The Ups and Downs of 2013

8 Jan


Last year there were some run-ins…

Before Christmas one of our best milking cows, Magoe, fell down in the barn. Some fellow Holstein—who definitely ended up on Santa’s naughty list—had ruthlessly knocked her down. We closed off the alley, coaxed her up with grain, and she shakily walked out of the barn into a temporary pen for some special care and attention.

There was the usual hard work and then the extra hard work…

After those first trembling steps, she wouldn’t stand. Her feed had to be forked over, water carried in buckets (she could drink five one-gallon pails in a sitting) and pen forked clean daily. My Dad and brother knotted together a basic sling, looping it around her stocky frame so she could be lifted up—but her front legs were limp.

Then there were difficult decisions…

Each morning when we came out to the barn so had flopped onto her side liked a knocked over bowling pin, kicking her rear legs furiously and making disgruntled snow angles in the sawdust. We would sit her up, then lift her up, and watch those front legs, limp and lifeless, with knots in our stomachs. They say where there is a will, there is way, but we were all loosing will—Magoe included—and could only see one way: we would need to call the vet to put her to sleep.

Some days required a lot of hope…

The New Year dawned, sunny and bright, and Magoe viewed it rolled on her side, looking up at the barn rafters with red, bleary eyes. For a cow that couldn’t stand up she sure could roll-over. My Dad and brother lifted her yet again, two weeks since her fall, and she took a nervous step, her front legs shaking. She stumbled and fell with a grunt. This happened repeatedly—as did our forking of her feed, carrying of the water buckets, and encouraging behind-the-ear scratches.

But most of all, we love a happy ending…

So how did it end? If this is a clue, the picture of this post is of Magoe. I took it two days ago. She stands on her own, is eating like a horse (or is that a cow?) and will join the herd in another week or two.

Happy New Year and, like Magoe, let’s take it in stride!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: