WASHINGTON — With her income stream dried up after nearly a month on furlough, a local cow and U.S. Department of Agriculture employee was forced to sell her milk on the black market just to make ends meet.
The government shutdown started December 22, putting hundreds of cattle out of work. Many have been forced to take on odd jobs mowing lawns and bartending just to keep cud on the table.
“With the USDA closed, I’ve had to turn to the private market just to get milked,” said the Holstein Friesian. “It’s udderly ridiculous!”
Milk cows aren’t the only livestock affected by the shutdown. Many chickens have reported being overwhelmed by having to support dozens of children, most of whom were supposed to be collected as eggs.
“I’ve laid like twenty eggs since the shutdown started,” said one hen. “How does the government expect me to support all these chicks without a paycheck?”
Despite the pain the shutdown has inflicted on many of the USDA’s bovine employees, some beef cattle try to view it in a positive light.
Said one, “My only job is to get fat and then die, so this has actually been pretty nice.”