We’re officially on the hunt for a second cow! (Yes, we’re crazy.)
My dad and his wife, Janice – who started this whole farm venture to begin with when they bought us five goats when we thought were only looking for two! – recently offered to help us get a second cow. This is a HUGE blessing, in so many, many ways, not the least of which is the fact that with two cows, we’ll never have a dry season and we’ll be able to make a lot more of the staples we’re still having to buy occasionally (sour cream, cheese, etc.)
Since we have a little time before we have to dry Lucy off, we’re searching far and wide for a cow who meets all of our needs. On our list of things we’re looking for (in order of importance):
1.) Tests positive for the A2/A2 gene (not negotiable.)
2.) Has been raised on a grass-only diet (not absolutely critical, but definitely preferable.)
3.) Is currently pregnant, preferably due for a Spring calving
4.) Is currently in milk
5.) Is under 6 years of age
Recently, we found a family in near Paintsville, KY (about five hours away) who has a small herd of Jersey cows and I’ve been trying to get ahold of her for a few weeks now. I figured it was a HUGE longshot (and still is, I’ll explain in a sec) but almost everything about her cows is exactly what we’re looking for – including the fact that they’re producing very well on a grass-only diet. This is pretty important because (as we’re learning) it can be very, very difficult to transition a grain-fed cow to a grass-only diet many cows can never fully make the transition. Also, as an incredible added bonus, all of her cows are hand milked which will make things easier for me and for the older kids who will be milking with me.
But as perfect as these cows are, there were two problems with them. First, she’s five hours away from us and to get a cow from her would require having them deliver the cows to us (hugely expensive.) Second, none of her cows were tested for the A2 gene, so if we wanted one, we’d have to test them all and we’d have to pay for those tests (and hope that one came back positive!)
Well, we finally made contact and it turns out that an Amish farmer in Paduca, KY is also interested in them and has actually paid to have them all tested… Not only that, but we are actually on the way from her farm to Paduca. So it might be that IF this man doesn’t want all of the cows who test positive for the A2 gene, we might be able to work out a delivery arrangement with him, AND we won’t have to pay for any of the testing!
It’s still a bit of a longshot, I have no idea how many cows he wants to buy (and we really need him to buy up all the expensive ones, and leave us with the least expensive one!!!), but maybe it will happen? We’re praying so!