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Sensitive Topic-Rancher had to put down lame Cow

 
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A local rancher had to put down a lame
Cow he was using a small caliber .22.
He ran out of ammo and asked if I had
more. I handed him my Sig Sauer P226
Chambered in .40 to humanly put the cow
down. I feel I did the right thing. Would you
do the same. Today was a hard day, I did not
want her to suffer. The cow was on my
property within Arizona open range laws.
 
gardener & bricolagier
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Yes, I would have. If death must be dealt, make it as fast as possible.
 
pollinator
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Agreed, you did the only thing you could do, L. Doesn’t make it easy though.
 
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Absolutely!  The kindest thing to do for a suffering animal is to end it quickly and humanely. My vet told me years ago that dispatching an animal with a properly handled firearm is the most humane method. Learn where to aim though. It is not an easy thing to do, however.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Artie Scott wrote:Agreed, you did the only thing you could do, L. Doesn’t make it easy though.



No, it doesn't :(   I had to put down a chicken, my chickens are pets, not food. I drowned her, crying the whole time, saying over and over "I love you. I'm sorry. Forgive me." It was the best thing I could do for her, but it SUCKED. I'd have offered a better weapon to kill a cow cleanly, but I'd have cried while it was happening.
 
steward
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I dispatched chickens today. While singing a lullaby to them:

Love, love, love, love,
People we are made for love,
Love each other as ourselves,
For we are one.

 
gardener
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When I have to do things like this, I remind myself of a quote from Joel Salatin which goes something like, "animals should live a really good life with one bad day." That doesn't remove the sadness, but it reminds me of the good days that the animal had.
 
pollinator
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Wow! How many times did he shoot? A .22 is adequate if he was right in front of her. I wonder if he was aiming for between the eyes? That’s wrong for cattle according to my old vet.


I have done it. It was sad.

You definitely did the right thing
 
pollinator
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All the homekill butchers around here use .22 rifles and manage to kill cleanly with a single shot (high velocity rounds are a good idea but since they're nearly always at point blank range it doesn't matter. Just don't use a hollow point). The spot to aim for is the centre of an X drawn from the eyes and the base of the horns (polls).

[Edit to note that the rifle shot is always immediately followed by cutting the carotid artery, so in the occasional case that the beast is stunned but still alive, the rapid loss of blood means the job is finished quickly.]
 
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It is always a sad day, but has to be done. The worst is putting down your own dog, but when it has to be done, it has to be done.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:It is always a sad day, but has to be done. The worst is putting down your own dog, but when it has to be done, it has to be done.



Aaaawwww Travis - I don't think I could find the strength.  My vet had to pull me off the body of our last dog after he had ended her life.  Wow what a day.  Good for you to do it yourself.  
 
pollinator
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Travis Johnson wrote:It is always a sad day, but has to be done. The worst is putting down your own dog, but when it has to be done, it has to be done.



Oh man, Travis. This brings back some memories. The realization that the end of life requires horrible choices is a sentinel event. I had to put down my childhood pet when I left home for good, winter was beginning and he was incontinent, extremely weak and blind. He would have either frozen to death or been torn apart by predators- he couldn't be in the house it was just a giant mess. It takes unbelievable mental strength to actually do it, but it was painless for him and the most loving thing I have probably ever done- peaceful until the end, surrounded by the smells of home and the soft voice of his best buddy. I know he felt my apprehension from his body language but when I laid him down for the last time I could see him relax- he had done his job with honor.


 "The pain then is part of the happiness now. That's the deal" from one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. Knowing that means savoring the happiness now, because the eventual sadness is baked in.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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I salute you.
 
master steward
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Oh, that's really hard when this happens.

Absolutely the right thing to do.  Without intervention, the death would have been slow, painful, lasting several days.  Thank you for helping to give it a good ending.

One thing we do when the livestock suffers a fatal accident is to try to save the meat.  There's a lot of value there and as one life ends, it can be used to help another.  It won't taste very good for humans because the stress the animal is going through makes the meat tougher and full of adrenalin.  But, if you know someone with dogs or were to cure the meat as a sausage, it can be quite good.  But quite often, the events of the day are too sad and it's easier on the humans to get things done quickly.  
 
Travis Johnson
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For the most part, sheep on this farm are livestock, but we had a bottle-ram-lamb that was more of a pet. It would follow us around like Mary's Little Lamb. It got into the grain the night this photo was taken, and died.

It was the only sheep I have buried. (All but him have been coyote bait)

The-boys.JPG
[Thumbnail for The-boys.JPG]
 
L Goodwyn
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Rancher had a Ruger Six he could not get within 50 feet she was not in a happy place. It was not in my realm to help or do his job although he is 30 years my senior. I did what I could at the moment.

I have had pets and have spent their final hours with them "I have witnessed death"  and when you understand that statement it will change your life.

I did what a could offer to end the pain. Nothing more nothing less.

The ranchers wife was present an distraught that it wasn't Swift but an injured animal has to be be brought down.
 
Travis Johnson
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I read up on caliber size and take-down when I was looking at protecting my place better, and it has been established scientifically that caliber size has little to do with take-down. While outside the realm of this discussion, self-defense has more to do with repetitive shots then actual caliber size as stated in a 10 year study on the matter, averaging 3 rounds to stop someone in both a non-fatal, and fatal capacity.

Myself, I usually use a single shot .410 shotgun with a slug. Death is instant and bleed-out is fast.

I believe the best all around gun for homesteading would be a 22 rifle/over-under a .410 shutgun. I do not have one, but they do make them, and would be a good all-around gun.
 
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He ran out of ammo? I took an animal anatomy class in college and the instructor told a story of the first cow he ever put down. He didn't know the X principle at the time and the cow was shot in the head several times before it actually died. I'd have helped draw the X on the cow so the first bullet did the trick. But yes, I would have supplied the gun and ammo if necessary as well.

I have a pig that I'm hoping to heal up from lameness. Hopefully we don't have to make the same choice soon.
 
elle sagenev
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Travis Johnson wrote:It is always a sad day, but has to be done. The worst is putting down your own dog, but when it has to be done, it has to be done.



My husband did this to one that most certainly needed to be put down immediately. We haven't really told anyone we put down our own dog because of the stigma. It was a nicer way though. I've put them down at the vet and they're confused and scared in the surroundings. He was at home on his own blanket surrounded by love. It was better. Took a real mental toll on the hubs though.
 
Travis Johnson
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elle sagenev wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:It is always a sad day, but has to be done. The worst is putting down your own dog, but when it has to be done, it has to be done.



My husband did this to one that most certainly needed to be put down immediately. We haven't really told anyone we put down our own dog because of the stigma. It was a nicer way though. I've put them down at the vet and they're confused and scared in the surroundings. He was at home on his own blanket surrounded by love. It was better. Took a real mental toll on the hubs though.



I fully understand the stigma aspect of things of putting down your own dog. I have always put down my own animals though, dogs included. I just feel this is part of animal ownership. If they outlived us, it would be different, but it is well known, we outlive most of our livestock and pets, so inevitably care also means end-of-life-care. I can understand some sub-contracting that responsibility out to a Vet because they just cannot do it, but I can, so I do.

Incidentally, I think this applies to livestock that go wayward. It has only occurred in (2) rams of mine, but I do not think passing mean animals off to others is the right thing to do, all because people can not do the right thing. Mean rams take out a person's back or knees, and the co-pays on those medical bills are far more then the $150 a Ram is worth. Nope, a mean ram is immediately put down. But this could involve any type of mean animal.
 
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