leaving cows out in the pasture

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DL

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We have old cows we just let die out in the pasture versus slaughter all the time.  I guess I've just been brought up to be very adverse to eating a potentially sick animal. this came from chambero on a post about MM's sick steer, and perhaps it just struck me wrong (me - over react - oh never!) but here we go

I understand not necessarily wanting to eat old cows but I don't understand leaving old cows out in the pasture to die. I believe that as stewards of our stock we have certain responsibilities - if an animal is sick we need to treat it or kill it - we should not let it suffer. By just letting them die we are making life easier for ourselves (who really likes to kill a cow) but are we really doing the right thing by the animal. By not making a decision regarding old cows we have made a very loud statement (IMHO) and it is one that I personally am pretty uncomfortable with......
 

Show Heifer

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I have to admit, I have 2 cows and 1 sheep that will NEVER go to the salebarn. I have seen how that "help" treats animals and my 3 critters would wear out their hotshots.  Then get slammed into a semi with 5-10 too many head. Nope. I won't let that happen to them.
But, when the time comes, I will plan a day trip, and call my neighbor (a very nice man) and he will come and shoot them for me. He'll usually drag them to the hole also. I just don't have the heart to do the shooting, but also know in my heart it is my responsibility to rid them of suffering.  :'(
I don't know, maybe its because I'm female, maybe not. But I know it was the way I was raised.
 

farmboy

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MY FIRST YEAR IN 4-H I HAD TO HAVE MY FREIND TAKE MY LAMB ON TO "THE TRUCK". NOW WIH THE STEERS IT WAS EASIER BECAUSE THEY USUALLY HURT ME. NOW WHEN "THE TRUCK" DAY COMES, I LET MY ADVISOR TAKE EM'. IT'S ALOT EASIER TO DEAL WITH IT :'(
 

chambero

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Ouch DL!  I'm not sure what made you jump to that conclusion because I didn't say we let anything suffer.  I meant we don't try to "salvage" them at the last moment for a slight economic gain.  I've seen animals literally drug out of a trailer with a tractor at a sale barn before.  We don't do that.  In my opinion, sick animals shouldn't be sold or eaten. 

FYI, when we have an animal that goes "down" or can't move around enough to properly eat or drink, they are humanely dispatched - usually by me.  I think I had posted on this site earlier in the year about having to put down a calf with SP that I couldn't bear to watch anymore.  I figured some things were better left unsaid for other readers that might browse this board.
 

DL

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chambero said:
Ouch DL!  I'm not sure what made you jump to that conclusion because I didn't say we let anything suffer.  I meant we don't try to "salvage" them at the last moment for a slight economic gain.  I've seen animals literally drug out of a trailer with a tractor at a sale barn before.  We don't do that.  In my opinion, sick animals shouldn't be sold or eaten. 

FYI, when we have an animal that goes "down" or can't move around enough to properly eat or drink, they are humanely dispatched - usually by me.  I think I had posted on this site earlier in the year about having to put down a calf with SP that I couldn't bear to watch anymore.  I figured some things were better left unsaid for other readers that might browse this board.


Hey chambero - it just struck me wrong when I read it - reread it and thought I might have over reacted  - but thought it was a good topic for discussion -  I think I was also thinking about situations I have been put in (or find myself in) where animals are left in the field to linger for days (and then I get called to save the down bag of bones.....aghhh)

so please accept the humble pie bandaid for the pain I caused you  ;D I do remember the calf with the SP and that it wasn't an easy thing to do - I think too when it is easy there is a problem with our humanity.....(mea culpa mea culpa)  dl
 

chambero

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If everyone involved with show calves was forced to personally deal with or at least see their "mistakes", a lot of these issues would disappear in a hurry.

When I was a little kid, we just didn't take pets to the vet if they got sick.  These stories will probably get me in more trouble, but here goes:

One of my most vivid memories is one of my puppies when I was about six getting put down by my uncle when a rabid skunk came in contact with it.  Said skunk was dealt with by our stereotypical southern sheriff crawling into a culvert with the skunk and shooting it with his pistol.  I imagine the man is still deaf to this day.

Like almost every good Texas boy, I love to hunt.  I've killed deer, elk, antelope, pigs, and one bear.  And none were harder to bring down than a wild tomcat that came visiting with some kind of horrible affliction that was visible on his nether regions.  A few shotgun blasts later (from close range I might add) he wound up under some shelves on a concrete floor in our barn wailing loud enough to wake the dead.  That one required welding gloves and a hammer to finish.  I don't "do" cats anymore.

Now to bring you back from the ledge - my mom called me back in January and told me her old lab wouldn't wake up and needed to be put down.  I stopped by my vets on the way home and he gave me the appropriate drugs (probably a no-no but I didn't have time to get the dog and get her back to the vet).  I figure this is a good lesson on life and death for my young boys so I make them go help me.  I got to mom's and asked her where the dog was.  She pointed out the window to a ditch.  I get her little red wagon to go get the dog to take her around back for privacy.  I saw the dog laying in the ditch, but not out the window mom pointed through.  I didn't think anything of it.  I explained to my boys the situation and why we had to do this to "Tilley" to keep her from suffering.  They help me load the dog in the wagon.  When we picked her up I noticed one eyelid kind of fluttered.  The boys started pulling the wagon and after a few seconds she fully opened an eye.  At this point I guess she figured that whatever was happening wasn't good. Next thing I know she struggles up and jumps out of the wagon.  She hadn't moved that fast in a couple of years.  The boys start dancing up and down with joy and I'm just shaking my head.  We go back to the house and mom comes outside crying and asking if the deed is done.  I ask her "Is the dog that's drinking out of the water trough the one you wanted put to sleep?"  Said dog made it through winter and shows no signs of ever wanting another ride in a little red wagon.

GREAT STORY - LOOKS LIKE YOU WILL GET THAT AWARD AGAIN!
 

red

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I tell everyone here that my big red cow is going to be stuffed!
No way will I be able to send her to the yards. Call me sentimental or a softie but she's just too special to me to send off in the truck.
Won't let her suffer though. DL & I had a little talk over the weekend about dragging out some of these animals for economic gain. Hated t see the Barbero horse suffer for that long. Same w/ some of these bulls.
I guess I understood what Chambero meant on his post. I've seen some of these people try to drag the porrest animal possible to the yard. Amish are some of the worst in our area on that.

Red
 

Show Heifer

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DL and Red (I think) has helped me through some tough times with a couple critters. And for that I am grateful. Also grateful they weren't here to see a grown woman cry like a spoiled baby!! :'(
Sometimes I think we (and I know I) try saving an animal just because we think we can and get mad and take it personally if we can't. So we try way beyond the point of humanity. I was taught to sacrifice for a sick animal (getting up in the middle of the night, buying meds for the cow and not new jeans, walking MILES to find and animal and packing feed and water to all weather), but I was also taught that the animal depends on me 100%. For everything. And the same kindness and respect we give them while they are alive and well, should be the same when they are sick and ailing beyond hope.
That being said, I know a lot of people do not relate to their animals as I do. The animals are a means to a dollar. And I am not just talking big farms, but small ones to.  Some people are taught that animals are expendable and are nothing but an annoyance, yet they still own them. When their animals get sick, they treat until it is too expensive or to inconvient and then they kill the animal or just let it die.  (Maybe that is why some kids grow up like they do???) ???
Somehow, I don't THINK anyone on this board falls under that group, or else why would we spend time on the computer searching for answers?  I kinda take upon myself to teach people to respect animals, but that they are also good medium well on a grill!  ;D They CAN go hand in hand. You don't have to be an animal rights freak to respect animals and treat them humanely.
 

JbarL

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i'd love to watch  an ole cow get old for twelve more years.....probally wont be around to see another one get that old again. ;D. i  wonder if they worry about me wonderin' around and how crule it is  to see me struggle around  day after day...and maybe they should just kick me in the head an put me out of my misery????    ???
 

DL

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JbarL said:
i'd love to watch  an ole cow get old for twelve more years.....probally wont be around to see another one get that old again. ;D. i  wonder if they worry about me wonderin' around and how crule it is  to see me struggle around  day after day...and maybe they should just kick me in the head an put me out of my misery????    ???

Yeah - probably - but they are worried that the "herd police" would get 'em so they leave you alone as you age! ;D
 

cowz

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This is a bit off on a tangent....I'm so good at going off on a tangent!  Things are going to get interesting on the horse front.  If you will no longer be able to sell an elderly horse, I predict that a lot of folks will just turn them loose to wander the road ditches.  With bad teeth or no teeth, these poor old guys will starve to death, if not properly euthanized.

My neighbor had a 30 year old horse that they did not have the heart to put down.  They were threatened by passersby with being turned in for animal cruelty on a frequent basis.  This old guy was fed Equine Senior and had good quality hay, but was very sway back...which he should be after 30 years...and he did not have a lot of body condition. 

In reality, a lot of people  with several horses will not euthanize, but try to keep these guys around.  Let's face it, 20-30 year old horses are harder to keep in good shape.

I know I open the can of worms here.  What do you think will happen with this new hitch in the system.?
 

knabe

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i can be blunt.  those who espouse choice with abortion are dead set against with choice on this issue, foie gras and others.  the other way this issue is being attacked is reclassifying horses from being livestock to being pets.  you should be able to eat horse.  horses are trucked to mexico and canada in single deckers, transferred to doubles.  in  mexico, they are slashed in the throat.  again, america instead of offering a "humane" slaughter, which, admittedly could use improvement, though, again, the best in the world, but since we're america, we get all the criticism from all the pressure groups cuz theres' money and an overall cause to support,(socialism),america will export their distribution to canada and mexico with lower standards.  to me, kinda like exporting all our childrens toys manufacture to china so they can put lead paint on it, sell us dog food with poison in it, cuz were too scared to do what japan does, which is impose strict testing standards that is paid for by china.  with 40% of the american public paying no income tax,due to small salaries, cash based systems etc, and other 60% basically split down the middle politically, property rights are on the decline.  so is this nation.  this horse issue is another symptom of incrementalism and the loss of choice, all disguised with choice.  something is wrong when drive by criticism carries more weight, insert duke rape scandal metaphor.  our current crop of govt representatives have no clue whatsoever about anything other than socialsim.  this one really boils by goat.  if you aren't calling your govt reps about this, well, get ready for horses on the highway.  just like with cattle and the environmentalists.  it's either cows or condo's.  come to CA where the battle is hottest and every land grab turned into a park is celebrated with more religious piety than you could separate from the constitution.

i think in reality, there will be an underground culture of getting rid of these horses, just like abortion.  there's that word again, choice.  choose to keep it.  do it now before it's too late.
i'm trying my best not to be a flamer.  perhaps i need a cold shower.


:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

mommacow

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I for one do not believe in abortion, and I believe that some horses need put down. I do not think we should eat them as the bible says something about eating one hoofed aninmals is a no no.  I do however believe that my dog should have the right to eat horse, and I think that the slaughter houses should open back up in the USA.  I do not beleive that wheat/rice or other grains should be shipped from China. I think I should have the right to go out in the pasture and shoot my horse or dog or cat if need be.  Why spend money on animals that need put down?  While I am at it...... I think that we need to start getting our oil from our country and the Caribou will just have to adapt.  So Knabe, I  applaud your bluntness!!!
 

DL

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another can of worms, sticky wicket ....I just love the "I didn'thave the heart to put it down" line

what that really says is  (1) I am a coward (2) I don't want to make the hard decision (3) my angst over this decision is more important than the potential suffering of my "beloved" animal (4) my lack of decision is really a pretty loud statement, but I don't see it that way (5) I have little regard for the welfare of my animals, despite what I say

people seem to think that leaving their animals in the country (cats, dogs, horses, donkeys etc) is a good thing when in reality they are abdicating their responsibility

I think there are things worse than death and what some people do to their animals qualify

I also think that just because an animal is a certain species doesn't mean we have to save them all - not all dogs are Lassie and not all horses are Trigger and not all cats are Killer Kitty -

I won't send my horse to slaughter but I think it is an option that should be availabe - it is a better option than what some people do to their horses...it seems as if many of the people who rant and rave about animal welfare  really are more concerned about themselves and some mythical vision of animals....
 

AAOK

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Our few cows are all pets; named, pampered. and loved.  This past Fall, I hauled two old cows to the sale barn.  These are the first to go in our 17 years in this business.  Neither had had a calf in 3 years.  One was so crippled in the back end she could barely get up and down.  The other was losing weight so fast I knew there had to be a major problem.  My plan was to let them die at home.  Due to the complete absence of hay in our area, I finally made myself load them into the trailer.  I didn't have to deal with the death, or carcass, and I got a nice check.  I felt relieved.

Now, I'm trying to sell the herd.  Part of me doesn't want to deal with this issue again, concerning the 5 older cows; another part of me sees a great opportunity for someone else.  I believe this to be the Best decision for The Cows.  If I can help a family get a great start, that will be an added bonus.
 

Show Heifer

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I have a question....and maybe a "not so nice" one....
Why is it that "we" get chastized, fingered pointed, called all sorts of names, and made to feel like criminals when we care for our animals (fed at least twice a day, health care, health treatments, roof over their heads etc) when the amish can beat their animals, run them in all sorts of weather, not feed them properly and not ONE WORD is said about them? Why do they get away with it? I remember one VERY HOT summer the amish were using their buggy horses in 110 degree, 60% humidity and when the dropped dead, they took off the harness, pushed it to the ditch, and got another horse. AND NOT ONE WORD.  And there isn't a "face"  appropiate for what I want to express here!!!
 

red

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Good question Show Hef! I leave in a good size Amish area, about 100 families. I've seen nightmares when it comes to some of their practices. The worst was when one just dumped about 20 dead calves on a riverbank. He didn't know why they died just had scours. :p
I've seen how they treat horses & it's pretty bad sometimes. Side note- what do they fed those things? their manure looks like sawdust? Of course there are those that handle the animals very well too.
Right now they're trying to regulate them more in our county but since ours are old order it will not go far.

Red
 

JbarL

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in regards to the amish and there treatment of there stock.....as i witnessed in the south east ohio a area, before they all sold and left was that some of them kept there stock well and some did not......not much unlike the farms of "unamish"  i pass everyday and notice that some keep they stock well and some do not....granted more of the amish community as a group seemed to have a higher percentage of "poor" looking " cattle, per capita.......to the amish it seems they treat stock (horses especially)  like "we"  treat a used car....ie...own it for 2 or 3 years and then have to make a decision on wether its worth putting a transmission in  or get rid of it and get another one.....i have witnessed a love and pride of horses among alot of the local amish especially with there working stock and some of them  would not blink and eye at spending $10,000 ( cash of course) on team of horses and there knowledge of healthy stock for buy is equal to any unamish buyers i consider an expert in stock health and potential.....good topic dl....feel kinda bad about taking a bit of humnor out of my last post on this topic....soooooo...what would a cowboy do???.....unfortunately to get food in your stomach it must first pass your  heart....after a cow is kept past a certain point and becomes alive but not healthy  it is not even worth eating....so now you have a pet....i think a cowboy would put any  "pet" "out of it's misery " if that was his/her determination ....and dig a hole and bury it himself....and reflect on many things while doing it.....like probally giving him/her  a bit more conscience of his own mortality/ and his "profession"/ and the tough decisions that come with his "job".....but either way he will end the day feeling good about his decision and have only fond thoughts from that point on of his "friend that has passed"...jbarl
 
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