Stan sent Nut down the road this moring, with two other cows. She didn't breed back, and still being mobile and relatively healthy, it was time. For those of you who don't know, Nut is a 14 year old holstein that we raised from birth. She left us with a bunch of heifers, and until recently was still putting out 40 pounds of milk a day. She was from a family of cows of great personality and that's not necessarily a good thing! She was an ornery heifer- I thought either she'd kill Stan or he'd kill her, but they eventually got it worked out She grew into an "I get my way or I don't do it" kind of a cow. As long as she was in HER stall and there was food in front of her, life was wonderful. If someone else got into her stall, she'd bull her way in and bash them with her head until they got the message and left. Just one of those girls that you never forget.
Just as a comparison, the average life span of a milk cow is about 4 years. We tend to hang on to them a little longer.