We got a cow!

In December 2022 we got a cow.

I didn’t want a cow however, my wife was determined to get a cow, so we have a cow!
If you know my wife, she normally gets her way.

We had several discussions over the last few years about a cow and I was adamant that we would not have a cow at GlenMyu Estate.
I had several concerns about taking on this responsibility. One of the main ones was the terrain which is quite steep in places. I was worried about a cow having a fall and breaking a leg. Also, I was concerned that we would start racking up vet bills if the cow fell ill. Many of our neighbours that have cows (mainly for milking) appear to have the government vet visiting them often.
The other main concern was that it was another level of responsibility that we would be committed to.

Organic Farming and Cows

Cow manure is an important part of organic farming. It has high levels of minerals and nutrients which are one of the best natural fertilisers used in organic gardens. Using cow dung to nourish the soil eliminates the requirement for chemicals and pesticides.
By having a cow at Glenmyu Estate we also do not have to use fossil fuels to transport manures and compost to the property reducing our carbon footprint.

There are many articles providing information on the benefits of uing cow dung/manure in an organic garden or farming.  Home Biogas outlines these benefits.

Science Direct provides a good history and data about cow manure.

This cow is not for milking

At GlenMyu Estate we are happy for Malli just to provide us with manure. We just want her to lead a good, stress free and comfortable life. There is no need for Malli to go down the route to provide us with milk. We have plenty of neighbours that have cows where we can buy milk when we want to make ice cream or cheese. As Malli was premature she may not be able to produce milk successfully and we do not want to put her through that stress.

Malli our Cow

Eating our flowers

Initially we were really pleased with what Malli was grazing on. Having been confined to a small shed before arriving at GlenMyu Estate’s 5 acres, she was fed grains as there was no where to forage. It was like having a smorgasbord with the offerings at the land. She went from place to place sampling new tastes and didn’t stay in one place for too long.

I was pleased as she was eating some grass where I would normally have to strim with my brush-cutter to keep the growth at bay.  

She also provided the manure that we were after for our organic garden so all was good. 

Well, it was, until she decided that flowers were tasty. She managed to destroy quite a lot of the planting alongside the main lawn at the estate which had been painstakingly maintained by Ru and the gardeners.

Shouts of “Malli No!”became a new sound often heard in the garden.

Imprisoned - for part of the day.

In order to get Malli to concentrate on what we would like her to graze on (and protect our flowers) she is now tied in an area for a few hours a day. She does a good job there and is later released from her bondage to roan freely. There are still cries of “Malli No!”, however, they are getting less frequent.

We have come to the conclusion that losing some flowers is a compromise that is worth making.

Funny Cow anecdotes are starting to pop up

Malli has only been with us a short time but already there are some events that are making us laugh.

Papaya - No it’s for the chickens!

We normally give the leftover or spoilt papaya to our chickens. Malli loves Papaya.
Our Walli Amma was taking some Papaya peelings to the chicken shed but met Malli on the way. It is quite a narrow pathway and therefore is single file only.
Malli wouldn’t let her pass until she had given her some of the Papaya peelings! After a while Walli Amma realised that the chickens would be without their snack if Malli had her way. She dropped some Papaya on the floor and managed to slide past Malli and make her way to deliver the remnants of the fruit to the chickens!

A taste for Jackfruit

Ru was trying to take Malli around the pathway in below the house to graze on some of the foliage there.
As soon as she let go of her rope Malli went tearing off completing the circuit to where one of our staff was taking a Jackfruit off the tree.
Malli loves Jackfruit!
When Ru found her she was just standing by the Jackfruit Tree looking upwards. She wouldn’t move until she was given a chunk of the fruit!

Customer feedback about the cow!

The reaction from our guests so far has been great. They love the story and that she has been rescued from a dangerous situation.
Malli looks great in the environment and adds some additional life and colour to the Estate.

When guests have found out we have a cow they have immediately asked to see her and be “introduced”.

One of our guests had to say a last goodbye when they were leaving.

We have a great picture of one of our guests feeding Malli some Papaya. It was a special experience for both parties!
She is becoming quite a character
Malli has quickly become one of the family here at GlenMyu Estate.

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

A turnaround

I must admit that I have changed.

Malli is a real asset for the Estate and has become part of the experience for guests at the estate. My fears of Malli destroying large parts of our work and making lots of unwanted noise has not come to fruition. The main issues are whether we can keep “some” of our flowers and whether we can dodge the cowpats before they are picked up and added to the compost.
Unfortunately, during my brush-cutting, I have not seen one of Malli’s fresh offerings and been “splattered” which is not a pretty sight!

My concerns have been lifted

The main reasons why I didn’t want a cow have mainly disappeared.
Malli bounds around the property without fear or concern. I have been really surprised on how she manages to get up to steeper parts of the land when she forages.
She appears to have settled into the climate and environment quite quickly and despite being premature she shows no sign of needing a vet.
It also turns out that one of our staff has experience in looking after cows and he has taken on the main part of this responsibility that I was concerned about.

Early days - don't speak too soon!

We are still in the early days of Malli being at GlenMyu Estate but most of my concerns have been lifted.

Meet Malli, our chickens and our ducks

If you want a holiday with a difference in Sri Lanka, then maybe GlenMyu Estate is the experience for you. To find out more please visit our website  or contact Ru on WhatsApp for direct booking rates.

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