(Alternately Titled Sarah the Dream Cow)
I’ve loved horses for as long as I can remember. Cows? Not so much. I’d had over-the-fence encounters with cows, some good, some not-so-good, and hadn’t quite made up my mind about them in general.
But several years ago I began to have an interest in having a cow. I mean, wouldn’t it be a lot like having a horse but, in the end, you get milk? And cream? And butter?
But with just under two acres fenced in we didn’t have enough land and we didn’t have enough grass…
And the biggest reason? I didn’t have enough knowhow.
With my 49th birthday looming, I was becoming more and more determined not to let fear stand in my way of pursuing the things that were on my heart. I began researching cows, different breeds and what their specific needs would be. There was so much information to sift through, and the learning curve was so steep.
But about a year later, at the beginning of 2018, I stumbled on a unique and rare breed, with eyes to positively drown in.
The miniature Jersey.
Beautiful and much like their full-height counterpart, the miniature Jersey matures around 38″-42″ and requires significantly fewer resources to maintain. It is said that, compared to a full-sized Jersey, minis require 1/3 of the feed, 1/3 of the land, and produce just 1/3 of the poop. But 75% of the milk.
And have you ever seen a miniature Jersey? Gah. I was honestly hooked as soon as I saw those doe-like eyes, chunky legs and diminutive stature. The biggest hindrance at this point, besides the difficulty in even finding one for sale, was convincing my husband. Because, as mentioned above, miniature Jerseys are rare. And hard to find. And, you guessed it, not cheap.
After collecting more information, and speaking to several people with minis to sell, I was able to go to him with some valid reasons for thinking getting one of these little beauties might be worth it.
2. Future calves
4. Having a storybook animal traipsing all over our pasture
5. Ice cream
Also, I was turning 50 and kinda sorta wanted nothing but a cow.
My search had narrowed to several very well-respected breeders of well-bred, well-handled family milk cows and one specifically helped explain to me why we, as complete milking rookies, really needed to find a cow that was no beginner. This made the search even harder as most of the animals for sale were young calves or just bred for their first calf (read: never been milked).
Most folks want to hang onto their cows, especially the well-seasoned and good producing ones, and so the waiting and watching and praying continued.
In early May, after countless hours spent online, visiting a mini Jersey farm, numerous conversations with breeders and those in the know, I reached out to one of the most well-respected breeders in the country and asked, one more time, if she had anything that might work for us. She sent me pictures of yearling heifers and one lovely cow with just three quarters, but nothing that made me swoon. And how I wanted to swoon! Then she sent me a picture of a red and white painted cow. She had the fullest winter coat; I could hardly tell it was a cow and not a teddy bear. But her eyes…. under all that hair, they were simply lovely.
The breeder said this cow was well-bred, had been a 4-H calf and was pregnant with her third calf, basically a seasoned professional. BUT she had already been promised to someone else. The breeder went on to say that, if we were really *really* interested, she would be willing to ask this other buyer (who was also very seasoned cow owner) if they would be willing to consider buying a younger heifer instead of this cow, understanding that we desperately needed the experience of this cow and the other buyer did not.
I asked her for more pictures, something without her thick winter coat on, and she sent me a picture of the cutest cow I’ve ever seen.
I fell completely and totally in love – and determined to do anything in my power to make her mine. Most of all, I prayed that the Lord would bring the perfect little family cow into my life, whether it was this cow or not.
After talking at length to Chris about her and, I’m quite sure, him seeing how ridiculously smitten I was with her, he agreed. Then we told the breeder we wanted her and we waited. She was headed out of town and would not be able to contact the other buyer until the next week. More waiting.
On May 21 I received a short message from the breeder via Facebook…
“Sarah is yours!”
It felt like a dream come true. On July 21st she arrived, delivered to the top of our driveway at 11 o’clock at night, in the middle of an absolute deluge. All the way from Nebraska.
And even more beautiful in person than I could have imagined.
But isn’t that just like our God? He gives infinitely more that we can ask or imagine. It was a birthday gift unlike any other.
To Him be the glory.