2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6, Page #02[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Tow Giant Bovines Have Gentle Personalities
In October, Blosom, a 13-year-old Holstein cow, received papers certifying that she is “officially amazing” by London representatives of the Guinness Book Of World Records. At 6-ft, 4-in., Blosom will be featured as the world’s tallest cow in the 2016 Guinness book.
Her owner, Patty Hanson, of Orangeville, Ill., says she’s been caught off guard with all the media attention. But Blosom has always been special, she says, and is her farm’s “official greeter”.
Her late father raised heifers for area dairies. When Blosom could not be bred successfully, she would normally have been sent to slaughter except for the fact that Hanson’s daughters considered Blosom a beloved pet. Blosom had personality and loved being around people. So despite being a nonproductive animal, Hanson’s father agreed to keep her.
“My only regret is that he isn’t here,” Hanson says, noting her father always said Blosom might turn out to be a record-setting cow.
Hanson notes that Blosom never received any special feed, and the vet surmises that because she never calved or produced milk all her energy went to growth.
The Holstein is well-known in the area and to the ladies who come from miles around to quilt or scrapbook at Hanson’s on-farm business, Memory Lane Crafting Retreat. Attendees love the peace of the country, Hanson says, where she grows and harvests beans, corn and hay with small farm equipment, including her dad’s old Oliver tractors. The women also love taking photos with Blosom.
“What makes her different from most cows, in addition to her size, is her friendliness. She just makes people happy,” Hanson says. “Now the whole world is looking at Blosom.”
Across the country in Kooskia, Idaho, Babe, a 14-year-old Holstein steer has developed his own following. Although he does not hold the world record for a steer, he measures an impressive 6 ft., 2 in. tall and is about 13 ft. long.
Babe was given to Ruebush after the calf was abandoned at birth because he had developed pneumonia. Ruebush took the opportunity to teach his daughters about using natural remedies, such as hydrotherapy, to heal livestock and, in the process, gained a lifelong pet that has traveled to four states with the family.
After just one rough ride Babe was saddle broken and he’s been giving rides ever since as part of a unique ministry.
“Girls especially seem to get the most out of riding him,” Ruebush says, noting that teachers and ministers report teens have improved social skills and self-confidence after working with Babe at conferences and events where the giant steer makes guest appearances.
Ruebush has never pursued setting any records with Babe, but notes he is a very gentle animal with a great personality that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Patty Hanson, Memory Lane Crafting Retreat, Orangeville, Ill. (ph 815 868-2363; www.memorylanecraftingretreat.com); or Dale Ruebush, P.O. Box 881, Kooskia, Idaho 83536; (ph 208 926-0889; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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