This Way To My Blog

This Way To My Blog

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.

14 comments:

Donna said...

Wow, what a shocker! I've seen cows try to make us go look for their calves more than once, and one time it was the wildest cow I ever had. The calf had got through the fence onto the neighbor's property and mom was bawling and having a fit. Once I started after her, she led me right to the calf.

Cindi said...

Omgoodness, that poor lil guy.

Jimmy's Journal said...

Animals are smarter than people think. I had a female cat who would not go into labor until I was with her. Most of the pregancies went well but there's always that one little guy that you know isn't going to make it.

I've hand fed many a kitten until they were ok, but it always pains me to lose one.

Jimmy

john wingo said...

A sad story Paula but, as you say, That's part of the life of a rancher. Mother nature isn't always kind but she's in control. It's always hard to put an animal down but sometimes it's the only way. I keep dogs and when I lose one, I guess I take it way too hard.

Lisa said...

Such a sad story - I'm glad the little fellow is in peace now. I guess his Mama knew better than to nurse him. We lost a buffalo cow one time, she couldn't deliver and became toxic. It was terrible - I know what you mean about the sadness along with the joy. Sorry you had to go through that.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

That is a shame Paula..

Jean said...

That's sad Paula but the little feller is better off. Mama cow knew her baby needed help.

Kattytrick said...

Poor thing...That is sad. I wonder what caused the defect....Could be just a flook too. I'm sorry and saddened for all conserned!___=^..^=___Kittie

Marty said...

That's so sad. And obviously the mother cow was upset by it, trying to communicate with you like that. I never knew cows were so smart.

Sheila said...

The sad part of being a cattleman. But you do what you have to do. take care, Sheila

madcobug said...

That is so sad. That mama knew her baby wasn't right. Glad that you two were there and I am sure that John took care of it. Helen

ADB said...

That's a very sad story, but malformed babies do occur - whether it be in animals or in people. You did the right thing by having it put out of its misery. Cows ain't dumb, as you say.

Guido

Lori said...

Very sad, but, as you say, a reality. Glad you could put the little fellow out of his misery.

Gerry said...

My new browser (google chrome) lets me see your great headers! Don't recall ever seeing an abnormality like that among all the calves born, but I am sure there was one once in a while.