A Texas farmer who weaned a calf from its mother was nearly killed by the cow, who “went crazy” while aggressively protecting her newborn.
Greg Nolen is a farmer in the outlying Houston town of Alvin, where his cow, Bellvia, gave birth to a calf earlier this year. Nolen told the Houston Chronicle that every time he got close to the calf, Bellvia lunged at him. One of those lunges landed him in the emergency room.
Nearly a month later, the calf was weaned from Bellvia, who got even more belligerent. Then in August, when Nolen entered Bellvia’s pen to empty the water from her trough, she got downright hostile.
“She went crazy, she lunged and knocked me down by the trough,” Nolen said in the Chronicle. “As I tried to get up, she hit me again and just started crushing me against it.”
Sabrina Smith, a tenant and close friend of Nolen’s, was standing nearby tending to a horse when she saw Bellvia slam Nolen about 15 times.
“I have to get this cow off of him,” said Smith, recalling that she was horrified while witnessing the incident.
Smith grabbed a cane, reached through the gate and beat Bellvia until the cow got off of Nolen enough so that he could crawl away and escape the pen.
Smith then drove Nolen to a local hospital, where he spent 15 days in a medically-induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit. He had 11 broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a ruptured spleen. The only way Nolen could breathe during that time was with a breathing tube.
Nolen said having family and close friends at his side during his hospital stay led to him breathing on his own, and he credits Smith for saving his life.
“Sabrina is my guardian angel,” Nolen said. “If she hadn’t been there that day, I’m pretty sure I would not be alive today.”
The Houston farmer said he plans to keep Bellvia among his stock, as she is a registered Bradford, and he wants to continue breeding the high-quality cow.
“My intent is to have a facility where kids can come and pick out an animal, halter break them and raise them for heifer shows,” Nolen said.
That said, Nolen wants to help educate others on the unpredictable nature of animals, including cattle, and he said he will now be extra cautious when dealing with Bellvia.
It’s no secret that Texas is a major cattle-producing state, and among the top producers in the world. Here are some facts about Texas cattle from Beef2live.com:
- Texas has the most cattle and beef cows in the United States.
- Texas has the 14th-largest cattle inventory in the world.
- Texas has more cattle than 43 states have people.
- Texas has had 11 million head of cattle or more every year since 1967 until 2014.
- Texas had the largest cattle inventory ever recorded (1975) at 16.6 million head.
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