The circle of life

LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin
edited November 2021 in Cattle

We had to put our old milk cow, Ruby, down today. She was 15, a grand old age for a milk cow, and after that long, they become a pet of sorts even if they don't want to come close (to be caught, lol). Their personality just becomes part of the character of the whole farm. She was our longest living pet, beating out our almost perfect elkhound of 13 years.

She had the most crooked nose ever. Haha

She loved life and looked hilarious when she ran because she was happy or excited in her younger days.

She would run you over for chop. You had better expect to move fast. She loved her goodies!

She loved getting brushed in the barn. She would fall asleep when getting milked.

She had a very fast, accurate aim & fire to the side kick...but only if her teats were sore or someone else was milking and my husband was able to be seen too. If he ducked around a wall, she was fine. Otherwise, she stood well.

She gave copious amounts of cream laden milk from 3 teats. 😋 She was an awesome producer.

She was the queen of the pasture for years. Nobody in the pasture ruled over her until the horse came, even then, she didn't want to concede, but that was two queens fighting for power and she met her stubborn match. Challenges were met with gusto.

She tried to steal calves from the others and was persistent, even if she was dry and without a calf. She loved calves and would protect them as if they were her own. She was ultra maternal.

I once said, "BOO" to her for fun and we both jumped a lot...her from me and me from her. Haha She didn't forget that for a couple years. She wouldn't come close to me for that long.

We noticed that she was slowing down this past week, and we were wondering about her ability to stay warm as she had a thick coat, but appeared to be losing weight/not putting on fat, as an old animal will. Fat would be necessary to carry on into winter.

This morning, when the kids went out, they noticed that she had slipped in an odd place (no ice, but most likely tripped on a dead tree) & had gotten her head & legs trapped by the previously fallen dead trees.

By the time they found her, she had started to bloat from not being able to move properly and otherwise was moving her head very little and her ears to listen a little. We have had dogs start to eat dying animals in the past, but she was still untouched. When I saw her, I knew we couldn't save her. The signs were all there.

The kids sawed some of the trees and removed offending pieces. They put straw under her head to try to help her be more comfortable while they waited for their dad to come put her down. (Proud of them!) They were caring for our old gal, doing what they could.

So, I am not sad. We aren't sad. She lived a good life. She will feed our dog and cats for a bit, giving life to them, then we will dispose of the remainder of her carcass. The older kids were learning from her as they cut some meat away. She is still giving joy as they learned some new skills.

I wanted to share this as a tribute to our cow that lived a long and happy life. Thanks, Ruby with the crooked nose! ❤ You were loved and we won't forget you!


  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Aww. She looks so sweet. Sad she has come to the end, But happy she led a great life and will give others life with her passing. Hard to lose a loved one even if they have 4 feet instead of 2. She has earned her rest now. Sending love and prayers of comfort.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 937 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning she’s good-looking. Beautiful and a hard worker. I’m certain your times together had been well-spent :)

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning what a great age for a cow. Yes, they do become part of the family and have their quirky characters. Hope you have a heifer or young cow from that lineage to keep it going.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @JodieDownUnder, unfortunately we didn't. We had wanted to but she stopped "catching" after a while for whatever reason. We kept hoping because she was good, but it wasn't to be. We kept her around anyway because we couldn't part with her.

    We do have younger jerseys that actually have slightly stockier legs and are a really good representation of their breed. We are very happy with them. Both are very young. One had one calf so far & the other lost hers early on. It will be after the third calf where we will find out how much their milk production will settle out at...but I think you know that stuff. Our young jerseys promise good things ahead.

    You know, some freeze their teats really easily and have a tough time in winter. We actually had one that did that. She never grew enough hair on her udder to protect anything. That was awful.

    We've heard of others that were that way. All of our others have grown sufficient hair. That one had some odd other issues going on too. She was just a cow, not one we became fond of. She was just too much trouble. We think it was just poor breeding that affected the quality of the cow, personality included.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,621 admin

    Sorry for your loss, @LaurieLovesLearning. I know how it is to lose an animal, even if it is just a "farm" animal. They can all become members of the family. This one certainly looks the character with her "crooked" nose.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm so sorry she's gone @LaurieLovesLearning. 😔

    But overjoyed to hear that the life she lead was happy and fufilled. And that she is still providing, in her own way, to you and your family.

    She was a good-looking cow, too.😊

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning thank you for sharing about her. She sounds like a blessing. I'm sorry for your loss.

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    What a sweet "cow life story"! Thank you for telling us @LaurieLovesLearning! It sounds like she was a gem.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I am sorry for your loss. I think she is being milked by the angels now and surrounded by all the calfs she could ever want!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    😆 @Cornelius She'd be so happy!