Big Ears is home to 5 cows ranging in ages from 7 years to 18 years. All 5 are rescues from different circumstances.
Milton is a big beautiful Poll-Hereford steer. His owner had adopted him when as a calf he had broken his leg. She had it plastered until mended and raised him to be very gentle and sweet. Due to his size she realised she couldn’t keep him forever so advertised in the paper for a home where he would live out his life without fear of slaughter. The sanctuary offers that home. Milton is a big hit for visitors as he is so gentle he will allow people to sit on his back when chewing his cud.
Nelly is an Angus/Fresian cow. She was looking for a new home through AACT (Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania). She is an absolute delight, Milton’s best friend and she is very playful and loving. Humans could learn a lot about friendship from these two creatures.
Roxy (fresian) and Katie (jersey) came to live with us after we were checking animals on a nearby property for the owners as they were in the middle of moving. The owners had tried to find new homes for the cows but during their absence Katie got herself into a fenced in area that had no grass or water. Although able to get herself in – she couldn’t get herself out. When we found her she was emaciated, and hoarse from mooing for help. She would only have lived a day or two more at the most. Roxy had tried to help her but there was little she could do. Katie’s manure was the size of sheep poo.
We contacted the owners and started a feeding and re-hydration regime that Katie immediately embraced. And we embraced her. We fell in love with these 2 cows whose friendship is so strong and loving and the owners agreed they could move to the sanctuary. Katie hasn’t looked back. She is still an escape artist and gets into other paddocks at the sanctuary and we often find her up at the garage looking for a snack.
The cattle meat industry is one of the most harmful to the environment, people and to the animal. These beautiful, thoughtful and inquisitive creatures are sent to their deaths scared and terrorised. Any doubt you may have about the cruelty of slaughterhouses will be dispelled once you have read “Slaughterhouse”. Before the brutal death, cows are ever increasingly being raised on feedlots, fed a diet that is unnatural to them and fed antibiotics to help them deal with the stress of mass confinement and living on dirt and mud. Nelly our beautiful cow, was transported on a cattle truck that stopped over at a feedlot. When she arrived at the sanctuary she was very unwell as she had contracted a respiratory illness from being at the feedlot in the back of the cattle truck.
Gorgeous big Milton would not be alive today if he had travelled through the usual process for steers and cows. Milton is 10 years old, he would not have been kept alive beyond 18 months to 2 years for his purpose as meat. To think that this marvellous, fun loving creature who enjoys a plastic rake scratched up and down his back, would have died a cruel death well before his prime, is a tragedy.
Roxy and Katie are bred for the dairy industry. They would be milked and kept in calf with their newborns taken away at a day or two of age. It has been shown that cows have grieved for their young for up to 6 months. In relation to being milked, cows are over milked and made to produce more than they have previously.
Blossom the ex-dairy cow is 18 years old and spent most of her life in the dairy industry. This means that she would continually be impregnated to have a calf that would then be taken away from her after a couple of days so she could be milked. Blossom also has a broken tail which sometimes happens in the dairy industry when workers use the cows tail as a way to make them do what they want. In some dairies cows tails are docked so that the workers can avoid being ‘hot’ in the face with a tail.