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The Courage and Will to Live of Cow 9035

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Loyning Prudence 9035 and her heifer calf. Her heifer calf’s name is Loyning Prudence 4.


An EC Blog by Loyning Angus:

Something pretty amazing happened today. One of my very favorite cows, 9035, never came off the winter range. The last time I saw her was sometime around Thanksgiving. She had just vanished without a trace. I spent the better part of a day hunting for her on a couple of different occasions. The winter range is big country, and there are many different pitfalls that could lead to a cow’s demise. I figured she had met one of those. Could be a sinkhole or soaphole. She could’ve fallen through the ice. One way or the other, I figured tragedy had befallen her, and with sadness, I had written her off.

Today, two cows show up out of the hills, one commercial cow and 9035. Now the commercial cow is pretty smooth and pretty close to calving, 9035, on the other hand, has had her right front foot sheared off at the hairline, her right shoulder is completely caved in, her right ear is mostly gone, but following her is a nice, month old, heifer calf.

There is a railroad that runs 6 or 7 miles through that winter country, so all we can guess is that she got on the tracks, was hit by a train months ago, and somehow survived it. Her wounds are now healed, but had I found her in the state in which she must’ve been, I would have humanely put her out of her misery. Her scars are deep, but it appears that she never lost her will to live nor her deeply ingrained maternal instinct.

She would’ve had to have had her calf some 6-8 miles from home. Her first obstacle would’ve been getting her calf up a 500′ tall, nearly solid sandstone ridge. It would’ve been a long, dry, tough go for a cow with three legs and a nub. It probably took her a few waterless days to accomplish. From there on, she must’ve worked her way down the creek a little bit at a time until she made it home today.

It’s a Hugh Glass in “The Revenant” sort of a story. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine what she must have gone through, but I swell with pride as there is still courage in her eye. She has made it this far, and I fully believe she will adapt to her new lot in life. I dumped her nearly a full bucket of Muggli cake this evening, and I’ll probably take her a whole bale of alfalfa tomorrow. 9035 will get the best treatment I can provide for the rest of her life, never getting too far from the house ever again. She damn sure earned it.

I’ve seen many other critters give up under much less challenging circumstances than she must’ve gone through. Her courage and will to live is amazing.

Fire for life isn’t marketable nor can it be measured, it’s either there or it’s not. This “Simply Maternal” cow has it in spades. She’ll never again be the beauty queen she once was, but if there ever was a cow worthy of flushing it would be her. This part of her story will never be forgotten around here and I’ll always love her for it.


Thank you to Loyner Angus of Bridger, Montana, for allowing us to share this incredible story! God Bless our amazing animals.

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