Friday, February 25, 2011
Not for the squimish or the faint of heart.
When a man has owned cattle from the age of 16 to age 75 he is bound to see an odd thing a few times during that time. I have seen a few things since living out here about 16 years but the calf we found today took the cake. John knew one cow should have had her calf but hadn't been up with the herd that we knew of so we started our search. As we passed over the tank dam we saw her walking toward the east field so we waited and watched knowing she was going to her calf. She knew we were watching but she went to the middle of the field and stood there. Usually they will go the other direction to fool you. Cows can be smart. I think she knew her calf was in serious trouble and she wanted someone to know. We drove around and then drove into the tall dead grass toward her. I sat on the edge of the truck seat watching carefully so that John didn't run over a baby calf. When we got near her John stopped the truck and got out to walk over to her. He motioned for me to come look. I wasn't prepared for what I saw. It made me want to lose my iced vanilla coffee. This little bull calf was alive and was trying to get up but wasn't able to. We figure it was born two days ago so it hadn't nursed a drop of milk. It was perfectly shaped except for a very large bag of fluid growing between it's eyes and on to the top of his head. It was not as large as a basket ball but was larger then a soft ball. John loaded it into the pick up and we drove to his daughter's to get her opinion. She agreed it was hopeless and it had to be taken out of it's misery. She could feel the skull wasn't developed completely. I won't go into any more detail but we felt bad and sad but there is a certain reality to ranching. There is much joy but with thats comes some sadness which you have to face head on at times.