Moo B!@&#!! Feed Me Some Hay!- The Story of a Know-Nothing Twit and His 27 Cows
The Great Geauga County Fair is the best county fair in all of America. You can disagree, but you would be wrong, and I will fight you. The whole family goes every year. We binge on food that is said by science to be be bad for you, we ride rides that are likely to kill you, and until recently we wandered through the barns of animals looking at things that we knew nothing about.
This year was different, though. This year we have a farm--a real farm. Like, with a barn (Barn story coming). We had goats, and chickens, and turkeys. But those cow barns, they were still foreign to us. We strolled through the massive animals, looking at them with admiration and trepidation. "Hey Furb, that's a milk cow," one of us would say--as if we were the definitive expert on that cow. "Look at that black one, he's pretty," we'd say about another as we walked by the Grand Champion. That was just about all the inspiration I needed to do something absurd.
"I'll be right back," I said as I ran off to talk to one of the beef cow farmers. The minutia from there is unnecessary. Let's just say that from that moment, I knew I was getting Scottish Highland cows. The family knew I was getting highlands. Like watching a train wreck, they were helpless to stop me.
In my usually way, where I pace myself, move slowly and deliberately and don't take any risk at all, I started the ground work of the Soluna Cattle Ranch. I found a 25 acre, cattle ready pasture (because those just happen to be available around every corner), I bought corral gates, a cattle chute, a stock trailer and voila. I'm a self-declared rancher--evidenced by my music selection for the next month. I was, however, missing one key thing....cows.
"How many cows will I get?" I asked myself, "Two or three? Sure. But wait, I need some traditional beef cows, cuz beef." So I started the search. And like the proverbial Meemaw playing Candy Crush, I became addicted. First, it was three highlands, but then wait, how about nine. And then it was six bred cows, but how about twelve. Steers, I need steers...how does six sound? I was like the damn Little Mermaid swirling in an ocean of mud and rain singing to myself, "I want moooooooooooore!!!!" So just like that, 27 cows had become the newest residents of Soluna Farm and Ranch.
For those counting at home, we went from knowing not a flaming thing about raising beef cattle to successfully navigating the coldest, rainiest November on record with 27 cows that came from 4 different farms, who now, by all accounts love their new life in just under 3 months. Moderation....we do it well around here.