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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Can you tell the difference?

Are both these cows healthy?

I have a woman in the neighborhood that would tell you that the bottom cow is being starved to death, and we must intervene. I would say that both these cows are indeed healthy.

Dairy cattle, like the Brown Swiss above, are slimmer than beef cattle, like the Angusrind at top.  

My darling Murrial has become a point of debate.

The woman has decided to take it upon herself to tell my neighbors that she is going to confront me about starving my cows. Now how did this come about?

She was visiting the bad dog neighbors, and has awesome eyesight, as she relaid to good neighbor's mother, that she was concerned that my cows were not being fed. She said she could see large bales, but the cows had no access to them, and that they looked skinny to her.

Only ones that would look skinny are Murrial and Courage. (And Courage is going through a lanky growth stage right now). The Kerries are as fat as a cow (haha).  After I received several calls from neighbors about this woman, not about my cows and their worry (interesting) but about this woman, I waited for her to show up and confront me. The longer I waited, the angrier I became.  As you all know I have sacrificed a lot to make sure they had food. We did get some light stuff, however they have never gone without food. Ever.

The house where she spied on us from, doesn't have a full view of my fields, she spread the rumor that there was no feed out there. My house and barn block the view to where the hay ring is at this moment. 

I got the calls on Sunday. No one has said anything to me about the condition of my cattle, as they can all see the feed, and know this woman is off her rocker. She still has yet to come over. And I have a feeling that even though my neighbors told her that they were milking cows, she will be calling Animal control on me.  I am tempted that if she does, to pass the information on to them, that she has too many horses allowed by law on her property. But I probably won't. I have done nothing wrong, and county is more than welcome to look. 

The lesson I guess, make sure you know your breeds of cattle before you spread accusations. Because it makes you look bad in people's eyes.

Maybe even, if you are concerned, offer some friendly help. Find out what is happening.  It's better than spreading rumors.


Unknown said...

I'm gonna help you out! Tweet! Tweet! LOL

Phelan said...

At first I thought you were talking about your twit blocking. I was getting all excited that I could block her, lol.

I was telling husband (as I forgot to add ts to the post) that Monday we moved a new bale out, we do this every 5 days, and that she will be taking credit for it. ~sigh~

Carolyn said...

Sometimes it's just impossible (and a waste of time) to deal with the truly ignorant / busy-body types. And try not to let it steam you up as she'll get hers.....even if it's just a casual comment to the animal control officer about the legal number of equines or other animals allowed on a property.

Tammy said...

So can you put a sign out (tasteful of course) that says "The lady who lives at ### is a big fat nosy liar."

Phelan said...

I'm no longer angry, just annoyed that she would spread lies like that.

We live in an area dominated by beef herds. So I can understand and appreciate her concern. However she should have asked us rather than telling neighbors that I was purposely withholding food from them.

Phelan said...

Tam, I thought about it, lol. But my neighbors seem to already know what is actually going on here. I guess this post was more about know what you are talking about before causing problems. I have heard of greyhound owners being turned in, and those with ageing or rehabilitating horses being turned in as well. It causes a lot of headaches and wastes time. With such easy access to information about different types of breeds and what they should look like, this shouldn't happen.

Tammy said...

My husband's aunt did this to me about breastfeeding... she thought it was a bad idea, so she told everyone in the family that he was "skinny as a rail and hadn't gained an ounce in 2 months" which was silly, he'd doubled in weight since birth and neither she (nor anyone on that side of the family) had ever visited or seen him before anyway. They all started visiting one at a time, demanding to see the baby and bringing me cans of formula and clucking their tongues. I was infuriated!! Good for you taking the high road though... I was young, I didn't :)

Heather said...

I don't know why anyone would think it was their business...i'm sorry you have to deal with such bs. Hopefully she was just having a bad day and felt the need to be a gossip to try and make herself feel better. And your cows look perfectly healthy to me.

Lamb said...

Phelan, honey, the world is populated with a LOT of busy-body idiots, and, unfortunately, we all run into them once in a while. I had a neighbor call animal control on me here because "the buck goat was MOLESTING a younger goat".
Yes, my buck goat was humping another younger male goat. They do that shit. They are GOATS!
I got a visit from animal control and a deputy that checked out the animals and thought they were getting excellent care & feeding. Of course, the buck goat decided to hump his pen companion while he had an audience! The deputy said "Yup, that's some Class A ass rapin' going on there!"...and everyone laughed their butts off.
My neighbor was informed that the goats were fine and behaving normally and to not make any more bogus reports.

Phelan said...

Lamb, bwahahahaha!!!

Tammy said...


Judy said...

Does she live in a McMansion? Is she a wannabe cowboy? Owns the truck, trailer, cowboy hat, and horses but not the ranch. And with you not looking redneck! And Oh My God you ride a motorcycle! Don't you just love class warfare BS! Hang in there kiddo, eventually she will run her mouth to or about the wrong person and get her comings-up.

Phelan said...

Funny enough Judy, she has had issues with our bikes in the past. And she lives in a double wide :D

It's snowing right now, I am happily stuck inside.

LauraH said...

Screw that, Phelan! If she does call animal control on you, politely show the AC people your animals, wait for them to make a judgement, and then, casually throw into the conversation something along the lines of you being worried about her horses (but play dumb that you know it was her who called).

If she is breaking the law (by having too many horses), and being a nosy neighbor, let her have it, but do it legally, and with a smile on your face.

Murrial looks great for a dairy cow (I assume that is a recent picture you posted of her). Anyone who knows cattle at all knows that the larger breed dairy animals are bony to begin with. Jerseys, Guernseys, Brown Swiss, Holstein, they are all "bony" all the time.

This woman has too much time on her hands. Tell AC about her horses, I bet she won't have a minute to herself after that.

If, however, she comes and talks to you, it might be helpful to have an address of a local dairy, so this woman can compare your animals to the mass-production milkers that we get our store bought milk from. At least then she'll start harassing them, and stop harassing you.


mallardhen said...

The other thought is she is one of those who will not tell you herself but tell others in the hope they will do her dirty workfor her when it makes one of them look like a fool she can tell the world she didn't have anything to do with it. I think that people like her are the ones who are doing just what she is acusing you of doing. Obiviously you and your neighbors know what is going on she seem to be the only one in the dark. Maybe she needs to get a life.

Odysseus said...

Gotta love neighborhood busybodies.

My high-school friend's family had a Guernsey who could support bottle raising 5 calves at once(almost constantly) and she never looked much fatter than your Swiss example.

CoolChange©© said...

You did take the high road. But I sure understand your frustration.

Phelan said...

This isn't a very recent picture, just the one I had on hand as it is raining and snowing here. She is slightly thinner looking now than in this picture, as in that pic she had just calved and has a bit of that weight on. She is still in the weight range required of her to be healthy. I was getting concerned during the heat, because she ha lost a bit of weight. But I am at times over dramatic about my girls.

However, all are healthy and look like they should.

Missed you too. Guess I am not on hiatus, but on intermittent :D

Mallardhen, She can't see us from her house, so she is indeed in the dark. I can only assume that because we are in beef country she has never been close to anything dairy, and has only seen the pregnant black and whites on the milk commercials.

Interesting you should mention that she could be doing what she's accusing me of, because her b-i-l lives behind horse neighbor, and he was there the other day asking if he could buy their hay. And I have been hearing stories from neighbors about how she has harassed them about their pasture grasses being too high.

Odysseus, exactly. Murrial is a off shoot of the Brown Swiss. She will not have very much fat on her, ever. Even though she is a dual purpose breed, her line was bred to keep the more dairy aspects of the line.

CoolChange, I so want to go pound on her door though. Educate her a bit.

TransFarmer said...

This puts a burr in my shorts when I hear this type of stuff. I would put some literature about dairy cows and beef cows and the difference between them in an invite to come talk to you. I'd also put in a copy of the ordinance about how many horses and highlight that passage. Show her around and let her know things are fine. Also let her know that pasture grass has to be high for cows because they use their tongues to grab the grass. Um, and hay is tall grass. Take the opportunity to educate her. It's the high road, gets everything out in the open and settles any issues. Neither side builds up anger or goes around talking about the udder (sorry, couldn't help myself with a bad pun).

DW said...

LOL your cows are NOT starving to death, lol im sorry but person don't know bleeeep about cattle obviously.

FrancisR said...

Hoo busybodies, i never encountered them, or maybe i just ignore rumors. If people can ignore them then there won't be rumors coming from them. That's what i believe anyways, life's too busy for me to mind busybodies i guess maybe that's why i never notice them. Anyways, love your blog! I'm growing my own organic garden and found great tips on this site: I have relatives taking care of cattle as well and from my point of view, your Murrial looks healthy indeed.

Dan The Gardener said...

I love animals.... I love to chase cows. So I can't tell you the difference 'cause all are lovely :-)

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