I’m happy to say Finniat has arrived safely and is adjusting well to her new home. She arrived safely Wednesday morning. We had moved some things around so that the trailer could be backed right up to the barn door. We weren’t sure how well she would lead, and no one ever wants to get into a tug of war in the muddy barnyard with an overexcited cow. The phone rang, and Mark, who was driving the trailer down for us, let us know everything was going fine and he’d be there in half an hour. He was able to find our farm without any problems and back the trailer into the space between the silo and the milk house. I can’t back the lawn tractor with a small cart on it, so that is always impressive to me! Because she’s not very tall, there was no sign that there was a little cow in the trailer until the doors were opened, and there was Finniat, looking very calm for all the excitement of getting on a trailer and moving to a new place without any of her herd mates. Mark untied her and led her off the trailer and right into the barn with no more difficulty than taking a large dog for a walk. It was great! We had the chance to ask him any other questions about Dexters that had popped up since we’d been at their farm, mostly about rebreeding her in the summer. I was totally amazed when he mentioned the possibility of loaning out a bull, as trailering our cow and her calf or expecting someone else to milk her just didn’t seem like the route we wanted to take. We had though about taking the cow to the bull, but working it the other way around hadn’t crossed our minds! So if anyone is interested in Dexter cattle and is looking for a reputable breeder, especially one who would take the time to answer any questions from those new to the breed, I would heartily recommend Mark & Edlyn Muir at Muirstead farm in Union City, Pa. It has been a real treat dealing with them.
So Finniat is here, and we decided it would be best if she spent the first day or two in the barn. That way she could get used to us and her new home before turning her loose in the field with the other animals. It really is better if your newly bought cow comes back after you open the barn door that first time! Our beef cows, Happy, Louie & Little Buzz, must have smelled her, as they came in to the lower part of the barn and were mooing back and forth to Finniat. She greeted them as well. So we hope to get her out this afternoon and take advantage of the beautiful, sunny, warmer-than-normal weather we’ve been having. In the meantime, we’ve been down to the barn, checking on her, like new parents. What is there to check on? We make sure she isn’t tangled up in her tie rope, hasn’t spilled her water bucket, and hasn’t slipped her halter off and gotten loose and made a mess of the barn, but mostly just that she’s still bright-eyed and has a healthy appetite. I think she loves seeing me come into the barn, as I’m a sucker and I feel bad she’s all alone inside, so I take time to pet her and talk to her a bit, and then give her another armful of hay and offer her an animal cookie. She’s still not sure about the cookie thing yet, but I’m sure she’ll come around once she tastes one. The hay is definitely to her liking though, so I think we’re off to a good start!