Monday, October 26, 2009

Saving the World, one cow at a time.

Saturday morning I looked out our upstairs window into the pasture of our neighbor (he's really not - he lives in Kansas but keeps cows down here) and noticed a big lump that wasn't moving with the other cows. A few minutes later I went outside to feed our dogs and decided to go check it out.

I stared for awhile trying to decide if I saw movement or not. I finally thought I saw a chest rise and fall so I hopped the fence (getting over barbed wire at my advanced age is no small feat!) and wandered a hundred feet or so where I could definitely tell she was breathing. I moved around to see where she might be hurt and she pawed at the ground with her front legs and tried to lift her head but couldn't. I tried to lift her head but ... do you have any idea how heavy a cow's head is? I tried to move her by grabbing her legs but she was just too heavy - maybe 750 pounds or more (just guessing). I thought if I flipped her over she might get in a different position and be able to get up. No luck.

Another neighbor behind us lives on the property and sort of (used to) keep an eye on things so I tried to call him. Busy, busy signal. I kept trying and after I finished up my morning chores, I decided to drive over. Seems my neighbor is no more and the lady living there now had no idea who owned the property but sent me to the next house down the road.

I went there to find two guys fixing a roof. They did know the owner's brother and one said he would call and promptly went back to roofing.

I drove to another neighbor thinking maybe if we got enough people together we could move the cow somehow. For those farmers reading - they know that sometimes cows lay down with their heads pointed downhill and for some reason can't get back up. They also do something called 'bloat'. I don't know what she had but she was down and couldn't get up.

My neighbor took up the mantle and started making calls - she knew more locals than me and grew concerned about the poor cow.

Bottom line - a few hours later someone came and moved the cow. I wasn't there so did not see if she lived or was already dead. I hope she lived.

I realize there is nothing funny about this story and it is open ended since I don't know what finally happened. But I probably spent a couple of hours driving and or on the phone trying to help this poor girl so I have some small investment in her well-being. I really wanted to be hands-on in getting her back on her feet, er hooves and see her waddle away. She had a small milk bag with teats so she may have been close to calving also and that may have been part of her problem. Don't know too much about cows. But I'm still learning.

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