Today I cried more then a few tears over a cow. It won’t be the first time I cried over a cow, nor will it be the last.
Every farmer makes a vow, so to speak, to the creatures entrusted into their care. It is our vow, that for the time our Ladies are with us, we will do everything within our power to give them the care they deserve. This is a vow we take seriously and honestly feel down to the very core of our being.
Sometimes that means making the difficult, but humane decision to end their life.
Jellacy went down earlier this week. A down cow is cow that cannot get up on their own. After first initial assessments and attempts on getting her up failed, we moved her into our hospital pen. Her manner, appetite and actions were telling us she had just possibly gotten into a bad position that had made her unable to get up. We were optimistic with a little rest and help we could have her up on the next try.
Our average cow weighs 1,200 lbs, not exactly a weight a person can just lift. So we use the tools of a sling and skidsteer to help. That weight plays a major disadvantage to a cow as any amount of over time laying down on their limbs decreases circulation. A down cow is a cow in trouble. And every bit of time down leads to a list of things that are to her disadvantage.
And while we can make every effort to give a down cow a chance, sometimes they just can’t make it back up again. This is where I wish they could talk and tell us exactly what was wrong. I can’t tell you the pain or frustration we feel in trying to help one of our Ladies and failing.
We try, until they tell us otherwise. Today Jellacy told us her injuries were greater then we knew. It was obvious through her actions and manner that she was suffering and not headed in a direction of recovery. So we made the decision to end her suffering.
There will never come a day that decision comes lightly. But it is a part of our vow.
All of our Ladies are important to us. But some just hold a little bigger spot in our hearts. Jellacy was one of those for me and our many memories will long be cherished.
Graze in green pastures my red, freckled nosed friend. I will see you again some day.
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