I have lived and breathed cows since I was a baby so needless to say, I love cows. Many people will say to me, but a cow is just a cow. No way! Not to me! Each one is special in there own way and some, like this one, can hold a special place in our hearts.
I purchased my first heifer in 1997, AKTU 1G aka Ginger, from my grandparents. My grandparents were one of my biggest supporters of my passion for cattle ranching. They encouraged me in all aspects of ranching since I was a young girl, including giving me the first pick of the replacement heifers in 1997. Ginger was a purebred Horned Hereford and my grandparents top heifer calf that year. She was a thick bodied cow with a moderate frame size. I showed her in 4-H in 1997 and she produced a calf every year on our ranch for 13 years. She always kept me on my toes when she calved each year as she liked her initial bonding time with her calf. As long as we let her bond with her calf for the first few hours, she would then happily let us process and enjoy her calf afterwards.
I wanted to show another heifer in 4-H in 2001; however, I was only allowed to own one cow. So once again, my grandparents being as supportive as they were, let me exchange my cow, Ginger, for the top pick in their replacement heifer pen in the fall of 2000. AKTU 13K was the pick. She was another purebred Horned Hereford heifer and I named her Kassy. Now Kassy was the complete opposite to Ginger. She loved everyone as much as we loved her! 6 year old children could show her in the show ring. She would set herself up and then wouldn’t move a muscle when she knew there was someone new on the end of the show halter. My brother would even ride her bareback like a horse with no trouble at all. She held a very special place in everyones heart on the ranch for 13 years.
The next “special” cow on the ranch was Daisy (KOSR 1D) who was Kassy’s granddaughter. Daisy was shown by my oldest son a few times, she had soft spot for him. She definitely had some spunk when I was on the end of the halter, but she adored William and of course, behaved wonderfully for him. Unfortunately, after two years of breeding, she was unable to get bred but she will never be forgotten as William’s first show heifer.
OBWH 1F, aka Fancy, is my boy’s favourite on the ranch right now. She is 3 years old and they showed her at Interior Provincial Exhibition as a calf and as a heifer. She definitely isn’t the best producing cow on the ranch but she keeps her spot here because she is so special to the boys. When the veterinarian comes to preg check the cow herd, Fancy get lead up the alley because otherwise she stands in the middle and won’t let the other cows by.
Innate Ability of Ranch Kids
My boys have developed an eye for observing cows at a very young age. All three boys can walk into a pen of cows and pick out specific “special” ones immediately. They can also tell you many details and past history about each one. Ranch kids seem to be able develop an innate ability to identify cows and remember details about each.
I remember as a child, I would be the person who my family would ask for a cows number when a cow would loose her tag. Every spring, even as a young child, I would eagerly wait for the evening when my mom and I would sit around the kitchen table with my grandparents and decide the breeding list for the year. My grandparents always appreciated my knowledge of the cow herd.
The Special Cow Story
So the next time you meet a cattle rancher, ask them to tell you a story about a special cow who won their heart and I am sure you will get a great one!