. I had people offer me thousands for her as a heifer when we were in Virginia. Her Jersey attitude and curiosity was just another feature I loved. Worst of all, this is my first cow family. Growing up on a big commerical dairy I never had the chance to have one. It hurts a lot to lose one so soon. I think it would have been different if she'd died of old age. But a freak thing like this? Has anyone of you heard of or experienced such a thing? I know she's just a cow. But she was MY cow. I've been told not to get too attached. But when you work with them, milk them, day in and day out, they become part of the family, not to mention they ARE your business partners in a sense.

We always thought cows don't recognized their calves after their calves have freshened. Adela was in the same barn as her mother, Piper. I have a picture on my phone, of the 2 of them side by side in the parlor and another of them in neighboring stalls looking at each other, as if asking "is there a coincidence we look alike?" And yesterday, after I dried Piper off, I put her on the halter and was walking her to the dry cow barn. As we rounded the outside of the barn guess who came running up as if to say goodbye? And I let her. Piper nudged me over to her. Little did I know....

Well this did help as I knew it would. The tears have ceased and I am off to wal mart to develop and frame that picutre of them in the parlor together.

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Comment by Troy Lenssen on August 10, 2010 at 7:20am
We all have our "pet" cows. For some reason mine are always the onery ones! Thankfully she gave you daugters to keep 'her' going. Wow I have never heard of fumes from a slat barn killing cattle! You should get a couple BIG fans this week for agitation days.
Comment by Karyn Cassar on August 4, 2010 at 8:06pm
It's always hard when you get attached, even when they're still in utero and get aborted. It's something that always keeps me human. The day I stop shedding tears for the cows, that's the day I don't deserve to have them.
Comment by Kelsey Holter on July 26, 2010 at 10:27am
I remember when I had a steer named Jack (he had a black spot over is left eye... Just like a Pirate... so I named him Jack after Jack Sparrow!) And I knew we were going to have to eventually send him to be harvested. One day, after not being able to make it to his barn for two days, I went down to check on him- only he wasn't there. My parents thought it would be a good idea to send him off without telling me. :( And I also have my own little herd within my family's. And let me tell you I have a very long list of freak 'accidents' that have only happened to my herd. Isn't it odd how they happen? Sorry for your loss! But at least you have a new heifer to look after :)
Comment by Luv Hahn on July 26, 2010 at 8:38am
So sorry to hear about your loss. I can only imagine how you feel. I too have made most of our girls pets & dread that day. My husband says the same thing about getting attached, oh it's so hard not to. I love the picture idea, it sounds wonderful. What a priceless memory.Best wishes & take care.
Comment by Tessa Buratto on July 24, 2010 at 10:37pm
I'm so sorry for your loss... I know how you feel loosing a special animal. I hope that the rest of your herd stays healthy, and things get better with the fumes... Best of luck to you and your husband, hang in there! p.s. I think the picture in the parlor is a great idea! :)


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