When we got Millie to the farm, we kept her by herself for a little while to let her get used to her surroundings. After a while, we let the cows run together. It was then that we learned she knew how to use her horns. She wasn't high in "pecking order", so whenever she got the chance, she would try to move up in that order with her horns. Millie was particularly aggressive toward calves and our older, weaker heifer named Belle. When Belle started going downhill, Millie found it much easier to push her around with those horns. Belle died last year - mostly, from old age, but we had to wonder if Millie also contributed to her demise.
At the beginning of this year, another calf was born to our heifer Molly. Molly is my favorite cow because she was our very first cow. Most of the others that have resided with us on the farm have belonged to other family members. Molly's heifer was born on the 14th of January. What a cutie!!
Before we could get rid of Millie, we had a hard break. Keith came home one morning from work and was doing his daily chores down at the barn. Whenever he bangs around down there the cows come running. When Molly's calf didn't come to the barn, he went looking for her. He found her dead in the field. We don't know for sure, but suspect Millie killed her.
Living on a farm includes learning some very hard lessons. So much was lost when the calf died. We lost a year in growing our herd. It just represented so much lost potential. She would've been another mama who gave us another calf every year. We keep on going, because that's just what you do. This way of life is important to us, so we keep on trying and learning and hoping that we get smarter along the way.