Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Welcome to the Farm

You've all heard me talk about the farm and all the normal farm stuff we do. We raise the normal crops, like corn, wheat and soybeans and the normal animals like beef cattle. But my own little claim to fame are the unusual animals that I take in and claim as pets. No, my husband still hasn't convinced me that farm animals cannot be pets and I doubt he ever will. 


The very first unusual animal we had on the farm were the fainting goats. I love these animals! No, they don't really faint. Their true name is Myotonic goats, named for the condition that causes their muscles to contract when they get startled. Although, my goats will also 'faint' when they're excited, especially when they see me coming with the feed buckets! 

Baby Fainting Goats - Aren't they cute?

The next unusual animal I bought wasn't really planned. I was at a goat auction with some friends of mine and they brought in this poor little miniature donkey. His hooves were so overgrown that I don't know how he was even able to walk. The auctioneer kept lowering the starting bid because no one wanted him. Then I heard some guy behind me say he'd take him home and try to ride him - and this was not a small gentleman! So, I bid, and purchased this little guy named Jasper for $30! I called my husband, after the fact, and asked if he cared if I bid on a miniature donkey - it was only $30! He knew what I was up to and said, "You already got him, didn't you." My hubby knows me so well! :) 

Jasper when we first bought him.

His poor hooves were completely overgrown!

We got Jasper all cleaned up and our vet estimated that he was at least 10 years old, but probably even older. Jasper and I had some issues those first few days, especially when he would try to kick me, but we eventually worked through them and every time he would see me come out of the house or see my car pull up in the yard, he'd just start hollering for me! Unfortunately, we lost Jasper last year, but I'm glad we were able to give him some good years where he was completely spoiled!  
After he had been with us for a few months!

My next unusual purchase was our Highland cow. I had wanted some Highland cattle for a while and there was a local exotic animal auction that had a yellow Highland cow listed on their sale bill. Hubby wasn't too thrilled with the idea, but he said if I paid for it on my own he'd go along with it. So, I went to our banker and asked for a small line of credit to buy 1 cow. Remember, we live in farm country so no one ever gets a loan to buy just 1 cow. My banker gave me quite the look, but he thought the cow looked interesting so he let me borrow the money.

Except for eBay, I have never bid on anything at any auction my whole life, but I was determined to get that cow. It came down to a bidding war between me and some big ol' rancher. I ended up winning, after getting some dirty looks from him and his friends. Called hubby and brought the cow, now named Harriette, the Hairy Cow, home where she roamed with the fainting goats and Jasper.

Harriette & Jasper

Don't let the horns scare you, she's actually pretty gentle. The only thing I ever have to worry about with her is that she gets really excited when it's feeding time and starts bouncing all over the place. You have to be careful around a cow with a 6 foot hornspan that likes to jump around! Harriette eventually had to be moved in with the rest of our cattle after she used her horns one too many times to pick up and get out of the fences I had set up for the goats and Jasper. We would get calls from neighbors saying that they saw our 'Yak or whatever the heck that thing is' in a pasture or field. She's still in with the rest of our cattle and has even produced a couple Angus/Highland cross calves.

So there you have it, some of my unusual, but lovable, farm animals. Now, if I could just talk hubby into letting me get that camel...


  1. Thank you for sharing your life with us! I've always wanted to farm! Must be wonderful! :)

  2. ROFLOL... I'm going to this post up to share with my mother. We have a small farm and raise chickens for meat and eggs, pigs, turkeys and ducks. My biggest accomplishment this year has been hatching out several batches of chicks and 1 turkey.

    We're really wanting a cow, but need to get fencing first. As for me, my dream has always been to get a lamb. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm inspired by your cow! :)

  3. @Emily - it really is pretty darn great. :)

    @Southern - glad you liked it! :) I did have a whole flock of chickens, until one of our dogs started picking them off one by one. She never wanted to eat them, but they were pretty fun to chase around and catch! I really miss those farm fresh eggs!

    I never tried, but Highland cows are supposedly really good dairy cows, as well as for beef. If you ever do get a cow, I definitely suggest the Highland - you just need something better than a cheap electric fence like I had. :) They are smaller than regular cattle, very easy to take care of and so nice and gentle. :)

  4. Oh my gosh. I wish I had that hairy cow! And those goats are hilarious! Too bad I live in the city. I think I'm a country girl at heart! :)

  5. I love goats! My sister had La Manchas, and that milk was sooo sweet. They were cute little things, too.