When you have animals under your care you know there is always the possibility of one dying. With a broken heat I write this in tears saying goodbye to Calypso. She was our lead cow, smart, gave great calves a mix of boys and girls, one of our first cows on the farm. Her nick name was bogart. She would TAKE anything you had in a bucket; it was all hers! Doing the rotational grazing if I was too slow on opening the next paddock, she would be very vocal about it. When moving day came, she usually was the first one into the new grass bringing the rest of the herd. She could be pushy but was always excited to greet me in the pasture. Calypso was a round girl. She never missed a meal or treats when offered.
This year has been a challenge. Spring never came, we ran out of hay because it never warmed up enough for grass to grow. That challenge was met and then summer came on with no rain and temperatures in the high 90’s that what grass grew stunted in the now drought. Because of forage we had to move a few cows from our breeding farm to our finishing farm where there were fewer numbers and more native forage. Because of her hardiness and big appetite Calypso was moved. She was due to calve in September / October.
Sunday Wayne was at the other farm working on the well debacle and took mineral down to the feed area. Everyone was well and accounted for. Monday evening Rachel did her head count as the parade to the waterer happened before dark. Tuesday am Wayne went to mow the iron weed in the natives and found vultures sitting along the pipe fence by the waterer. He sent me a picture and I being flipped asked what died? He started his mowing and on his first round he spotted a cow down just on the edge of a wooded area. Didn’t take long to figure out the animal was dead now to figure out who and why. He called me, I was doing laundry at the house trying to get the yard mowed. He wasn’t sure who had gone down so could I come verify who we lost. The rest of the herd was on the other side of the property and not interested in visitors. The herds are comfortable with me visiting so I had to go in and check who was missing. I confirmed it was Calypso. I felt like I let the entire herd down. How could I allow one of them to be harmed. At first it looked to us as if there was foul pay involved. We called and made a report with the sheriff, they came out to look. Stepping back and going over the timeline again with Dustin, Rachel, us and a neighbor the lighting storm that brought us over an inch of rain was mentioned. The neighbor said he stayed up past mid night and watched the storm come thru. A strange anomaly was her hooves and 1 horn were away from her body. From some research the conclusion is she and her unborn calf were struck by lightning.
This is a huge cost for A Rusty Knoll. There is a hole left within our herd and replacing her, well not an option right now. Hay prices are thru the roof and we are trusting that the Lord has all things under control for us and our farm. I did not let her or the herd down, I had no control over the storm. Throughout my illness and even today in the current flare I’m in there is a scripture I hold on to; BE STILL AND KNOW I AM GOD PALMS 46:10