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For those who ready my article in The Cow Barn section of the last issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal, I included a photograph a Mamma - a Holstein thought to be 18-years-old. She was just being left to continue to grow old on the farm, rather than being sent to the dog food plant.

On Monday I noticed a very large, black, solid mass at her virgina. Vet confirmed it was melonomia (sp? - skin cancer). While he was willing to operate, it would have been expensive to have done and extremely hard to keep flies off of afterwards. Decision was made to put her down and she was buried on the farm yesterday. I had to call a neighbor to come over and put her down. I just couldn't pull the trigger.

I had owned her for ten plus years and she was already a mature cow when I purchased her with a group of seven others, most Brahman-crosses. She was the last of the group.

RIP old girl.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

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So sorry to hear of your loss, Ken! That had to have been hard to have had her for so long and to finally watch her go. I sure wouldn't have been able to pull the trigger, either!

Definitely, RIP.

Sarah
 

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I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Ken. Those dear old cows just can't be replaced. I lost an old longhorn last year that was 24 and I still can't get used to not seeing her sweet old scowl when I check cows.
 

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Sorry to hear about your cow.

We have grandma. She is 17 years old and had a calf a couple months ago. She's still going strong, but they can do down fast.

Jena
 

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I'm sorry. That's so sad. What a decent thing you did though to let her live out her retirement. It is refreshing and redeeming to wander into an animal forum and see people who really care about their animals tell their stories whether those stories are sad or joyful. I find a little joy in knowing that someone cared enough to let an old cow live her life through gracefully and put her down humanely when it came time. What a lucky life she lived.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that Ken.
Many people think farmers and ranchers don't get emotional about their animals, but when they're good farm animals and you have to do something like that, it's like parting with a family member. :(
I was surprised at the diagnosis though, I didn't realize cows got mellanoma. Gee, I learn something new everyday on this forum!
 
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