I go walking after midnight…. well not usually, but when I do its to track down a stupid cow that has jumped out and is about to calve.
My check is at 11, so at 11 every night I go out and check cows to make sure nothing is having problems calving. This is only done during calving time (for us calving is February and March). Before going out for my check I was talking with my dad and he mentioned one older cow 15T, he thought was going to calve tonight, so to make sure I saw her. I went out to do my check and sure enough she was nowhere to be found. I was about to go and do a second look when I noticed something suspicious a rail knocked down in the pen she was in. Upon further inspection I saw tracks! She had jumped out.
At first I though maybe she jumped into the next field where we have the cows that have already calved and their calves, but I kept following her tracks and there were leading me straight down the rail bed (the train use to go right through our place, they have long since took the tracks out, but the road remains). At this point I call my dad to come and give me a hand because I thought if she had calved I’m gonna need a hand getting her and her calf back in. I should have know that would be the least of my worries!
I kept following her tracks and they never ended, by the time dad came over in the truck I was about 1 km away from the calving barn. We followed her tracks in the truck and they just kept going. She went all the way back down to the field where they spend from October to just before calving, which is the end of our property. Then we noticed her tracks cut off into the bush, so we park the truck and get out to follow her on foot.
We walked probably 20+ minutes in the deep snow following her tracks until we finally found her. My favourite part of the night was when dad looked at her and said “You stupid bleep bleep bleep! You’re a good mom, but I don’t think you’re that good to keep him alive out here.” As we are standing in snow almost to our knees.
We were trying to weigh out our options how to get her back. Thankfully she had not calved yet, so we only had to worry about getting her back. I didn’t think we’d get her back in a million years, but we tried and it worked. We followed her back to where we left the truck and right back into the field another 20+ minute hike this time mostly on the road, so much easier walking. I thought it was just a miracle we got her, but good old logical dad reminded me she was tired.
We got her into the field and then tried to bring her into the calving barn, so she couldn’t jump out again, this is where she gave us the run around, but we eventually got her. Her calf better be a high seller at the sale this coming year!!!
Well I’m off to check her to see if she has calved yet. Goodnight!