Ever seen a bucket of pink milk? Yes, it was as strange as it sounds. As I was milking Sienna one evening, I couldn’t help but wonder why the milk color looked so off. But I didn’t think too much of it while I was milking. Afterall, the barn lighting isn’t the greatest. However, when I took my bucket inside, it was clear that I indeed had pink milk. This had never happened before, but I realized how this strange occurance probably came about. I was not pleased. That milk went down the drain.
As anyone with cattle knows, bovines have a pecking order. They somehow rank each other, and those lower on the totem pole get pushed around by those higher than them. Now, some breeds are more aggressive than others, so you may not always see them picking on each other. However, we have some longhorns. Longhorns tend to be quite serious about their pecking order and don’t mind whacking each other with their horns when the need arises.
Our herd is a mix of different breeds, but we have three big mama longhorns. The two older ones are the highest on the totem pole. The third longhorn, and youngest, we named Sassy. Her personality very aptly fits her name. In short, she’s a pain. She runs like a horse across the pasture when we use the tractor to bring in a new hay bale, kicks up her heels, throws her head around. She likes to chase the neighbor’s dog. And she likes to bully Sienna. Sienna is the lowest adult cow on the totem pole. Sassy always seems eager to find any excuse to attack Sienna.
The night of the pink milk, I did notice a fresh cut on Sienna’s leg. It wasn’t the first time Sassy had used her horns against my poor milk cow. But apparently, she had knocked her udder, too, and caused her to bleed internally, thus producing pink milk. My milk cow keeps her distance as much as she can from the longhorns, and I’ve noticed that she’s the only one who doesn’t run toward a new bale when it comes. Sienna had to learn the hard way to stay clear of our crazy longhorn. Thankfully, my milk cow only had the pink milk for one milking, but it took a couple days for her to completely heal.
So, a word to the wise, pink milk doesn’t always mean strawberry-flavored.