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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Calf Crucifixion-apparent but not actual

(OK, can you believe it's been a week already since I have posted?! Sorry. Our internet service has been down a couple of days off and on, then we had the stupid thunderstorm/tornado storm thingy come through (in which 2 people were killed-so I guess stupid is a weak word to use) and then various other things happened so that I couldn't get a chunk of time to be on the computer for long.)

Anyway. This title sounds dramatic but it was my first impression of what I saw in the dark. Thursday morning, it was still quite dark, I was out graining the weaner calves and came up short one in my head count-or tail count, if you will. I re-counted a couple of times because sometimes a small one will get between a couple of big ones and you can't tell, especially in the dark. But, no, there were only 10 calves eating in the feed bunk. So I went trucking through the lot to search for the missing one.

Looking for a missing beast is a job I abhore, especially a smaller calf. I always have this sick feeling in my gut because I never know what I will find. I went around the side of their shed and looked in with some trepidation, but it was empty, then I swung the flashlight around and saw the bizarrest thing; there was a calf suspended partway in mid-air. Her forelegs and head were a foot or so up from the ground. I thought for sure she was dead; she was hung there in the fence with her eye open and staring at me, but then I saw her blink.

Here was what happened. In the night the calves like to frolic around sometimes, or else they get spooked and run. Whichever it was, apparently this calf took a flying leap at the fence and got herself stuck in it. We have cow panels (these are large wire panels, about 4 feet tall with the wires forming about 4-inch squares) wired to metal posts that are driven into the ground. Somehow, in her flying leap, this calf got her left foreleg hooked into the panel about 2 feet from the ground and her head and right foreleg back between the panel and the post. It is hard to describe and make sense. Her head was actually all the way through...I mean it was her neck and rt foreleg that were pinned behind the post. She could just barely breathe.

So, juggling the flashlight and trying not to panic, I pushed on panels; no luck, they wouldn't budge. I unwired the top part and with some pushing and shoving I was able to get her out. She just lay there and breathed. I rubbed her legs a bit and left her to finish chores. Husband went out later and "pulled her ears" he said, and she got up. So far she is doing OK; kind of stiff, but getting around.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness! That must have been quite the sight! I would just feel sick to my stomach with worry if I were the one to find one of our calves like that!

How is she now? Is she able to get around alright?