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High Elevation Birth ~~ at Dickinson Cattle Co4-18-10
People in the livestock business know how fragile life is; how death may be only inches or minutes away. Even with the wisdom that the Lord provides for Longhorns to utilize natural instincts, sometimes the best plan fails.
A large parcel of land, 16,000 acres to be exact, joins DCCI to the north. This area, the Egypt Valley Wildlife Refuge, owned by the state of Ohio, is a major coyote breeding ground. It is jammed full of brush making it impossible to hunt and remove the vicious meat eaters. At nights, every night, coyotes howl, and travel in packs of dozens. It is enough to keep a young Longhorn cow on her most alert status. Some time about dawn, the coyotes seem to realize new light exposes their nasty ambitions so they silently disappear. New mothers can relax. Calves can sleep in fresh green grass, and the light of day provides new welcomed safety.
Last night a bad thing happened. The young cow "Theme de Loof" gave birth to a pretty Tempter heifer weighing in at a big 73#.
Being of a modest nature, Longhorn cows give birth as quiet and private as possibly. They go into brush areas and, without witnesses, deliver a precious life into the world. It was all a good plan, with one exception --- the new heifer landed in the middle of a thorny bush at birth. Obviously she was born from a full standing position, and bang, right into a forked Autumn Olive bush, wedged about 2 feet off the ground. Due to the V shaped limbs and the weakness of the new born, that is where she lodged until Joel Dickinson found her on his first-light pasture check.
The area around the bush was worn and stomped by the fretting mother. She stood over the erroneously deposited one, protecting, licking, nudging only to find the problem impossible to solve. When the heifer was lifted out of the brush, right after this photo was taken, blood circulation had been eliminated and the calf's legs were swollen. She missed the all-important warm birth colostrum which promptly gives energy and strength. Her little body was weak and exhausted. In a matter of minutes she was removed, briskly rubbed down and quickly found the magic fountain. The nightmare of her first horrible hours on earth is now over.
Fall of 2009 the people of Ohio voted to establish an Animal Care Board that would determine what was proper care, how animals should be treated, and appropriate fines and enforcements against those who don't properly care for their animals. Regardless of how little non-livestock owners know about farm animal husbandry, we remain steadfast in our belief the owners of livestock are the most concerned and knowledgeable when caring for their own stock.
A lot of life lessons can be learned riding the Appalachian pastures on Dickinson Cattle Company shortly after a chilling dawn. For those members of the HSUS who doubt the care given by animal owner/care givers themselves ----- may God bless your stupid ignorance in some kind way?
Registered Texas Longhorns since 1967
DCCI~~~ Purveyor of “one owner” quality Cattle.
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