Hazel’s Calf Goes To The Vet

When I got home from work yesterday, I noticed the stock trailer was gone. This time of year, this means somebody’s taken a trip to the veterinarian. I hoped it wasn’t serious whatever it was. Not long after, Harland pulled into the driveway in the pickup pulling the trailer.

“Ever heard of a calf getting an abscess?” he asked.

“Ah, no….”, I replied.

I didn’t see anybody in the trailer until he opened the side door and there was Hazel’s calf all by herself. As she stared out at us, a little calf in a large trailer, I noticed a bump on the side of her face that appeared to have an incision on it. Harland explained that he noticed the large bump yesterday, and took her to the vet to have it taken care of.

To get her loaded up for the trip, he lured the cows into the barn with grain, and while everyone was distracted, he cornered little Hazelett and loaded her into the trailer. Once there, she began to bawl for Hazel, “MmmmmmmAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” who along with all the rest of the girls answered back, “MMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!”.  Harland said they gathered round the trailer and he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to drive out of the pasture gate without all of them following, but he managed it finally.

Harland drove to the vet, and once there, Dr. John drained the abscess, gave Hazelett antibiotics, and sprayed her head with fly spray. Dr. John thought she had probably been mouthing some dry grass or a stick and had accidently poked herself in the mouth which then became infected inside her cheek.

Back at home, I walked up the hill to open the pasture gate for Harland, and he backed the trailer into the pasture. The girls and their calves came over to look, but stayed a respectful distance of about a hundred feet away. Harland opened the trailer door and Hazelett quickly figured out where she was. She ran from the trailer toward the cows bawling all the way, “Maaaa, maaa, maaa, maaaa, maaa!!!!”

The girls “Mooooo, mooooo, moooooo’ed!!” in reply, and then gathered round to welcome her back and sniff her all over. I teared up. Oh dear.

No doubt she was a myriad of strange unknown smells. Finally, everyone settled down, and the little herd headed to the furthest corner of the pasture to graze and rest. Harland and I ate supper, and then he went up to the farm to do some work while I headed to the veggie garden to plant onions. Later, I headed out into the pasture to take pics of the growing calves. As I trained my lens on the group, something disturbing caught my eye.

It was a calf laying flat out on the grass.

As I watched, the cows went over to the calf and gathered round it sniffing and licking it.

The calf didn’t move, and my heart sank.

Was it little Hazelett? Had the day been too much for her? Was she dying?

The girls continued to lick and sniff the calf all over, an unusual sight as cows don’t take care of any calf but their own.

Finally, finally, the calf lifted her head and got to her feet. It was Hazelett, and she appeared to be ok after all. Whew…..

(see the bump on the right side of her face?)

She found her mom, and began to nurse.

Of course, she had company, Eunice’s calf, the thief. That’s Hazelett on the right and the thief on the left.

But later Hazelett had her mom all to herself and a meal on the run as Hazel wandered about.

After she had her fill, she lay down to rest.

(you can see the bump on the lower part of her face, above)

She was wary of me and wouldn’t let me get too close to her. Hopefully, she’s on the mend now and will soon be feeling better.  Dr. John said we have to keep an eye on her for the next 10 days, so that means she and Hazel won’t be able to go to the summer pasture with the rest of the herd on Saturday.

I’ll keep you posted on her recovery.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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13 Responses

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I thought the vet came out your way! Poor little mini Hazel I sure hope she gets better.

    • Suzanne says:

      He does, but the trip charge is too much for 1 calf. We call him out for work that needs to be done on the entire herd, like preg checking. Thanks Elizabeth.

  2. Alica says:

    Aww…poor Hazelette. (love the name!) Those antibiotics usually work wonders! That is so sweet how the cows all gathered around her to lick her, making sure she was alright. It takes a village! 🙂

    • Suzanne says:

      It’s a funny thing, but they won’t nurse other calves(except the thief) and they won’t clean other calves, but if a calf bawls, they all come running.

  3. Tina says:

    That is just so sweet! It is like a cow fairy tale at your place. I hope the calf gets better soon.

  4. Rebecca B says:

    Poor Hazelette!! Hope she perks up soon! How sweet they were all worried about her!

  5. I hope little Hazelette is going to be OK. (I love hearing about your little cow families!)

  6. Julie says:

    What a cutie. Hope she recovers completely and fast.

  7. Doe in Mi says:

    What an amazing story – all the mama’s gathering around to make sure the baby is taken care off. I love it.

  8. awww, that is so awesome how the other mom’s helped her out! so sweet!

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