Brownie was born to a mother that could not provide nourishment for her on the Skedee farm. She, also, was joined by another calf that was born to the same fate. However, they kept each other company in their orphaned world. They had a really hard time making at first, as they both were weak and sick to begin with. At the farm, they were fed by bottle. They stayed in a horse trailer with hay to protect them from the elements at first, but then turned into the pasture to join the other cattle. They would come to the farm house for their feeding faithfully and then return to their place in the herd. As I was visiting the Skedee farm, I watched them with delight. I inquired if I could use one of them with our New Life Trails animals at the Trails while it was small. We had many other animals, but the family did not seem complete without a cow. The van that I do all my traveling in was a good substitute for a trailer while the animals were small. We loaded her in a the back and headed to her new home.
She was an absolute delight and the children fell in love with her. At that time she was brown, so we name her Brownie. Although later, she turned black. She has been the highlight of the petting zoos and even visited the children at Northeast Baptist Church on the Wednesday night program. There, she let the children sit on her back which was an experience that would be hard to ever duplicate. The staff had helped me load her into the van, but they didn’t go with me to the church. I found myself in a dilemma when it was time to leave as she was to big for me to load now. I sat on sidewalk by the car for some time trying to figure out what to do. Too embarrassed to ask for help, I called my son and he came to the rescue. We didn’t have a trailer yet, and I could only transport the animals in the van.
When it was time for Brownie to return to the Skedee farm, I had become too attached to her to give her back, so New Life Trails purchased her and she became a permanent part of the family.
Her stay at the Trails was a delight until we acquired a llama. It was a male and it delighted in chasing and biting on her. It did this so much that she jumped the fence and went to a neighboring pasture. We penned the llama, but once she jumped the fence and found other cows, she did it again. This happened 3 times. Each time I would stabilize the fence, but she would jump right over it. Even though, I was doing my best to secure her pen, a neighbor had cowboys come chase her, and take her to the sale barn. It was a week before I found out. I’ll never forget that it cost $130 to get her out of jail! She looked tired and sick when I picked her up. It broke my heart. My son help me build a high pen in the paddock area to keep her in until she got well.
After she was back on her feet, we took her to a farm of a lady in our church to be with other cows. However, the message we left for the lady; she did not receive, and she thought a neighbors cow was in her pasture. So, they came with 4 wheelers and got her. We were afraid that they would sell her, so we frantically worked to get her back. She stayed there until it was time for her to have a calf, and we brought her back to the Trails.
We weren’t sure that she was pregnant. Several said that she was just fat, but a month after she came back; we found her with a calf one morning. We were soooo excited. It looked as though it was just born. I was so proud of her.
My ambition was to make a milk cow out of her after her calf finished nursing. We will see how that works!!!! However, she does let us practice milking her!!!!
While Brownie and her calf friend were together as orphans, they were given a bottle for supplement. However, they needed the nurturing of sucking more. As nature would have it, they sucked on each others belly buttons. Because they did this, Brownie, has a belly button that hangs down. It makes her look like a steer instead of a cow. When I would tell people that we wanted to have a calf from her, they would look at me funny thinking that she was boy.
When we brought her to New Life Trails, she was used to having a friend. It wasn’t long and she picked another animal for her friend, and surprisingly, it was a pig. Wilbur, the pig!!! We had made a shed for the winter, and that is where they slept. Brownie would be laying in the hay, and under the hay would be Wilbur. It was the cutest thing!! When it would start to get dark, they would both head to the shelter to bed!!!