Skip to comments.Have you heard and seen the Cattle Death Low? (Vanity)
Posted on 03/18/2013 7:02:40 PM PDT by One Name
I was on my way home today when my mom texted me that my dad's next younger brother had died of surgical complications. He was a great guy, took over my granddad's gun business, solid dude all the way.
Pulled into the drive wanting to get more info and noticed something awry in the cow lot. The cows are still on hay welfare as it has not warmed up enough to spring the incipient grass up, though they are starting to pick around a bit for something fresh and green.
One of my oldest cows, the last full-blood Texas Longhorn was dead, hung up in a feeder she's manipulated all winter. Must have slipped and fell and wore herself out, heavy with calf. She's like 19 (Longhorns can give you a calf for 20+ years, most European cattle are getting worn at 10 or so.
My goal over the last 2 decades has been to raise a fairly closed herd of longhorn/angus/hereford crossbreds that are disease-resistant, calve easy and raise polled black white-face calves that grow on grass with little maintenance or extra input. No hormones or implants, no grain (til they go to feedlot) etc.
The gist of this whole story is that when a close-knit herd of cattle loses one of their own, especially a matriarch- they do some weird mourning.
They do a low, gutteral bellering, hold their heads low and make strange noises, nudge the dead cow as if to challenge her, jump around, fight each other and so on.
Here in western society we try to contain all our emotions at funerals; we tend to shy away from excessive travail and emotion. No one wants to "lose it" at a funeral.
It's all just weird to me today. Next time I'll film it; maybe it's better to let it all out when it happens...
You’ve had a really crap day.
You’re in my prayers tonight.
Prayers for you and your family :)
I think your reverie was beautiful.
When the first nuke was set off in NM, a herd of Herford cattle was accidentally exposed to the radiation.
Over the next 20 years the cows were watched and notes taken. One old cow, OLD GRANNY, who had several radiation burns, dropped I believe it was 19 perfectly normal calves. Only one calf died.
This was from an article in PROGRESSIVE FARMER back in the early 1960s.
***They do a low, gutteral bellering, hold their heads low and make strange noises,***
A friend of mine killed a cow for beef. He shot her, cut her throat and butchered her in the pasture.
Four months later he released new cows into that pasture. When the cows passed the spot where he had butchered the cow they immediately went into this panic mode with low bellering and pawing the ground where the cow had been bled out.
I went to a co-worker’s funeral a few days ago. I was shocked when I saw him in the coffin as he was younger than me. Many of us there miss him.
I also miss another dear co-worker who also was younger than me, and died of cancer. he had his whole life ahead of him but died so young.
i understand completely about the whole thing, believe me. This was beautiful.
(P.S. admirable breeding program)
(P.P.S.: I’m sorry about your brother. We don’t need to lose any more like that.)
Ya he was my dad’s middle brother, my uncle. Never got to spend enough time with him as we moved around be he was always composed and cool.
Prayers going up and hugs going out.
Yes, there is a spiritual awareness animals have that we humans have been programmed to no longer receive, IMHO.
Thank you! May Our Lord Bless you as well. The older I get, the more barges in tow, the more I realize what is really important.
I think you’ve had MORE than just a crappy day. Prayers up. Take care.
Thanks! Been on the phone and kind of jumping around. God Bless you!
Been on phone,etc. Thanks so much!
I’m so sorry for your loss.
The sun was out today- it could have been worse!
Thanks and God Bless you!
Ya it’s a weird deal...
They definitely have a sense that something transitional has occurred.
So sorry to hear about your very bad day. It hurts to lose a favorite old friend, human or animal, in the pasture or anywhere. We raise cattle and have a few longhorns and Watusi’s but have never witnessed the behavior you describe.
May God bless you, FRiend- thanks!
Thanks for the condolences. When you have a dead cow in a tight herd and you go to haul her away with a tractor you will see what I’m talking about...they kinda freak.
Cows, like most all animals, are creatures of habit and routine. When those habits and routines are messed with they react strangely. Just like you or I would.
Give those cows a week assuming their current arrangement allows them access to food and water. After that, start to work them. Don’t be rough and don’t be loud. You don’t have to yell at a cow to get them to do what you want. Cows overcome like everyone else and there will be something to settle them down eventually if you handle it properly.
If it makes any sense, you are their boss but not their master. You’ll control and herd cows only so far as you’ve proven yourself able to do so. Cows are herd animals so know that mentality. You can herd them but you can’t control them. Understand that....
One Name, my family raised cattle but I’ve not seen that behavior myself. Doesn’t surprise me. I saw some thing like that with our chickens.
We have several chicken and one was an old Rock Island Red we had had from the beginning.
We lived in the desert north of Phoenix. During the summer, and in spite of our best efforts to keep the chickens cool (short of air condition their coop)we would lose one or two chickens to the heat. The others never seemed to notice. One summer we lost the red hen.
We found her dead in the coop. The chickens were doing their chicken thing. My husband picked up the hen’s body and carried her out of the pen. All of the chickens stopped what their were doing and and watched Stan as he walked away. They were silent for a few minutes, slowly went back to their activities.
That’s the fist time I ever saw them react to a death. I think the old hen held a special place in the lives of the chickens.
The death of your cow is a double punch and intensifies the death of your family hero. Although she is an animal, she was a big part of your life and you deserve to grieve her death as well as your family hero’s.
Prayers for peace and comfort.
I’ve seen a LOT of animals grieve for their dead.
We don’t have the monopoly on sorrow.
One of the saddest things I ever saw was rabid mother coon who’d brought brought her dying babies to my yard.
They were in severe extremis and didn’t have long.
She kept running up to me and then back to them, ‘patting’ them and putting them back in their ‘pile’.
She’d run off aways and come back, again and again.
I shot her suffering babies and she returned one last time, stood up on her hind legs, spread out her arms and just stood there...waiting.
I shot her, too.
All 3 tests came back rabid yet in her misery, she cared only for her babies and when they were dead, it sure seemed like she just wanted to die, too.
She had not yet become ‘symptomatic’ so I really think she understood what she was doing.
Damn, did I ever cry.
And then I got the shots.
You’re more than entitled to let some emotion and observation go.
Not only that, but when God gives you insight, it’s good to share it. You never know who you might touch with your words.
To you it might seem like just an outlet for pent up emotion, but to someone reading, someone who’s going through things in their own life, your words might be a treasure of faith and comfort.
Especially with this medium, where we never know just who or how many are reading what we write (some of their purposes dark ones, for sure) but the commonality of experience with you, your loved ones and the Critters you breed and care for can be invaluable to those who may never say a word to let you know.
May God send His angels and blessings to you tonight.
I know little about cows though we had a few once
I know about horses a bit....both are hooved herd type prey animals
And a mite quirky
My Hanoverian bay gelding beat the snot out of my Thoroughbred chestnut gelding two days ago
Lord that sounds snooty doesnt it.....like a Grey Poupon commercial..dear boy
Anyhow....TB had been pushing the big boy around and 17.3 Hanoverian bit the crap out if him in 7 spots
I went thru a lot of that aluminum spray and amoxicillin
So...that’s my tale on domestic hoovies for tonight
I do know cows love alfalfa like horse but damn is it high right now
14-17 a bale for really nice sweet stuff
God bless your uncle
Good men in America are dying off
My boys want a big registered bull for hell of it
I thought about some polled breed.....like a pet
But i hear u better have several water tanks
And understand horses are antagonistic to bovines
I can believe that.... horses are Loki like a bit
That story is, as always, a confession seeking absolution.
I still feel horrible about it.
I have observed cattle nudging ones which were down, and a friend hit one doing just that (and hit the one in the road which had already been hit by another vehicle). It was a moonless night, black cow on black pavement, open range paved road. He saw the white face of the Hereford leaning over the one down on the pavement just too late to avoid the collision.
I know - But I felt more horrible about the shots that came ~after~.
(Raccoons are cute critters and all, but I don’t actualy correspond with any of them. .........that I know of...(?))
And at some hopefully much later date, the Momma Raccoon will probably be waiting there by the pump.
You know. The pump on the well where all your “friends” can get a drink of water. And never get left behind.
With me luck, she’ll bite me.
We donât haul them away. Our cows are out in the pasture, grazing, the dead ones just stay where they died.
Been offline awhile, but gotcha man. Thanks.
The instinctive care you describe of a mother for her young to the point of her own death is a force of nature stronger than anything.
Been out a bit- just getting back. Animals may not have eternal spirits like you and I but that does not mean they do not have spirits or are spiritually unaware...
Yeah been thru this a number or times over the years...
The next in-line cows followed me about half-way down the hill to the creek (pulling dead cow w/ tractor) actin all weird. They dropped off eventually after a few hundred yards.
I then take the carcasses a 1/4 mile more to a ditch where the coyotes have at it.
Easier to lead cows with a bucket of range cubes than to drive them.
Had quarterhorse once, though who got off on driving cows... it’s in their blood big time. Got tired of feeding horses now have a border collie cross who likes to tease death.