Cows die during major storm
A lightning storm on the weekend is believed to be the cause of death for six bred cows and four calves.
Beef farmer Blair Henry said he had a herd of about 65 cattle prior to a pair of lightning storms that began Friday evening and re-ignited early Saturday morning.
Henry said when he and his wife, Linda, woke up Saturday morning, they noticed a group of cows in the area looking for their calves.
“We realized there was something wrong,” said Henry, who discovered the dead cows under a row of spruce trees along a fence line.
All of the grown cows who died had been bred and were anywhere from one to five months pregnant. There was also damage to the fence, which Henry has since fixed.
That damage was not caused by the lightning, but the cows themselves after being hit.
“Some had gotten thrown on top of the fence,” said Henry. “Some looked like they were thrown right over it.”
Henry, who has been farming for more than 50 years, noted that he had previously lost one cow during a winter lightning storm more than 20 years ago.
He had never heard of anyone losing such a high number of cows in a single lightning storm.
“I couldn’t believe it, I just couldn’t believe it.”
The remaining cattle are just now getting back to normal behaviour, with some being heavy with milk after losing their calves.
“For about three days they were pretty upset,” he said.
Henry said his rough estimate of damages was about $15,000.
“I don’t know really what it will cost to replace them,” said Henry, adding that he’ll be looking purchase new cattle immediately. “Whether I’ll be able to (right away), it’s hard to say.”