Sunday, October 9, 2022



Volume #100922-1230                              October 9, 2022


One of the calves seems to have suffered a psychotic break

The youngest of the new calves has been placed in quarantine after exhibiting violent behaviour toward its siblings.  The youngest, a heifer named Betty, was seen kicking, head butting, and biting her siblings.  Says Mabel Thoreau, veterinary psychologist, "In an obviously unprovoked attack, the youngest of the calves, Betty, injured one of her siblings badly enough to need medical attention.  The other sibling calf suffered minor cuts and bruises.  This is disturbing as Betty shows a general animosity to everyone, cattle and handlers alike."

A two hundred sixty-three-pound animal can do a great deal of damage if enraged or angered.  Talking with those who care for the calves, Betty has been placed in isolation.  In a holding pen Betty seemed to have calmed somewhat but still has explosive outbursts.  She will moo in an ear piercing and shrill cry as she bucks and slams into the gate trying to break it down.  Her behaviour has resulted in some self-injury as she rams and slams into the fencing and gate keeping her in.

"I don't know what to do right now." says Dr. Subramaniam, her attending physician.  "I've never seen anything like it in cattle.  This is the sort of behaviour one sees in a Pit Bull Terrier or a Chimpanzee, both highly unstable and subject to psychotic breaks.  For now, we'll keep her sedated and run more tests."

This is disturbing to a lot of us because we have developed an emotional attachment to these 'babies' of Zeus.  Only time will tell what will become of Betty and what this will mean to the remaining mob.  It's distressing news to be sure.

In the meantime, the others are doing well, the calves are in good health having only suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Already they gambol and play as usual, but they occasionally wander to the fence that keeps them away from Betty.  They will look with longing gazes through the fence as their 'sister' wanders about her pen aimlessly, heavily sedated to keep her under control.

I'm sorry this hasn't been a more upbeat week, but I'm doing the best I can.  Stay with me and I'll keep you up to date.

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