When a Cow, a Calf, and a Trailer Gate Meet

Things on the farm never seem to go as planned.  Even when we think we’ve anticipated all possible outcomes, we’re often surprised by an animal’s ability to really throw a completely unexpected curveball.

That’s pretty much how it went this past weekend.

It started out as a normal Saturday.

On Saturday morning, Alex headed out to pick up a new cow/calf pair.  Mama and baby looked great and loaded easily into our borrowed trailer.  

(Thank the Lord for good friends who are willing to loan out equipment! But more on that later…)

To keep baby safe on the trip, we separate the mama by a 5 foot tall gate in the trailer.  So she’s close but won’t crush the little one in the event she gets spooked by something on the trip. 

Deliveries and pick up orders make it to town.

Emory Kate and I headed to town to drop off pick up orders and deliveries. We were excited to see Alex pull in with the new pair once we got back from our San Antonio trip. 

While Alex prepared the pasture for their arrival, Emory Kate and I decided to go take a look at the new “mama moo-moo” and “baby moo-moo.” 

Mama eyed us a little suspiciously but brought her head up to the side of the trailer to get a better look. 

Then chaos hit.

When a cow decides she wants out of a trailer.

Suddenly, mama got spooked by something (I’m betting it was Em K’s red jacket she had decided to throw on) and lost her ever-loving mind. 

Thrashing around wildly in the trailer, she obviously wanted nothing to do with us.  Em K and I quickly backed off back to the house. 

Toddler tears ensued from the scary “MAMA MOO MOOOOOO,” and I worked to calm down my poor, traumatized toddler. 

(Sudden movements and loud noises from a giant cow in a trailer don’t translate well to a toddler brain apparently). 

We watched from afar as the trailer rocked back and forth but didn’t dare go back to check in case that would spook her more.

In the meantime, I headed back to San Antonio to remedy a farm order mishap and left Em K with Alex.

(In case you’re wondering, if we ever screw up your order, we’ll be sure to fix it right away!) 

If only I had known what was to come!

Things take a turn for the worse.

Once Alex had everything ready for unloading, he set Emory Kate up in the truck where he could keep an eye on her while he got the new pair situated.  

And then our minds were blown.

Alex walked up to the trailer, and all of the sudden, Mama took to the skies—or at least the space between the top of the trailer gate and the ceiling—launching herself across the gate to her baby.  

But a thousand pound plus cow + 5 foot trailer gate = major problems.

She landed on the gate, stuck halfway across, writhing and kicking to push herself over completely. 

She managed to trap her back leg in the gate, pinning herself in a bizarre balance act on her free back leg. She also folded the trailer gate over, preventing any way of opening the gate in the trailer. 

I mean, seriously, what was this dang cow thinking?!

cow stuck in trailer gate with calf

Now Alex had a serious problem.

How do you get a giant, spooked cow out of a gate without getting hurt?

He knew he had to figure out a way to release her leg without getting crushed or kicked.  He prayed it wasn’t broken or badly injured.  He also hoped that she hadn’t bruised anything internally from the jump and trap situation. 

We'd only owned this newest investment in the farm for a few hours!! 

Add to the situation a waiting toddler and an absent wife—well let’s just say stressful doesn’t really begin to cover it. 

But into the fray he went.

Alex grabbed a rope nearby. He slowly looped it around mama’s hoof. 

Thank the Lord, her energy had apparently been spent at this point and she waited patiently for Alex to figure out how to free her. 

Eventually, he managed to work her hoof free allowing her to finally join her baby at the back of the trailer comfortably.  

*And everyone breathes a sigh of relief.* 

Mama and baby finally meet the rest of the herd.

Next step was opening the trailer to let her and baby out to pasture to get introduced to the rest of the herd. Mama was limping a little but seemed to be okay overall. 

Everyone was curious about the newcomers. Our bull Rex sure didn't waste any time getting to know his new lady. 

After observation for a couple days, we can say with confidence that both mama and baby made it out of the situation alright. 

Not sure I can say the same for Alex’s nervous system and the trailer gate.

Now that everyone has been settled in nicely, we've officially named mama, Valentina, and her little one, Luna. Welcome to the herd, ladies.

Life sure is an adventure.  Especially when you farm. 

Have you had a completely unexpected turn of events lately? Comment below and let us know what!

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