– Goodbyes Are Bittersweet –
– Who Are the Coos of Elm Hollow? –

Goodbyes Are Bittersweet

Big Ridge Gretel has served as matriarch of VooDoo Magic’s fold for many years, but there is a social order in every Highland fold that necessitates changes. This beautiful girl is shown here with one of her beautiful babies, Big Ridge Fallon. It is going to be sad to see Gretel leave Elm Hollow, but she is going to a wonderful new home at Trails End Farm.

The transition will be hard until Gretel realizes that among her pasture mates will be her baby girl, Fallon and her granddaughter, Elm Hollow’s Jana. Yes, cows do remember their offspring and they do have friends in the pasture, so this reunion will be a happy one.

Why the need to leave at all? I mentioned the social order within the fold. Just like in other groupings of animals, someone is in charge. Gretel has ruled this fold, but again, just like with other groups of animals, there are challengers to that lofty position. With cows, as younger, stronger cows with alpha personalities mature, they will make a move to take over the lead position. We had a young challenger last year, LiTerra Nadia was successful in her bid for lead of Elm Hollow’s fold.

For a while, Gretel did hold her own, but the contests began to get quite violent, so for Gretel’s protection, we separated the fold temporarily letting each one have half the cows to lead. What we expect was that Gretel would then refuse to mate. We are hoping that this move to a whole new location will sooth her and she will again be her old self with a beautiful calf each year.

Red Highland cow named Gretel with her young calf nursing

Who are the Coos of Elm Hollow?

I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted to have a brief bio on each of the cows. After all, the bulls have their pictures all over the webpage, and the cows are just taken for granted. Cows are people too! Elm Hollow currently has 30 breeding age cows. 3 of them have not yet been bred, but will be in the spring.

That means that we have 27 cows that have been exposed to bulls for the calving season coming up (with the first calf due to drop on October 23!) At least two of the 27 who have been exposed, we are certain will not be calving because they have very young calves at their sides already.

The math says then that we should have 25 calves. What an exciting prospect! Keep fingers crossed for a heifer year! Without our Coos, where would we be?

Meet the Coos

Closeup of face of Highland cow named Anne with a big smile on her face

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