Are you obsessed with cattle? Black and white or a beautiful fawn color, a full-sized dairy cow or a small Dexter—do you love them all? Do you jump on the chance to buy almost any cow print item you find? Do you collect cow pictures and items to put in your house? Do you look for people to talk about cows with? Do you get over-the-moon excited at the thought of purchasing a new cow?
If you answered “yes” to many of these questions … you might be cow-obsessed.
But don’t worry, I’m not here to convert you. In fact, I’m here to help you with your cattle obsession. Stick with me pal, and I’ll give you some suggestions on just how you can feed and grow that obsession.
Here are some fun and wacky suggestions (mixed in with some serious ones) for those longing for the day they can bring their first cow or calf home.
If you love to shop and collect cow-related pieces, why not go skip the mainstream home decor stores and instead hit the flea markets and thrift shops for some unique items? Look for not only actual cow pieces but vintage pictures such as counted cross-stitch scenes.
I have a picture hanging by my kitchen door right now that came from my grandma and features a group of cows on it. Look for something unique and that’s not being sold in mass quantity at a big name store—a piece that not everybody else is putting up a copy of in their home!
Make a Plan
I can be rather chicken-obsessed at times and recently I’ve been enjoying browsing through breeds on a hatchery website while I pick out which ones I hope to order come spring.
When it comes to cattle though, it’s a much larger scale operation than a handful of chickens! It’s best to have a plan in mind before you actually purchase and start raising them. Even if you’re not intending to purchase cattle anytime soon, it can be helpful to at least iron out a few basics of what you’re looking for from your herd. It can be not only fun to daydream about, but the more time you spend processing and planning for it now, the smoother it might hopefully go in the future!
Keep in mind some of these basic questions:
- What is the purpose for your animal? Meat, dairy or even just companionship?
- How many head can you reasonably handle?
- What kind of facilities do you have for them?
- Will they have adequate space to graze?
- What will you feed them?
- How will you doctor and treat them when they fall ill or injured?
Pick a Name
Don’t laugh (okay, fine, laugh if you want to), but keep in mind that when you walk out to the pasture and holler this name, other people may or may not be around you. It might be a good idea to give the name a little extra consideration before you just label your bovine friend with it for the rest of their life on your farm. Of course, it’s also good to wait to fully pick one out until you can look at the animal and really see what fits its personality.
Here are some cow-friendly name suggestions:
Begin Collecting Supplies
Years ago, I was horse crazy. I didn’t even have a horse, but I had old halters and some bits that I had managed to get at a farm auction or somewhere. I had them lined up in an old shed, just dreaming of the day when I could finally have a horse. And you know what? I did eventually get one!
While I don’t know that I ever actually used any of those old pieces, having them around was one way that I could be a little closer to my own horse.
But if you have plans to own cattle in the future, what if you started preparing for them now? Why not start picking up a few supplies here and there at reasonable prices (and maybe even some bargains!)? As you check out local farm auctions or places where farm supplies can be found, keep your eyes open for things like:
- Good feed buckets
- Large halter and lead rope (if needed)
- Fencing supplies
- Calf bottles
- Sorting sticks
Check out the Books
There is so much information to be found in quality livestock books. Even if you just pick a topic that interests you and start reading through it, take some time to educate yourself on things that you don’t fully understand.
Learn the basics. Check out this list for some reading suggestions.
Find a Friendly Cattleman or Homesteader
If you can’t buy a cow right now, see if there’s someone local that would let you come to their ranch or homestead. Get a chance to watch the herd of cattle and ask some questions. Soak in all of the knowledge and experience you can!
One of these days, you might just step out the back door to find your bovine friend grazing contentedly in the back pasture. Until then, keep learning and daydreaming abut cattle. Do your best to make the most of your time now, before the chores start!