The Prodigal Heifer

April 17, 2007

Here at Dickinson Cattle Co, the whole Muskrat valley (about 9000) acres was mined for coal. Some of the Appalachian hillsides were dynamited and blown apart as much as 200 feet deep. Over $3,000,000,000 in coal was recovered and the land was scientifically reclaimed making a rich cattle producing area of the Ohio River Valley grass land. The top soil is from 6" to 16" deep. Below the top soil is small limestone rocks and some as large as a boat. Between these huge molested escarpments are underground cracks and holes covered by one to 100 feet of soil and mixed sized stone. One such small hole just the size of a large crooked post hole nearly 20 feet deep is where our life or death story begins.

On April 1 (this in not an April Fools story) Joel Dickinson was making the rounds tagging and weighing new born calves. One BueLingo cow was bawling and circling the hillside with no calf in sight. By all appearance one calf had totally disappeared----gone. The cow indicated the calf was last seen in one certain area. Joel walked the area for hours. Finally a weak sound came from deep down in the ground. A small mining sink hole no larger than a Hopalong Cassidy hat was emitting weak frantic sounds. When Joel looked in the hole a BueLingo calf had fallen in the hole and wiggled down in the mud nearly 20 feet below grass line. Only the calf's head was above the mud. The cow watched with concern as the CSI took place.
Half Out
Soon Joel's whole family was trying to solve the problem. It was difficult to see the calf for kids heads looking in the hole. Marshall held a high powered marine spot light which made the calf clearly visible. Cinco the dog couldn't care less.
Almost Done
An assortment of tools were brought to the sink hole. The hole was about 2 miles from ranch headquarters in one of the back pastures. A lariat rope was pushed down a 2" PVC pipe with a stiff loop at the bottom. A 20 foot extension paint handle with a broken paint roller was used to lift the calf's head out of the mud to get a rope on his head.
Lick Calf
The kids were praying that the calf would be saved while they were more in the road than of any normal assistance. Marshall almost dropped the spot light in the hole two times. The last thing the calf needed was a 5 lb spot light bashing him in the head.
Love Calf
While Misty twisted the head loop, Roger hooked the head up and Joel positioned the PVC for a firm catch.
Lick Calf
The black muddy head was lifted out gasping for air. The kids were more than excited.
Love Calf
Mud was pulled out of the calf's mouth and nose. These are experiences in real life that are great training for ranch kids. Livestock production is more than computers and ball sports.
Lick Calf
The calf had fluid in his lungs so Joel spun him around to create a centrifugal force to expel the liquid. Each circle released unwanted juices. The prodigal calf was reunited with his frustrated mother. He was promptly licked clean and welcomed to the supper table.
Love Calf
Logs and down timber was jammed into the dastardly hole. And . . . .everyone lived happy every after. Now to the next pasture and see what those calves are into!

At DCCI every life is precious and valuable.  For cattle raised with family attention and tender care give us a call at 740 758 5050.

To view this special calf do a tour of DCCI Summer of 2007.  He will be glad he can see you.

For purchase information on Buelingo cattle check

Registered Texas Longhorns since 1967

DCCI~~~ Purveyor of “one owner” quality Cattle.


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