Farm family spares Jersey cow from slaughter

This is Delbur, the sweet young Jersey steer who has become a beloved pet to the Holzwarth family.

Even as a calf, the family knew Delbur, who’s described as an ‘extremely loud’ and very conversational guy, was different.

‘When my guests leave, he sees them,’ says stay-at-home-mum Shiane Holzwarth. ‘They’ll say: “Bye Delbur” and he’ll moo.

‘It’s the same if someone comes to drop off a package – he moos at the Amazon guy. He’s friendly.’

Delbur, who’s two and a half and yet to be fully grown, was originally bought for beef to feed the family due to a scarcity of meat during the pandemic.

But, luckily for Delbur, their plan for him fell through, with Shiane, who lives on a hobby farm with her husband and four children in Michigan, US, saying: ‘I’m his mom, and he’s my buddy.’

‘During Covid,’ Shiane adds, ‘we decided that we were going to become beef farmers, so new got Delbur and another cow.

‘Technically, Delbur’s breed is not really for meat, but at the time meat cows were hard to come by, so got whatever breed you could get.

‘We noticed really fast that he was odd. He was like a puppy.

‘He would moo at me when I’m on the porch, and the other cow didn’t care, he’d just laid in the mud.

‘But Delbur, when we went down to see him, he started running and jumping – the older he got, the more he’d buck and jump around. We were like: “What is his problem?”

‘Our neighbours have cows and all they do is lay there and be fat and sassy. They don’t care.’

According to Shiane, it’s not unheard of for Jersey cows to be a bit on the friendlier side, but she’s never met one like Delbur.

‘Since he was a baby, and he was sick,’ she recalls, ‘all he’s known is me.’

The small farm has also played host to dogs, cats, turkeys, ducks and horses.