Unexpected medical patient. Part 1. Warning graphic!

Yesterday Lucy and I were making the rounds to our farmers, the processor, etc. dropping off piggies, picking up goodies, and catching up on all the happenings and ideas from Lucy’s trip to the Women Working in Meat conference held the first part of the week.  (This link is to the Huffington Post. This was a big deal).

When we arrived at one of our farms, we learned that they still had around the barn yard a cute little calf I’d met before, but also had a brand new little calf, just three days old.

Two cute little Jersey calves
Two cute little Jersey calves

While we were admiring the cuteness, The farmer informed me that they had a cow who was dying. She had an impacted rumen and the vet had just said there was nothing more he could do. The farmer was obviously upset, as any farmer would be. Loosing an animal is tough, both emotionally and financially. Then she noted that they really didn’t know what they’d do when she died. They didn’t have a tractor or a way to bury her. In all my trips there, I’d never really paid attention to the lack of a tractor.

“What about a neighbor? Somebody out here surely has a tractor.”

“I don’t know my neighbors.”

We have some aspiring farmers who follow us. Folks, know your neighbors. You’ll never have everything on a farm. Working together you are always so much stronger than working by yourself. Back to the story.

I looked around and tried to think of how they could handle a dead 900 pound cow with no tractor. They could drag her with a truck over here. But then how do they dig the hole?

Then the farmer noticed I was pulling an empty stock trailer. (Remember the piggies we’d dropped off earlier?)

“Can you take her to your farm? You can bury her.”

“Uh, I don’t need to take your sick animal to my farm. She’ll get my cows sick.”

“She just has an impacted rumen. She’s been checked for everything else there is. No diseases.”

I tried desperately to think of a way out of this. But I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.

“Ok, show me the cow.”

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