The peace and quiet at our ranch has been shattered by the bellowing of a momma cow who just lost her calf. About 4 days ago word got to me that a cow with a very young calf was making their way down the road from their summer grazing place. None of these are our cows. All the other cows had already gone past almost a week ago just when the snow started falling and getting really cold.
This cow was way behind because the calf was possibly injured and she would have had to go slow. In going slow she and the calf got caught in the extreme colds of –25c. The morning we were going to check to see if we could see her we noticed a road crew employee who keeps our road clear of snow stopped in front of our house. He was dropping some hay off and the cow and calf were right there. Later I was going to go and move them further down the road.
My next neighbour has cows and could keep her and her calf with her cows. We don’t like to feed them here as then they don’t move on to where they will get their hay for the winter.
I had looked out across from my house and could now see the cow walking up and down the road but not the calf. I could then see a dark spot down an embankment and freaked now knowing the calf must have fallen down it. I took this photo later to show across the our field where the road is. Right in the center where those trees are is where he went down. Now I have no photos showing him till after he was recued as I was in panic work mode to save the calf and not thinking of photos at the time.
It was down this steep bank he had fallen. I suspect he was trying to get down to the creek for water. Which was mostly frozen and had he reached it would have fallen thru the ice. He ended up on his back with his legs up the hill.
With ropes Hubby and I pulled the calf up from the bottom thru these 2 trees. I was able to use one to wrap the rope around. One slip or struggle from the calf, Hubby and the calf could have fallen back onto the ice in the creek. When we got the calf up he was too week to walk so we struggled to get him into the back of our Rav car.
We left him in the Rav for a couple hours with a heater going. He seemed to be doing better.
We had put the cow in our field with some calves we kept for a friend over the summer and hadn’t been picked up yet. Unfortunately the calf was still to weak to be out and way too cold so we put him in our chicken coop. We couldn’t keep him in our car and there is no power in the barn.
A few hours later the owners arrived and took the calf home or so I thought, but found out later they took him to another friends house and dumped him there for her to care for the calf. These are suppose to be ranchers who can’t even care for their own animals. As we still had Momma cow we kept her over night in our field and fed her lots of hay. But the bellowing started about 2am as she was feeling better and wanted her calf back.
I got a message next day thru the grapevine of messages that the owner said to push the momma cow back out on the road as the calf had died. It was possibly from a twisted gut from him being on his back when he fell. Also just way too cold and possible prior injury. So for 2 days we have had to listen to her go up and down the road looking for her calf. It’s a very hard thing to take as we can’t give her hay now as she will never leave here. We have been in this position many times over the years and seems the circumstances just never change. Some people just don’t put in the effort in the care of their animals and think they will just take care of themselves. Complaints have been made many times over the years and nothing changes. The world of ranching and free ranch cows is often very harsh.
She has finally quit bellowing and I hope she moves on down the road soon. Just a couple kilometers there is a whole herd she can join up with. I have tried to walk her down the road but she turns off in some willows every time and I can’t get her out. All of this is taking place in very cold temps when I would like nothing more then to have been snug in my house.
As my only form of communication is e-mail I have been doing that quite a bit the last few days trying to stay in communication with what everyone involved is saying or wants done.
Meanwhile along with all this and some gruelling cold temps, we had a few vehicle problems.
First our little Datsun truck hubby uses around the ranch got a flat tire. Then our big old truck we using for ploughing our driveway decided to blow the heater just when hubby started it up. Which can be such a comfort when ploughing in these temps.
What should have been a quiet week enjoying the snow falling turned into what I sometimes just can’t take here and want to move. It’s hard not to get involved when stuff happens right here on our property or on the road right in front of us.
I have also been keeping busy hand shovelling all my paths to different buildings. I have gotten so much exercise this week and spent more time outside then I have for almost a month. But that is what I love about winter here. There is always something to keep you moving and busy. Well a little to busy this week. Meanwhile its very cold looking outside.
But I am back again inside snug and staying warm with our big stove going full time heating our house and water.
Speaking of hot water I think I will go take a hot bath now as I have 2 tanks full of hot water. Darn it’s almost dark and hubby is in town so one more trip down the hill to feed the calves in our field.
Wishing everyone a warm and snug place and being thankful for all that we have.
Also wishing those celebrating Thanksgiving a safe holiday.
And everyone else a
Good Morning… Good Afternoon… Good Night…
What ever it is to you…
Photos and Words
Here I Am/Carrie