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November 25, 2010

Bad Week at the Ranch

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.  

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

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. 

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

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. 

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

We left him in the Rav for a couple hours with a heater going.  He seemed to be doing better.

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

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.  

Drama at the Ranch by Here I Am/Carrie

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. 

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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.

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But I am back again inside snug and staying warm with our big stove going full time heating our house and water.

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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
by
Here I Am/Carrie 

20 comments:

DaveOnFidalgo said...

For around 5,000 years these cattle have been selected for producing meat and milk, not for their wildlife skills. We have made them docile and manageable and physically unfit for living in the wild. They require our care to survive. Some humans are not fit for keeping animals. Is there a CSPCA or a BCSPCA? Your efforts may have been in vain, but they reveal who you are and I am glad to know you. Something tells me the Salton Sea is calling. Stay warm.

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Hi Dave, the SPCA had been contacted but they don't have the resources to take care of problems like this. There is some sort of livestock Act that protects a lot of ranches in this situation. These cows free range in the summer and like you said just aren't as tough as some might like to think.

JennyD said...

Oh, God, I am sick over this, Carrie, and I am crying. Sad, sad story and I know you and your husband did everything you could. I can't believe those ppl didn't take that cow all the way home and into a warm barn; and even if they hadn't, when they knew the calf had died, they should have come straight to that cow, loaded her into a trailer and taken her straight home. Dave is absolutely right. Some humans are not fit to keep any animal at all. Makes you wonder how they even treat children. Geez, I feel sick. I am SO sorry this happened to you, your husband, the calf, and most of all at this point, to the mother cow. She will never understand what happened. ;((

Horst in Edmonton said...

People like that make me sick, they wish to keep animals but have no compassion when it comes to thier cattles wellfair. These people should have all of thier cattle taken away from them. This happens to animals every now and then around here. Fortunately the SPCA does something about it in this area, and if that won't work the Media will get involved.

Horst in Edmonton said...

It is really a shame, you care more about this cow and calf then the owners. If they don't watch out for this cow they may loose her as well. I'm shure there are wolves in your area, and they would love nothing more than to find the cow all by herself

Toodie said...

Such a harsh week for you and hubby. You did what you could and went beyond what others what have. Bless you my friend for being you. Keep warm and big hugs sent your way.

Lisa RedWillow said...

Hi Carrie, I think the hardest thing to endure when on a farm or ranch is to see an animal suffer. Any animal and it seems to me that both of us have seen the worst with calfs. So very sorry that you had to go thought this also. I know just how you feel. I have been there a few times and a few times too many . Sometime the good can out weight the bad . When days like this happen its hard to move forward until a person if fully rested. I too have had calfs die right in my arms with my daughter right by my side. Both of us were finsihed for a few days. Having a whole herd of cows and calfs the care and attention that each deserves can not be over looked not at all. Bob and I always took shifts at night so the cows that were having the babies were always being watched and each calf that was born had straw and each Mom had clean fresh bedding and water right after.
And always one of us or both or what ever it took were there to make sure that the cow if was in stress while giving birth had the attention form us or a vet was called. More times than I can count we did it all even bottle feeding twins. Lots of hard work . Now I m writting you a blog. Hope you stay warm. Its warmed up here today. Big Boy and Sadie came out of the Barn to play today in the sun and snow. It was a wonderful day.
Get some rest my dear friend and know that you did the best you could .Nature has a way of making us question so many things and makes us who we are. Your a strong lady .
Many Hugs going your way tonight.
and I wish I lived closer.
Lisa xo

Lisa RedWillow said...

We had a calf born one year with a twisted gut and the calf died within an hours of being born and in so much pain. We had a vet look at the calf to find out what was wrong. So many things can go wrong .

GreatGranny said...

What you and your Hubby did for the cow and her baby says so much about you. I hope the snow and cold temps let up for you and you can rest from that cold and tiring task.

Gerry said...

Hi Carrie, That's a very sad story. I hope things are going better now.

Rocket Man said...

People who call themselves farmers or ranchers and then neglect their animals irk me. We've had a couple of severe summer droughts in the past few years when hay production was sparse, driving the prices way up during the winter. It seemed that every week there was at least one story on the news about animal rescue groups having to take in abandoned livestock. Stay warm up there, Carrie.

michiko said...

I read and re read agin that was a very sad story
but you gave your hearts to poor animal that is very warmth attitude though I would do in that situation too.
Does look very cold in your place but for the Christmas season should have a snows just like the Christmas songs.
Compare with in here 30c-35c and we have cold turky to celebrated our Christmas or the swimm party in the pool but I would rather have snow and nayural warm firein inside house.

Hope you have a good rest and try to avoid catch
a cold.
Thank you for your visits.
Michiko

Rick said...

A very touching story Carrie but with a sad ending. I agree that people need to take responsibility for the animals in their CARE ! You did the best you could - the rest was out of your hands.

Hopefully some warmer weather will come your way soon.

Ramblingon said...

Carrie, I had no idea of this blog of yours and I am certainly glad to have found it. It opened my eyes to a sad tragic fact of life. One, that many times animals are not well taken care of, and that some people lack the care and compassion to be even allowed to have animals of any sort. Two, that there are loving compassionate people who do their very best to take up the slack left by such people that would allow an animal to starve or suffer or freeze to death. or any other horrible circumstance these innocents wander in to.

Bless you and your husband's kind hearts. ♥

Jackie said...

BRRrrrrrr! Those beautiful winter picyures made this Louisiana lady want to back up to your big old wood heater! what a day out in the cold for you. The little calf?cow? under the blanket looks so sweet. You have a new follower..me....

Leovi said...

Sorry to hear of the incident of the cow and you have not been able to enjoy the snow you see in these beautiful photos. I wish you better luck in the coming weeks.

Cat said...

I read you "cattle report", Carrie..know only too well about the joys and hardships regarding cattle and calves...If I have a weak calf, and it;s cold outside..I;ll bring it into my kitchen wrap it blankets by the woodsyove, tube it with some colosteum, and go to bed...most of the time the calf will come around, and try and stan up...lokking under the table for the udder...that's when it's time to bring it to mama into th corrals. Mom usually takes it right away..if not we hobble the mom for a week, so she can't kick the calf...works for twins, too...good luck, Carrie...thinking of you.
Love, cat.

JennyD said...

Hey, Carrie :) Just stopping by to see you and give you a warm hug from your buddy here in Virginia. By now, I hope the mother cow has made it home and all is well. If she didn't make it, don't tell me :( I'm one of those ppl that just don't do well on bad news about animals. Whew, tough stuff it is.
Anyway, thinking of you and wishing you well and happy. Will ck back on you later XOXOXO

Janie2 said...

What a story!! Thanks for that Carrie. Life on the farm with cows, and snow. Your world is so different from mine. Great post.

Connie said...

Carrie, I love the view from your window. You live in a beautiful area. Sad story about the cow and calf. People need to be responsible for their animals. There's a neighbor here who doesn't repair his fences, so his cows end up on my son's property way too often...they come because they're hungry. My son doesn't have enough pasture to feed more than his own cows, plus one for beef. Hope you're able to stay snug inside now.