Click on the video’s title to join the conversation on YouTube! A letter to our dearest fans, friends and family who walk with us through the Good, BAD and Ugly. We harvested Violet (our family cow) today. This is why. Watch OR read the letter below.
Dear Beloved Fan, Friend and family,
It is with deep sadness that I say, we harvested Violet our family cow today. As you may know she has struggled nearly since we received her.
Early in the growing season Violet didn’t come into heat, didn’t lose her winter coat and had labored breathing along with overheating. This ended up being a combination of fescue toxicity and mineral deficiency. We began treating for both of these issues in a number of ways (fescue binders, minerals and other methods).
It was at this point we began to discuss the possibilities of culling her (selling or harvesting) as we needed animals that could thrive on our property without as much maintenance. In the meanwhile we were encouraged by some improvements.
Recently she relapsed into some of the old symptoms (heavy breathing and a temperature). After consulting with the vet and other professionals we suspected Fescue Toxicity or Pneumonia.
This is when we made the tough decision to cull her sooner than later.
Once we harvested and dressed her out this morning on our farm with a local butcher we saw no signs of pneumonia, meaning it would have been fescue toxicity.
I’ve raised, probably 100 cows in my lifetime on this very pasture and not one has suffered from eating our fescue grasses, leading me to believe that cattle can thrive here, but for what ever reason, Violet couldn’t.
Again, this has been one of the hardest choices we’ve had to make on the farm.
Hindsight is 20/20, so it’s with that clear vision that I say next time we will be more careful to get breeds and/or individual stock from farms that are more align with our climate and practices.
Again, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for walking with us through the thick and thin. No doubt we all suffer from this loss.