from time to time, i will have an imaginative flight of fancy. i will decide on a project i want to undertake, and i will research it will passion and zeal. some, like the front yard garden, come to fruition fairly soon. others, like getting chickens, take longer. some, like getting alpacas, get scrapped once i get to the point where i realize they are just a silly dream.

others float around my consciousness and pop up periodically, only to be discarded again and again for the same reasons i initially discarded them. one of these ideas was getting dairy goats. when i finally talked to one friend who actually had them in the ‘burbs, she told me the real deal: that they got out repeatedly and tried to eat the neighbor’s house. they chewed on everything and were near impossible to contain. yes, they gave milk, but the benefits were clearly not worth the hassle. so that was the info i needed to make up my mind. no goats. got it.

but recently, i stumbled upon a new and possibly even better idea to solve my thirst for fresh, organic, raw milk: miniature dairy cows. i have read a bit and looked around on the internet. i am still in the very beginning stages of research, and i still have a LOT to learn. my yard is just barely barely big enough, and i would need to buy hay, since i can’t grow enough grass to feed it completely. i would need to deal with the manure issue, and i would have to make nicey nice with at least one neighbor. one friend has raised the very real issue of manure run-off into the water table in a place where it rains as much as it does in seattle, so that obviously needs to be looked into more. i am more than willing to admit that i don’t even know what i don’t know, and that’s where i am hoping you all come in.

i want to pick your brains.

i am hoping to visit several miniature cow farms over the next few weeks. i want to have a lot of intelligent questions ready to ask them.

so what do i need to know? what might i be overlooking? what would you want to know?

for those of you who raise livestock, what do you wish you knew beforehand? what would you say to a newbie? any cautionary tales? any good resources to recommend?

keep in mind that this very well may never happen. i have checked into the zoning in my area, and this is very grey. because mini-cows are not exactly cows (as far as their size and weight) but not exactly not, they are not clearly defined. i would need to sit down with someone from the city when and if i decide this is something i really want to pursue, but i am not even close to there yet…

so, can i borrow your brains?