Mini-cows found 7 miles away
A half-dozen miniature cattle, missing and feared stolen for five days, were recovered by their owners Sunday from a pasture seven miles away in Butler County.
Rudy, Blue Belle, Duck, Daisy, Bessie, and Rosie were in their own pasture, with the gate chained shut, when owner Aaron Moore completed her chores at 6 p.m. June 13.
She and her boyfriend, Scott Watkins, noticed the cattle were missing from their three-acre place the next day.
“All that was left was the donkey,” Moore said. “The gate was still chained closed; somebody had to have opened the door, let them out, and then chained it back up.”
Moore and Watkins worked their little cows for more than a year, planning to butcher them to help feed her family and supplement their income.
“I was worried; my heart just hit the bottom of my feet,” Moore said. “It had taken everything we had to get them and to see them gone just hit me in the gut. That’s a lot of money gone.”
Despite their small stature, the little cows are not cheap. In a police report, she valued the sextet at $4,400.
“They’re like a savings account on feet,” she said.
Because they take up less space and eat far less than big cattle, she said miniature cows are a good butchering option for small families and people with smaller farms who don’t have much grazing area.
Miniature cows are typically a lot more docile, and easier to handle than their larger counterparts. However, their “moo” and milk is no different, she said.
After reporting the cows stolen, Moore said the couple contacted their pastor in Burns, who sent out a message to their congregation. Moore and Watkins also posted online.
“Someone on Craigslist ended up messaging us,” Moore said. “Scott spent the whole day walking and looking for them.”
After walking four miles in the area where someone had spotted them, Watkins found their little cows seven miles south of their home.
“They were back up in a pasture in Butler County,” Moore said. “They were tired and stressed and hot and all worked up compared to what they usually are.”
Sheriff Rob Craft said police originally had to list the incident as a theft.
“The cows got free and roamed somehow; maybe they had been set free by someone, maybe they got out because the gate was left open,” he said. “But they weren’t pinned up when they were found. They were up in a draw. There will be no further investigation of it as a theft.”