Cranky arrived at our property with two other dairy steers, Bubba and Push, in February 2010. They spent the first three months of their lives as part of a mobile petting zoo. Unfortunately, people don’t realise, just like we didn’t, the lives of the cute baby animals they cuddle at petting zoos are typically short lived. When calves at petting zoos are no longer considered little the petting zoo owners have to get rid of them. Some owners try to find their unwanted calves homes, others dispose of them via cattle sales or deliver them directly to processing plants. Thankfully, Cranky and his two friends ended up at our place.

Bubba, Push and Cranky at 4 months old.


When Cranky arrived he was funny looking; skinny with long legs a black body and a brown face. He had a white triangle on the top of his head that we thought made him look like superman.

Cranky when he first arrived.


Cranky earned his name early on.  He wanted very little to do with us at the start and promptly escaped to the property next door. I remember sitting with him  in the neighbour’s paddock for hours gently talking to him, asking him if he was still cranky.  It seemed like a fitting name.  Eventually, Cranky decided he would return home, he must have figured we weren’t too bad after all.


Cranky developed into a magnificent man, leader of his herd and my protector. We became inseparable when I was there. Cranky turned out to be a big softy, he used to love sitting with me on the ground, his head wrapped around me, listening to me sing (badly). He was very tolerant and gentle, even lying his head in my lap while I put wet tea bags on his eyes when the flies were bad.  He probably thought I was crazy but he let me do it anyway. Cranky was the love of my life.

Cranky and Nat

Very sadly, in May 2011 we lost Cranky in an accident. His passing broke our hearts and they are broken still. In 2017, when we decided to officially name our sanctuary, calling it Cranky’s FARM felt like the least we could do for someone who so completely changed our lives.

We love you Cranky, you are missed every day.