Thursday, March 26, 2009


Some of you might remember this little guy from a previous post. Quite the little sneak that HBK. Always in some sort of trouble, keeping me from my work. Well, today was no exception. I returned home from taking Sanderson to school to see his mother standing near a thick patch of trees where an old house once stood in our pasture. She began calling to me and I knew something wasn't right. Yes, I said calling to me. Our cows rely on my husband and I to make things right. They moo "call-out" to us in times of trouble and different moos mean different things. I know, it sounds strange, but I promise it's true. Her calling was one of desperation.

I went into the house, radioed my husband, and slipped on his rubber boots. Mine were full of water and leaves from the rain last night and this morning. :( I always let my husband know if I'm out in the pasture by myself. You just don't know what might happen and at least they would know where to look for me. A quick head count told me that in fact, our HBK was missing. His mother's frantic actions and aggression towards me let me know that something was really not right. I decided to drive the truck instead of walking to look for our lost little guy.

Everette and I made our way around the pasture looking for his white little face. We had no luck. I looped back around and headed to the other side of our pasture near the old home site under the trees. As we rounded the back side, I saw him. He was lying down near in an area under the trees that was cross fenced. As I walked over to him I could see that he was wrapped in old barbwire. He was unable to stand from all of the wire.

I made a quick trip to the seed & feed next door and luckily found the owner there. He came back with me to cut the fence loose and help HBK get back up. We cut & removed the wire with no trouble. Luckily he didn't even have a scratch. Getting him to stand was another thing entirely. We finally manage to get him to stand long enough to fall in a better location. Things just didn't look good.

I made another trip back to the store to take Wayne back and pick up some penicillin for HBK. By the time I got it warm enough for an injection my father-in-law had arrived to help me get him up. You see, if you don't get them back on their feet, they'll die. Cows don't have much will to live, and exhaustion takes a big toll on a cow. Little HBK had fought that wire all night long and was completely worn out. If we couldn't at least get him into an upright position he'd be doomed for sure.

We found him exactly as I'd left him. I gave him the injection before we tried anything to get him going. We were finally able to get him in an upright position, propped up on some stacked wood we found in the left overs of the old house. He had no desire to stand. And even though he is a young 5 months, he already weighs over 200 pounds. There is just no way to make him get up if he doesn't want to. Believe me, I did some serious begging and tugging, but he wouldn't hear of it. We left him in his propped position and I told him I'd be back in a few hours to check on him. Surely with a little more rest, he'd be up to standing.

When I returned later this afternoon, it was just as I had hoped it wouldn't be. Our sweet little HBK decided he just couldn't handle the fatigue. He lost his will. I lost my battle. I failed his mother and as a cattle farmer today.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear this. It is not easy to deal with a loss of an animal. I wounldn't call it failure, you tried your best. Like you said cows have no will. My uncle owns a dairy farm and when we would loose a cow I would get so upset and my uncle would tell me "in farming you take what you are dealt and it just means that a better cow is on its way to replace it" Now he may have said that just so I would believe it but I still do. Don't feel as though you are a failure it was nature taking its coarse. I know it doesn't make it any easier but I am sorry and wish you well :)



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