Elsie is Here

My new house cow, Elsie has finally arrived. She is a Dutch Belted Cow. The Dutch Belted is still on the Critically Rare list with around 300 registered pure bred animals in the country.  I was lucky to buy her at a very good price becase her owner had shifted to a property with less land. Also (though pure bred) she does not have a full white belt. dutch-belted-cow-045

She came in the midst of a silent snow fall that made her arrival feel cloaked and secret.


The man backed his stock trailer up to the gate,  opened the door of the trailer and Elsie just jumped right out, looked around and then began to graze. There was no running about or wild behaviour.  She was not spooked at all. We quietly herded her into the corner pen in the barn so she could get her bearings.


With Aunty Dell watching her closely from over her gate.


Elsie ate hay and water for a while and had a wee lie down and once I was sure she was settled I opened her door and let her out into the field for a munch. Aunty Del could not bear to be left behind so she JUMPED her gate and galloped out into the field as well. (Look back to image Number 2 to see how high that gate was – sigh).


Elsie wandered about for a while and later in the evening I put her  (and Aunty Del) into the corner pen again with the big door shut. I always treat new animals like Homing Pigeons and teach them where home is first so she will have the door closed at night or if I am off the property, for a few weeks yet.

(Just for your info: The Dutch Belted is not the same at a Belted Galloway. The Belted Galloway is sometimes called an oreo cow. The Belted Galloway is a beef breed from Scotland. It is on the “Watched List’ . It is assumed that they ended up with the white belt after having been crossed with a Dutch Belted many many years ago. The Dutch Belted are Dairy cattle, originating around Austria and were the favourite herds of Dutch nobility.  Now they are critically rare. )

Elsie is just over 6 years old, (it is not uncommon for Dutch Belted cows to calve and milk right into their teens) has had three calves already with no problems and is bred (though she was with a bull so we do not have any dates).  Until now she has always raised her calves and has never been milked by a person so I will need to train her to be a house cow.  Not yet though. First she will learn to come to her call and let me touch her all over.  In a few days  I get out the brush. dutch-belted-cow-080

Also yesterday John collected 30 bales of straw for me. This was piled high against the walls  of both pig pens. The barn is quite drafty so each year I use the straw as insulation. Pigs are such house proud animals that we can use straw like this and it still stay clean for bedding later  on.  So it was a busyish day.


For some of us. I hope you all have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm



62 Comments on “Elsie is Here

  1. Welcome to the farmy Elsie. Hope you will soon understand what a wonderful place you have come to live. Aunty Del was lonesome, apparently and wanted to meet the new neighbor! Thanks for the lesson on the difference between Belted Galloways and Dutch Belted. Was Elsie bred to a Dutch Belted bull? It will be exciting to see her calf, whenever it comes.

    • Yes she has been bred to a Dutch Belted though i am unsure of his name quite yet. They are so rare that it would be a irresponsible to cross a cow.

  2. She is very pretty and Elsie is a great name for her. Aunt Dell made me shudder jumping the gate. She had better be more careful.
    We are blanketed in snow today, I guess winter is here to stay.
    Have a good day getting to know Elsie.

    • The thing will Del is she cannot bear to be alone, and with Queenie gone she has been unsettled.. I think she will settle down now. Fingers crossed.

  3. I like this new theme for the farmy, black and white animals. Elsie is beautiful. She has a very pretty face with her big black eyes. I like that she didn’t freak out when she arrived, calm is good. I guess Aunty Del definitely wanted to meet her! Maybe Elsie’s calm will rub off on Aunty Del. We can hope at least. Stay warm.

  4. Oh she’s a lovely breed. Welcome to the farmy Elsie. I’m learning so much by having you in my life Celi. So, in the hopefully not too distant future organic farm, I’ll have my Oxfordshire sandy and black pigs, one of Tima’s babies (Which Chloe is insisting on), and a beautiful Dutch belted for a house cow. 😀

  5. Welcome Elsie! She is a lovely girl and quite intelligent looking with those eyes searching directly into the camera. I think Aunty Del may have been a wee bit excited for this new arrival…I see BFF bracelets for the two of them soon.

  6. She fits right in! I think I’d be replacing that gate with a door! Or a moon!

  7. hello Elsie..its a good name. My sister in law was called Elsie and she was a bit of a ‘tart’ but a tart with heart,
    Welcome to the Farmy you will be very happy there

    • My great aunts name was Else too. We called her Aunty Elsie. Now we have Aunty Elsie, Aunty Del. Next is Aunty Mid.!

        • I am still hoping to buy a Guernsey but they are hard to find and expensive so i am not sure the farm can afford one, though with pigs and calves to feed I am not sure i can do without one.. c

  8. Welcome Elsie! I didn’t realize they could be bred/milked for so many years! She is a beautiful example of her breed, even if her belt doesn’t go all the way round. I hope she has lots of ‘belted’ calves and do her little bit to keep the breed going. So sad when you hear of many animals on the extinction list these days.

    • Mainly they had been cross bred and of course the bigger dairy breeds are more popular.. now they are working on getting the pure breds up and running. I got the number off the internet so I am not sure if it is accurate but it had been updated this year. There are a few herds in NZ too. They look gorgeous in the fields. c

  9. She’s a beauty C. Welcome Miss Elsie! You will be dearly loved on the Farmy! 🐄

  10. Elsie’s white mark (right side) looks a teeny bit like the northern part of New Zealand. Or would, if the white continued narrower and a bit more further up “north” (or is it only my imagination/search for good omens??). 😉 Congratulations, I hope she is as nice as her face; she has big hoofsteps to fill.

  11. My husband and I took a jaunt to see the Lincoln Museum and Library this past weekend. From the Illinois map it looked to me like we would take 116 east from Pontiac to find you. We were on 55,but I figured Sunday would be the worst day to visit since it’s the one day John is home. Then I read that Elsie was coming!
    Some day though during the week. Of course, we’d have to talk with you first to see when would be the best time for you.
    Anyway, Elsie! Oh but she is a looker. Self-possessed. Regal. Has she always been milked by machine? And when will you start milking her? You don’t know her due date, right? So this spring is going to be a cliff-hanger.
    Please tell me about she’s just across the road, isn’t she?. My memory is really bad, and to prove it, didn’t we forget my husband’s slippers at the motel .

    • Oh Queenie! she is evidently doing very well, eating like a cow pig and doing nothing very much. She should cycle back in about 20 – 23 days from Halloween- whatever date that would be then we will go over and bring her home and a month after that we will do a blood test with all fingers and toes crossed. And yes we are on 116. A week day visit would be lovely. Let me know when you are coming so i can hide the debris behind the cushions and make us a nice lunch.. hopefully there may be a few nice days soon.. c

  12. Elsie is going to add some dramatic sophistication to the snowy fields this winter. Just gorgeous. Delighted she found her way to you and will soon discover the royal treatment that is offered at the farmy.
    Cows are very funny when they jump. Not graceful like horses, but they stubbornly get over if they decide to.
    Gentle waves to the new arrival

  13. Ooh she’s gorgeous. Can’t get the song Cabaret out of my head though…

    I used to have this girlfriend known as Elsie
    With whom I shared four sordid rooms in Chelsea
    She wasn’t what you’d call a blushing flower
    As a matter of fact she rented by the hour

    I’m sure “our” Elsie won’t be a little hussy! 😉

  14. She’s a beautiful girl. I love her slender legs in black stockings and her large black intelligent eyes. Calm is good, a friend for Aunty Del is good, now all we need is a quiet milker for Miss C. I like the fact that her white ‘laken’ is incomplete, it makes her more distinctive! The Dutch name for the breed (Lakenvelder) is derived from Laken, or drapery, because the cows look as if they have a white cloth draped over them. The farmy is slowly putting itself to bed for the winter. The photos look very cold!

    • I love that dutch name .. yes it is cold .. very cold today actually and BLOWING,cold and wind make for a pretty mean day..c

      • Cold and nasty here today, stuck on 17 F most of the day with the wind blowing hard. Supposedly it was blowing from the “warm” direction – SW, hate to have been out there if it was from the “cold” direction! Spitting snow all morning and windchill below 0 F. Yuk, yuk yuk.

  15. So happy that Elsie has arrived safely and will be supplying milk to the farm next year! XOXOXO

  16. So Elsie has already found the car bar… and made herself at home. She is a pretty cow, and it’s touching that Aunty Del was so keen to meet her. Snow already… oh dear.

  17. She’s a beauty. Hope she has a nice temperment and learns to be hand milked with no trouble. Stay warm.

  18. She’s a beauty. Hope she has a nice temperment and learns to be hand milked with no trouble. Stay warm if you can.

  19. Elsie has such a pretty face. Those young calves sure are springy! Boing–and off they go. I hope Elsie settles in and everything goes smoothly.

  20. Elsie is gorgeous. And she has a good track record. You must be so happy to have her, and we will all be watching (eventually) to see how she milks.

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