I had gone down to the creek to check on the cattle. I sat on the grass to take a quite break.
Suddenly a young steer came bounding down hopping about like a young goat making all the other cattle take notice by letting out a troubled moo.
Within seconds cows and cattle flocked to the scene to find out what was the matter.
I soon realised the little calf had tangled himself in fencing wire and debris including wooden and metal fence posts that had been washed down from the creek due to the recent rains. It was dangerously looped around his neck. One cow tried to stand on the wire in the hope that the calf would disentangle himself without getting strangled. Another cow licked the loop around his neck to try and settle the panic. The calf immediately settled down and I thought the problem was solved and calamity avoided.
But I was mistaken. The loop of wire was still wrapped around his neck. That is when I turned and scrambled up the hill to get help. Three of us drove down and while two of us distracted the cattle the other went around without being visible to the entangled calf and stood on the wire so the calf could not run off with fencing debris in tow getting itself into further knots.
Very gently the one standing on the wire held the wire loop up at the calf’s head height about a meter in front of the calf so that the calf backed away and the wire came up, first hooked behind its ears and then the calf ducked its head down and walked back out of the wire loop. Danger averted and all went back to eating grass again.
Moral of the story is: Don’t’ panic, act quickly. It takes the co-operation of the cattle and farmers to help a trapped calf get out of the tangled mess. Clear paddocks of loose washed away fences. Farming has its interesting challenges.