BP today, lounging by the TINY creek where she could have died.

I’m keeping extra buckets of water up at the barn in different places (already had a big 30 gallon tub) so that she’ll be less tempted to go to the creek to drink.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 14, 2012  

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30 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 12-14

    Is there a purpose of keeping the poor cow alive rather than the fact you “love” her? It seems almost inhumane to keep her based on her condition. I may sound harsh but having been a rancher and having farm animals,when one has served its purpose its no longer cost effective to keep it. She is too old to breed and is not producing milk. sorry. I.m not being mean.just realistic.

  2. 12-14

    One situation like this does not make a ‘poor’ cow. Since it’s not a matter of ‘cost effectiveness’ for everyone, as long as she’s comfortable it’s Suzanne’s decision. There may come a day when that decision must be made but though she looks pretty boney, she’s just a boney kinda girl.

  3. 12-14

    BP still has quality of life. She is contented as she is. If she was suffering, it would be different. She is not suffering right now.

  4. 12-14

    by “poor” I was meaning her physical condition.As I stated before,I came from a ranching family where we raised 3 to 5 thousand head of cattle plus that many sheep. We also had 15 to 20 dairy cows. We would Never let an animal get into that poor of condition because of her age. I know she is loved. and she was saved and there have been many wonderful stories written of her magical life.She has been wonderfully taken care of and that is beautiful.but I still feel very sad for her.

  5. 12-14

    If BP is ever in a quality of life situation, I will not let her suffer. She is not suffering at this point. She is old. Not suffering.

  6. 12-14

    bbkrehmeyer your comment is so EFFING offensive to me! I am trying to not react too harshly, but really cannot understand what you are trying to say here. Obviously, BP is not a number in a herd and Suzanne would have feelings for her animal. What I do not understand (besides how that is not obvious)is how you equate keeping her alive as being ‘inhumane’. All animals want to live, and just because her milking days are over, does not mean she should be killed. She is a LIVING creature!!! GRRRRRR!!

  7. 12-14

    I see your 2nd response and now I see you mean well. I think you’re misguided though and a bit heartless. If BP could talk she would say she would prefer life .. even with a few aches and pains like we all have when we get old. BP unless she is in severe pain, should be allowed to die naturally. The fact that people see that choice as wrong is entirely UNnatural!

  8. 12-14

    I would hate to be “bbkrehmeyer”s mother. One broken hip and you’re out of here. “when one has served its purpose its no longer cost effective to keep it.”

  9. 12-14

    That’s kinda harsh! Lets not get on the subject of people’s mothers, I think bbkrehmeyer means well though one visit would show them that BP is doing ok overall, after all, I’ve seen heifers who get themselves into the same sort of predicaments, and it’s hard for them to tell from pictures how she gets around and how well she’s actually doing overall. Peace everyone! :snuggle:

  10. 12-14

    To me, being humane means to partake in as many sunsets as God sees fit to bestow upon thee, no matter the aches and pains… :cowsleep:

  11. 12-14

    for your info. bbkrehmeyer watched her mother suffer and die w/ congestive heart failure and lung cancer and cared for her for 4 yes 4 long years. yes I do know about quality of life. I also know the difference between having some cute farm animals which give us pleasure and having a ranch where the animals have to provide a livelyhood for the families on the ranch. There is a huge difference. Suzanne. your stories are lovely and I.m sure bring joy to many people. But a rancher decisions had to be made.and if the animal could not produce income they had to go. most ended up in the pressure canner and were consumed. gratefully I might add. for giving the last of themselves. to hungry mouths.

  12. 12-14

    bbkrehmeyer, I understand that perspective. My farm isn’t like that, of course, but I do understand. Here, BP has earned her place in retirement. She taught me to milk, and she gave me Glory Bee. She has a place as long as she lives and as long as she is not suffering.

  13. 12-14

    That is very understandable, yet it’s still okay to let a beloved animal pass of natural causes. She’s not suffering, she’s living her natural life and that’s the way it’s meant to be.

  14. 12-14

    A note we should all remember….
    The farm is Suzanne’s. It’s not a’s a farm. We don’t pay her bills so cost effective or not, the decisions she makes are NOT ours to rightfully comment on unless we expect negative feedback.
    A lot of times we forget that. Her life, her animals, her money, her decisions. Let’s respect that.

    Now back to the story at hand……BP looks no worse for the adventure! I’m sure she thought “oh H e double toothpicks” when she found herself stuck in the creek!

  15. 12-14

    I love you Suzanne. You have patience,serenity, a way with words and a heart of gold! :cowsleep:

  16. 12-14

    Suzanne.I love your stories.I admire your strengths I feel your pain w/ your animals. I know how it felt to let Patriot go. I just feel badly for the fragility and thinness of your cow. She has been a blessing to you Hopefully people can see the other side of this little discussion.We would never be able to develope “relationships” w/ our animals because they were not pets. They had to provide livelyhood for 6 large families living on a 300000 acre ranch in the wilds of central Montana. We respected life and all living things.even letting the rattlesnakes retreat peacefully back to their dens in the
    Long live BP and may she continue to bless your life.

  17. 12-14

    Suzanne you must be exhausted after all of this! Please give BP hugs and your sweet girl too. Tomorrow will be a better day.

  18. 12-14

    :woof: Suzanne, I am so glad that BP is alright. As I recall, BP was always on the skinny side. I thought it was the breed? I know that Suzanne has done all she knows to fatten that big boned gal, but I guess either she holds her weight well or her hard previous life as a working gal had an effect on her. I know that BP is near and dear to a lot of us who don’t have a farm. I hope she enjoys her retirement well. :moo:

  19. 12-14

    What I can’t figure out is why bbkrehmeyer thinks BP is so thin and fragile? Because she slipped in the mud? Any animal at any age does that. Suzanne has also previously posted about why BP looks the way she does.

    Anyway, I’m very happy BP is okay and hopefully she won’t get into any more scary shenanigans. :moo:

  20. 12-14

    BP is very well taken care of. I know Suzanne would not let her suffer. When the time comes, Suzanne will take care of it in her own way, which will be the right way. She loves BP, and I think she just wants her to live out the rest of her life, and hopefully just have a natural death. BP is really very, very lucky to be in the care of Suzanne. :heart:

  21. 12-14

    BP will be OK until she’s not. Suzanne will know when she’s not. Leave it alone!

  22. 12-14

    Maybe you could just run a fence to bypass the creek for the winter.
    BP is a beautiful soul!

  23. 12-14

    I look just like BP whenever I slip in the mud, slide under a barbed wire fence and nearly kill myself. In fact, I probably look worse. Rest sweet petunia.

  24. 12-14

    I’m glad she is OK. Do cows handle gravel? I seem to remember you have a pile left by the previous owner. Maybe you could cut a slope on the creak edge and shore it up with some of the gravel.

    The incident reminds me of last weekend. I’m kind of cow size and I slipped in the mud at the bottom of our hill turning compost. :D

  25. 12-14

    I believe that bbkrehmeyer, as someone who has to view her animals as a business and as a way to provide for her livelihood, has a different perspective than those of us who have animals as pets. In a way, Suzanne’s animals do help provide for her livelihood, but in a totally different way than bbkrehmeyer’s animals do. Those of us who don’t live on a farm or a ranch wouldn’t have milk to drink or beef to eat without bbkrehmeyer providing it. If I were a rancher, I wouldn’t dare get attached to the animals I had to either sell or send off to slaughter. And I am sure that she has pets.

  26. 12-15

    Lana.I appreciate your kind words and your understanding. Yes I do have pets. Most times throughout my life the pets ,dogs,cats,birds.rats have been someone else’s castoffs. I have taken them in housed them, fed them ,and most of all loved them.when it was time,did what was humane by releasing them from their lives. You are all right. Only Suzanne knows her cow.
    Based on my experience and the photos of BP. I only expressed an opinion that I felt the cow was ‘poor”because of the extreme thinness. Yes I know dairy cows are thinner than beef cattle and yes I know BP is old.
    Let her continue her life w/ Suzanne for as long as she can.
    Hopefully she won’t fall down again.

  27. 12-15

    Whew! I won’t get into this one……having operated a Grade A dairy for several years, I tend to be in bbkrehmeyer’s camp.

    That being said, if a cow gets down again here is what always worked for us taught to us by our vet: Attach a tow rope to her halter (under her chin) and very carefully tow the animal away from danger. You think it will pull her head off but it won’t. I have towed 1500-lb Holsteins several feet in this manner. We have used a tractor, an ATV and the pickup. You just have to be careful not to bend her neck too severely, try to keep it straight with her body. However, you can very carefully and slowly turn her around to change ends using this method. The key is having someone watch and do it all very slowly and gently. A cow must be able and have space to lunge forward to get up on her own.

    We drug a cow all the way across a concrete pad once to get her to a grassy lot so she could have traction. Trust me on this; it works.

  28. 12-15

    Any cow can slip and fall. We recently had a young cow end up on her back in a ditch. She was butting heads with another cow and slipped. When she fell it just happened to be in a really bad place. Three of us could not get her up, we resorted to using the loader bucket on the tractor. She was not seriously injured and we think we saved her life. As far as BP’s condition goes, I don’t think she looks to bad. Ther is a dairy mix cow in my father-in-law’s herd that was always on the skinny side for no real reason. When he sold the dominant cow out of the herd the skinny cow moved up in the heiarchy and gained a pile of weight. She is now a big old fat monster.

  29. 12-15

    So glad BP’s ok. I think she’s got a great life with you & Glory Bee. I know you love her and would never let her be in suffering.

  30. 12-15

    I’m glad BP is ok and that she didn’t have a more tragic accident. I understand where the comments above about her condition are coming from, but I think that the commenter needs to remember that you are talking about a dairy animal here and not a beef animal. Heck, she isn’t a spring chicken anymore *BUT* dairy cows tend to be thinner looking than beefers. Our own milk cows get amazing rations, all of the pasture and good grass hay that they want and we have one that always looks to be on the thin side. Let’s not tell people what to do with their own animals. It’s not your farm, or your decisions….

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