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Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Farewell to Tibet

This blog began with the story of Tibet, a yak whose milk I wanted to turn into gloriously rich butter. But she had other plans.

In order to milk an animal they must first, be fresh (have a baby) and secondly, be tame enough to be milked. Tibet couldn't achieve either.

I worked hard for two years trying to tame her--working regularly with her in a swing chute, brushing her, even using a homeopathic concoction to calm her down.

But she knew those horns were deadly and never let anyone who got near her forget it. She'd bang then on the fence with lightening speed.

Thinking that once she became fresh and would be handled every day, I never gave up hope. The first bull was with her for nearly two months, but produced no offspring. The second bull she tried to kill despite many amorous licking sessions through the fence. When he was left into her paddock she promptly pinned him to the ground with those horns making low-pitched growling sound that was none too romantic.

That was the final straw. So yesterday we loaded her up and sent her to Horsts' Abattoir where she'll come home neatly packaged in USDA-inspected, vacuum-sealed packages of steaks and burgers in a few weeks.


  1. Some animals just don't work out the way we invision that's for sure. Buffalo are in that category here.

  2. I'm sorry to hear Tibet didn't work out. Interestingly, I'm reading a novel and it opens with pandamonium at a circus, where the yak posed a similar danger to the humans and animals caught in the chaos.

  3. Very sad. Don'/t know how to phrase it, but just very sad.

    I met Tibet. She had been treated with an electric cattle prod at a previous "home". She could not even been scratched by passers-by. It is terrible that she could not be approached even by closer friends (bovine friends) than us.

    I am conflicted that she was put out of her misery, but I am also sure that my husband and I could not have done better for her.

  4. My husband & I are thinking about yaks as meat animals. We live in Oregon & our research so far seems to indicate yaks are pretty easy to handle. I hope we don't land up in a Tibet situation! Your blog is extremely interesting & would make a great book. Thank you.

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