While wondering about the Benefits of Raising Highland Cattle, I stumbled upon an eponymous article on the matter. Now I’d come to know about them through pictures of cute animals on the internet, like the one below.
That’s a mighty cute cow, by all accounts. Learning more about them, they sound like a good choice for our purposes. The fact that their care regimen sounds just like the goats, it very much seems that we could meet the challenge of raising these animals. They are intelligent and trainable, produce extra creamy milk, and can fend well fort hemselves.
The animals that we keep here have to have a job. Otherwise, having the animal is simply my job, and I have a lot of jobs. So what does a cow do? They graze down areas and enrich it with their manure. They make possible food in the forms of milk, cream, cheese, ice cream, and butter. After a time, they may even serve as beef, though I question the logic of getting a cute cow and aiming for beef, so I’m thinking dairy.
Now putting together a dairy is no simple endeavor. We can keep it simple, just a couple cows, no crazy cheese-making projects, static pastures. Even then, that animal will need milked twice a day, every day. Now I can automate the ducks, give the goats enough food that even they can’t eat it over a few days, fill the cat feeders before we go, but a cow has got to be milked like clockwork. I’m not exactly ready for that, but how to make it happen is still on my mind.
Now that we’re getting some support from our community, it’s putting the idea back on the table for me, even though it’s still just a dream. If I let myself dream on a little further, I see that we can offer campers fresh milk and cream while they’re here. We can offer up ice cream cones to help pass the hot summer days. We can illustrate the difference in the flavor of the butter from one specific cow to the next. Not to mention all the skritches and pictures people would get in with them.
So this dream is on the back burner for now. We would need some more infrastructure, like fencing and frost-free watering, as well as some hired help to make it happen, and all of that is certainly possible. Perhaps next year…