Millie was born on a dairy farm as a freemartin calf, meaning she was born with a twin brother.
In the dairy industry, if a female calf born with a twin brother she is infertile due to the added testosterone in the utero. An infertile female cow in the dairy industry is not profitable and are more often than not culled with the male calves. Luckily, Millie was saved by a kind man that lived in Brisbane. Millie then grew up in a suburban back yard with dogs until she was 18 months old. Fair to say, at this point, Millie had absolutely no idea that she was a cow. She’d never really met one.
She was raised like a dog, treated like a dog and she played with everyone – just like her canine siblings did. “A cow – what the heck is that???” Millie said (if she could talk).
This was all fine at the time whilst she was little, Millie was living her best life – her owner loved her and they had a fantastic relationship. However, as Millie continued to grow into the true size of a cow, she started to become a problem. She continued to play with everyone as she always had done when she was smaller. She started knocking people over, scaring people and hurting people because of her size. She didn’t understand how big she was, how powerful she was getting. Her whole life she was told that this behaviour was normal, encouraged and accepted.
This meant that Millie had to be re-homed and it was at this point the Sanctuary was contacted and Millie was surrendered. When Millie was surrendered, we were able to re-home her to a “forever home” almost right away. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work out due to her playful nature and quirks. Millie has never really understood how big and strong she is. So a playful little head swing or kick can very easily hurt someone badly.
Due to this, Millie came back to the sanctuary and we decided the sanctuary would be the best place for her to live and be her forever home. This way we can monitor her, make sure she is safe and comfortable and isn’t hurting anyone. Millie has been a bit of an outcast her whole life, as she was never able to learn the critical social skills and dynamics of how to be a cow in her early years of life. When she came to the sanctuary, she had no idea how to interact with the other cows.
It’s taken a while for her to find her hooves but over the past few months she has formed a beautiful bond with Blue – who is quite introverted. They are now often seen hanging out, grooming each other and laying in the sun together. It has been so beautiful so watch Millie grow and so lovely to see her settled, happy and living as she deserves, as a cow in a herd. Millie is a great example of the importance of responsible pet ownership. And making sure that the animals you do get are treated as they should be and raised as they should be.
Pets are for life – not just for the short period of time when they are cute little babies.