I call it that because he was as near death as anything I’ve seen.
Molly the Jersey cow came here October 2013, two years ago. The date now is March, 2016. She was pregnant, and in April she gave birth to Adelaide, a.k.a. “Tyke” because it fits. Her daddy was a young Guernsey bull, so she is now taller and bigger than her mother. The time came to try and find a bull for them, because if a cow doesn’t have a baby, there will be no milk. I realize a lot of people don’t realize the nuts and bolts of things like that. But it’s no different than humans. A woman has a baby and then nurses the baby. It’s really that simple.
So I had to find a bull for them to have a baby with because in my region there is no technician to come around and do Artificial Insemination. Another things many don’t realize about the dairy industry or many small farms today as well–very few farms keep bulls. Why? There is no need if there are A.I. techs available, and they represent the best specimens of the breed available, many sires who have been dead even for years, thanks to storage technology. Also, bulls take up room. They eat. They can be dangerous (more people in North American are killed by bulls every year than die from sharks, bears and dogs combined–but not as many as are killed by horses! Or struck by lightning!) Most of those killed are experienced handlers, such as the farm operator or an employee. Just a bit of trivia for you. At any rate, since I have no other possibility that is economically feasible, I try to “borrow” someone else’s bull.
Moomer is a young bull, and not dangerous. He is gentle and well-behaved, and was bought at a few days’ old to be raised for hamburger. He is a pure Jersey bull. Another little-known fact to the general public is that bulls born at dairy farms are either killed or sold cheaply to get rid of them. No one wants to bother raising them as they have no purpose, unless it is a breeding farm. So I was very happy to find out that Moomer was looking for pasture for the Fall and Winter, as I could let him hang out with my girls and hopefully father a couple of calves.
All was going well. Moomer was an object of interest for the ladies right from the start, despite his small stature and youth. He did seem small, even for a Jersey calf, and he had a very round belly. Cows need a rounded belly, since they have four stomachs and need to eat a huge amount of hay every day to break down for enough calories to keep them going. However, I did note his belly was a bit rounder than usual. His owner told me he had been sneaking into a grain feeder at the farm he lived before he came here, and she thought that had affected his shape. Since I don’t feed grain to non-milking cows I thought that might be the problem, but he seemed none the worse for it, and happily grazed in the pasture and ate hay with the others. All was going well.
Until one morning when I went out to the barn. I keep the big doors open and the cows can come and go as they please, to the field or sleep in the barn. Even in the snow, they like to get out and walk around and look for a sunny spot. When I went to bed the night before the three of them were lying in the big barn. I could see Moomer lying there, in front of the other two.
When I went out, it was around 8:30 a.m. (date) The first thing I saw was that Moomer was still lying there in the same spot he was in when I went to bed around 11 p.m. When you have farm animals you very quickly learn what to expect and you notice immediately when something is wrong, even if you don’t know why. Suddenly I took it in, he was still lying down but the other two were standing up–if they get up, he usually is up with them walking around or standing. He was in the same spot as the night before. And then I could see he was lying down all wrong.
Cows have a way of lying down. On their bellies. They tuck their legs under them and lie down, that way they can easily heave themselves to a standing position. A big belly like a cow has is a balast, like for a ship. And like a ship, they remain more or less upright at all times. They do not normally lie on their sides. A cow on its side is usually sick, even dying or already dead.
I knew at once something was terribly wrong.
Moving closer, I could see he was lying down on his side. His head was thrown back over his body at an unnatural angle. His tail and hind end was covered in poop where he had lain in it for who knows how long. His eyes were rolled up in his head and all I could see was the whites. His mouth was covered in white foam.
My first thought was “Oh God, no! No!” I thought he was already dead. I knelt down beside him. I could see he was still breathing. I prodded him. “Moomer! Moomer! Come on!” I tried to shake him, but how do you shake a 500 lb animal? He obviously could not get up or he would not have been lying there, foaming at the mouth, caked in poop. His belly was swollen beyond belief. I hit his belly with my hand, and it was like a tympany drum. He looked like a dead animal washed up on the beach after a tsunami, the ones I’ve seen on the news. “Moomer, please!” I pleaded, I shouted. He let out a low moan, but did not move. Well, at least he was still alive. I tried to get him to move, I struck him with my hands to get a reaction, but it was all in vain; I could not budge him, not one inch. Not one centimetre! He was unconscious, and I could no more get him up than I could move my house. Hitting him with my hands was like tapping on a tree trunk. I knew there was no use trying. I down sat beside his furry bulk, on the snow and the straw. My heart sank.
This all happened in a very short time. Mere minutes. I knew I had to act fast, and make a decision. If I called his owner, would I reach her? What about calling a vet? Would she want to pay for the vet since he was destined for hamburger, ultimately? Maybe she just wanted someone to come and turn him into hamburger while he was still alive? And what about me? I didn’t want him dead! He still had cows to impregnate. And I really liked this little guy. My insides were turning in knots.
If I took the time to call the vet Moomer might already be dead by the time the call ended, let alone the time it would take for the vet to arrive. I didn’t know how it could be that he was even alive still, because I knew it was bloat. Bloat. THE #1 killer of cows. I didn’t know why he had bloat, but I knew absolutely that’s what it was. I knew also that fast action is required, and if the animal has already hit the ground the illness has progressed to the acute stage–meaning perhaps minutes to live. The only thing left to do, as far as I knew, was emergency surgery; a hole is punched through the hide and right into the gut, to release the build up of gases which have for some reason been blocked from escaping. Cows produce gas as their stomachs work to ferment the grasses and break it down. They burp, usually silently, maybe once every minute. If that gas is not able to escape, the animal will blow up like a balloon, until the internal organs are crushed. Pressure on the lungs usually is the actual cause of death then,as the swelling means the animal can no longer breath.
He had already been in that state for quite a while. If I could reach a vet, if there was one available, how long would he take to get here? And by that time I was sure Moomer would be dead, because I was amazed he was not dead already.
THE ONLY SOLUTION I HAD WAS THE BEST ONE OF ALL
Then I knew it was going to take a miracle. Moomer was on the way out, perhaps a few minutes from death, and realistically, there was no hope.
But since I’ve been learning about miracles, and the power of the name of Jesus, and how that power has been given to all those who call on him in faith, I knew what I had to do. I instantly asked God, without even thinking, it was like an instantaneous exchange. “Father…?” And God flashed into my mind the answer. Of course Moomer would be healed. He flashed an image, a picture inside my mind, of Moomer’s face and his eyes in particular, bright dark eyes, like the healthy boy he was before, and would be again. I turned and looked at him, the whites of his eyes, the groaning miserable creature that was Moomer. Well. That was a contrast, but I believed what I saw with the eyes of the spirit, not with my physical sight.
I started to speak:
“In the name of Jesus, I rebuke this sickness. I say to the bloat: Be Gone, NOW! I speak healing on this animal now, that all sickness leave now.”
There was no change. But I knew by now not to let this deter me. The Lord had SHOWN me the bright eyes of Moomer, he WOULD BE HEALED. so there was no quitting. I started to thank the Lord for the healing of this creature, and my spirit was stirred up. I was starting to feel quite happy and thrilled! I realised it was all going to be for the glory of God! I kept praying like this, and commanding the sickness to leave. I’m not sure how long I was doing this, perhaps 15 minutes. It was going through my mind that Jesus spoke so confidently to those who were lying there paralysed. He just KNEW what was going to happen. Though as of yet there was zero response from Moomer.
Then I grabbed one of Moomer’s horns, and I put my face close to his, and I shouted:
“MOOMER! Get up!”
I gave a tug, and suddenly his eyes rolled back into his head!
He was back! It was as if he’d came out of a coma–which really, he did. Now I was speechless! Immediately he rolled up to a normal lying position.
I pressed what I perceived to be my advantage!
“Bloat, leave now! Air, gas, leave now!”
I watched as his sides shrank in, right before my eyes, and he belched out air.
“Now I command this bloat to never return, and in fact, I command that Moomer’s digestion return not only to normal, but to a better normal than ever, that anything he suffered or had that was not quite right be gone forever, and his digestion and rumen be truly normal, better than it was before!”
(Interestingly, this all came to me to say on the spot–I didn’t know for sure what was his norm, but it occurred to me, and this must have been from the Holy Spirit’s guidance, that he had always looked a bit off. His pot-belly was not normal, and it should not have been that way, which is why I believe he ended up with bloat at this time).
Moomer was alive! He was back! He just laid there, blinking at me. His belly went to normal size in seconds–more normal than I’d ever seen it. But I knew he had to get up and moving now, and start eating to get his digestion working again. I grabbed his horns again. “Moomer! Arise and walk, in the name of Jesus!” Lo and behold, he came up to his feet. A little unsteady, but standing. I have him some hay, and he nibbled at it. Then he did a pee. Then another pee. Then another! Obviously the bloat had pinched off his urinary system, poor little guy. He must have been in total agony, with all systems shutting down. So this was good progress. But then he laid down again.
Well, I was praising the Lord and thanking him for the miracle that had already occurred. I had to tend to some other animals then, as I was alone. I went and did those chores, and in 20 minutes or so I came back. Moomer was just inside the barn doors, lying down again. I could not get him to eat. It was a concern but not a worry. After all, the Lord didn’t bring him back from the edge of the pit just to let him die from not eating.
So I said “Okay, Lord, you know he has to eat. And get up and moving. I can’t do it. What now?” I did a few more things then came back and asked the Lord again what to do. Moomer was still lying down, but normal lying, with his legs tucked up and his head up. I had put the other two cows out and locked them in the pasture, because when I knew I would pray for Moomer, I didn’t know how long it would take, and I didn’t want them butting in, maybe literally, and distracting me or worse.
THE LORD GIVES FURTHER INSTRUCTION
So I felt the Lord speaking to me. He said “Let Molly back in.” I thought, wait, that can’t be the right thing to do! Who knows what she might do! I must be imagining that is what the Lord is saying to me.
I don’t know how this works for anyone else. I’m just telling you that at this stage in my spiritual walk with the Lord, this is how it is for me. I never heard a literal voice, but I kind of “heard” inside what the Lord was telling me, and it didn’t seem like my own thoughts quite. But not different enough from my own thoughts for me to be so certain at that point. It’s hard to explain.
I “said” (I don’t think I said it out loud, but I may have) “Really, Lord? Really?”
Still standing there, I slowly turned to look in the direction of the pasture. Adelaide was down at the bottom of the field. But Molly was standing at the gate, waiting patiently to be let in! Okay, that’s when I knew it was the Lord speaking, and not just my own imagination. So I ran and let her in.
Immediately she ran past the gate and I shut it behind her. She ran into the barn where Moomer was lying down. She ran right up to him with her head lowered and horns forward. I gasped, “OH NO!” But she stopped right in front of him, and shook her horns in his face! She never touched him. She just waved her horns over him.
He immediately jumped to his feet! Then I put fresh hay in the manger. Then Moomer laid down again. Then Molly went back to him and did exactly the same thing as before! This time he jumped up and followed her to the manger. He started to eat with her. And stayed on his feet, eating. And eating some more! I was grinning from ear to ear! I knew it was all good now.
His belly stayed normal since this healing. Which for a cow still means fairly rounded. But! It never went back to the pot-bellied shape he had when he came to me. Not only did he come back from the edge of death–thanks to the grace and healing of our Lord–he is better than before, just as I spoke in that inspired prayer. Since then, he has had a couple of growth spurts. I believe whatever the problem he had when he came here was interfering with his growth as well, which makes sense; if his digestion was not 100% he wouldn’t get the full nutrition from his food.
Praise the LORD! Thank-you Jesus! It certainly wasn’t something I wanted to go through, and don’t want to ever again see bloat in any animal in my care. But I thank God for the miracle that showed His GLORY once again.
Here are a few pictures of Mr. Moomer, before and after. I don’t have any photos of “during.” As you can imagine, taking pictures was the last thing on my mind as this was happening. You will notice as you view these, the drastic change that took place in his body after he was delivered from his affliction! He went from a pot-bellied little creature to a normal bull calf, and now a young adult, still growing, and thriving. Praise God! It would have ended back in January if it hadn’t been for the Lord Jesus and what He made possible.