Monday, 24 June 2013
Beyoncé our Red Devon Heifer
Just over two months ago we had our annual TB test. For the first time in ten years we have had a TB reactor.
He was a one of our two year old steers, although this was heartbreaking I drew a positive from the fact it was not a breeding cow, or a young heifer.
However last week we had our first sixty day test and another two of our cattle reacted. A steer and a three year old heifer Beyoncé.
Beyoncé gained her name from her highlighted hair and diva attitude. She did everything her own way and in her own time. If you tried to move her she would lean against you, as if you were scratching her. Cows are naturally herd animals but not Beyoncé, if she didn't want to move she would happily remain in the field by herself. On one particular occasion she caused our heart rates to soar when she decided not to go into her new field preferring the main road instead.
Beyonce often caused others to follow her lead, creating much frustration, especially to myself and Murray as we would watch the herd run in the wrong direction with their tails in the air. Despite this I cannot help but hold great respect for her independence and spirit.
So when I came to load her into the cattle box for her final trip with us, I was not surprised by her usual stubbornness (and this I time could not blame her!). Yet when we unloaded her into the slaughter mans lorry she seemed to except her fate and walk straight in. I watched with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat.
I struggled to think of a single positive this time, Beyoncé was one cow who will never reach her full potential as a breeding cow in the Arlington herd.
All over the country farmers are loosing their Beyoncé's to TB and it is heart wrenching to watch your stock being taken to their untimely death.
I write this so that I can share a small aspect of the reality of emotional ups and downs of working with livestock.
Beyonce also deserves more than just my goodbye.