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Heartwrenching moment

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Shelly

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The calf that I've talked about on here before finally succumbed to whatever was ailing it, I found it dead in the shed this morning. The cow was searching and bawling like crazy for her baby. I drug it out of the shed so my husband could pick it up with the bobcat. As I was waiting for him to come, the cow came running back in to the corral on a dead run, spied up her calf. She headed right for it, but came to a skidding halt 20 feet away from it. She knew it was her calf, but she must've been able to smell death. She cautiously approached, backing off every so often, then coming in closer again till she got right up to it. I stood off aways and watched her as she started mooing at it and licking it's face. Next thing I know, I had a huge lump in my throat and the tears were freezing on my cheeks. I've been at this cow biz now for 24 years, and I've seen death many times, but it still does and will always choke me up. So, so sad to see a mama trying to get her dead calf up and going.
 

katrina

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Shelly, I know what your talking about. We've lost a calf and picked it up to go to the bone pile and the mother cow followed us around the pasture for a week knowing we had her baby...
Death no matter what it is, is a sad thing...........
 

Tap

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Shelly, the day it doesn't bother you anymore, or the rest of us for that matter, is the day we should probably quit. I always tell myself that is how nature deals with it's problems. It just takes care of them itself. :(

Keep your chin up.
 

wdcook

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You're exactly right, Tap. Although most of us tend to get aggravated at our stock, pets, family, etc., at times I can't help but believe ranchers are deep down some of the most caring people in the world. Just wish the PETA types could or would really understand how much we do care about our stock.
 

DJL

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Sorry for your loss, after all the effort you put in. It never gets any easier, that's certain. If we were so hard that it didn't bother us, I think it would be time to pack it in.
 

3words

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Sorry to hear about your calf,Shelly.Not only women,have shed a tear over the loss of an animal.Just shows we care,for the animals we look after.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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What a horrible feeling after you spent so much time and effort on that calf.

Last spring I had a little twin that took a lot of nursing along and I thought that it was making progress. It looked pretty bright after I fed it one evening and next morning when I went out to the field it was lying dead next to a fence that was lined with vultures. It was already tore up so I don't know if it died on its own or if the vultures killed it since it was weaker. I guess vultures have a job to do on this earth, but I coulda killed every one of them that morning.
 

MsSage

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Shelly I am sorry for your loss. You care about your animlas and that is normal to feel grief when one dies. It wasnt jut a cow it was a living being.
What gets me is they say animals are dumb. She knew her calf was gone.
Breaks your heart.
Wish there was a icon for a hug.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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What's bad is when a mama keeps walkin back to the last place her calf was for a solid week bellerin. Even tho it's gone. I don't know if they "KNOW" its dead, or what, but it's a tough thing to watch. We've never been in a situation where we could give the cow another calf to replace the one that was lost. When things like that happen, I just hurry up and do whatever it is that hasta be done and try not to dwell on it. We all know that those things happen, but it don't make it any easier to deal with.
Then on the flip side, ever now and then ya have one that has a calf and dont act like she knows she's sposta take care of it, those git a ride to town, real quick.
 

Faster horses

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Ahhh, Shelly that is a tough deal. So sorry about it, dang!! Those good old momma cows like that can really pull at your heart.


We had a Guernsey milk cow once that was really a good mother. We always grafted her calf onto a range cow so we could milk the Guernsey. We would summer the range cows about 8 miles from the house, barns, etc. and bring them closer as the year progressed. In the fall we would take them across the road and run in the meadows there. Every fall, the little milk cow would go down the lane, jump the cattleguard, cross the highway, get through the fence and FIND HER CALF. No kidding. She would find that calf and stay right by it. Of course, she didn't mean much to the calf, but the calf sure meant a lot to her.

It got so we couldn't take her calf away from her anymore.
 

Jason

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A cow's love for it's calf is different than a human's love. A cow is acting on instinct and hormones, very powerful forces but not reason.

Those good momma cows can remember the smell of that calf for a very long time, sometimes until they get the new calf smell imbedded in their brain.

The cows that return to the place the calf was are looking for where they left the calf, not the last place it was alive. Hormones to mother a calf and possibly a sore udder needing relief from a calf suckling keep reminding her to look.

When you mother up cows after a move to a pasture or whatever, the cow isn't satisfied until she has sniffed her young one. The calf might start sucking before the cow has a chance to recognize it, and often will get a boot for its effort, until the cow turns and smells the calf.

Marvelous design in the creation, but instinct not reason.
 

Faster horses

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Not to dispute you, Jason, BUT, with our milk cow she a.)never was in the pasture across the road b.) we took her calf off her in March, and it was October when she would find it, c.)she lived by the barn in the 'milk cow pasture' and that's where her calf was also.

I agree with you on your post, most of the time, and would agree that the deal with this milk cow was an exception. But there are exceptions to every rule.

She is also the cow that let the pigs suck her. :shock: :p
 

Jason

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She could probably smell the calf. And her hormones/ udder told her she needed to be suckled. Still instinct...twisted and strong but instinct.

I garantee she didn't reason out a plan where she would just randomly hunt for the calf. Something triggered her to go where she did. Even the noise of a group of cows, she was curious or herd instinct told her to get with the group. The smell of the calf could still be imprinted in her brain after months away. Very strong instinct in her no doubt.
 

kolanuraven

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What's a riot is when they---the cow--misplaces her calf. Then when they see you it's like they run to you asking for help.

We have one that is a bit ditzy and is always forgetting where she put her baby...she runs up to us just bawling her head off and all big eyed. I can just see her as an old woman running with her apron held in her hand!!


We have to help her look and then we eventually find it asleep somewhere...then she acts like she knew all along but was testing us!

Goofy bovines!!
 

Angus Cattle Shower

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We just lost one calf again the other night. I had to bottle feed it for the last week, because it was too weak to suck. It was out of the meanest cow, and she must have known that IO was helping, cause she'd lay down beside the calf, and lick it while it was laying down sucking.The one night I went out at 11, fed it, and made it comfy on a fresh pile of straw, made it a little pillow, and scratched ity behind it's earstill it was peace fully asleep. When I went out to check at 1 the cow was bawling, and the calf was just taking it's last breath. She let us take it to the pasture, after she nuzzled it and licked it all night, the next day, and still followed us down there and wouldn't come back to the yard till after sundown. Too bad that this is such a harsh reality of the cattle buisness.
 

CattleRMe

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QUOTE:
A cow's love for it's calf is different than a human's love. A cow is acting on instinct and hormones, very powerful forces but not reason.

I've seen a few mothers act on instinct, hormones, and lose their reason over their child too. Gasp! Maybe I'm more like a cow then I want to admit! :wink:
 

Jinglebob

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Just remember folks, Jason has herefords. So he's probably never been exposed to a SMART cow before! :shock: :lol:







OK OK, just a joke! Sheesh, you hereford people are cranky! :cry:















:wink:
 

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