Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ground Chuck to Up Chuck: A Success Story

Up Chuck, up, stand up...up Chuck, up, stand up... This became Kalena's chant every time we went out to do "bovine therapy" on Chuck, the calf.

Chuck injured a nerve in his shoulders or spine about 12 days ago, and was not able to stand up. We brought Chuck up to our yard last Saturday (11 days ago) and began discussing our course of action. We decided that Chuck needed some special calf food, fresh hay and water and lots of TLC to be restored to health. He could not put any weight on his front legs and it seemed had no feeling in them either. We may have a sick sense of humor, but we named him Chuck as in Ground Chuck...get it? Groan!

Grandpa, Kalena, Elli and I (Jen) spent time with Chuck several times a day moving his legs and massaging his joints. We joked that we could sell him as Kobe beef when this was all said and done.

Chucks progress was slow, and at times we were not very hopeful that he would regain feeling and strength in his legs. However, this Saturday one week after Chuck took up residence in my lawn he stood with help from us. Let me tell you lifting a 300 lb calf is no easy task! Within an hour he stood by himself and wandered a few steps to the shrubs for some fresh leaves and grass. Late Saturday evening our dog Oliver was barking like crazy, when I looked out to see what the fuss was I saw Chuck wandering around the yard munching on anything he could find. Good grief! By morning he was nose to nose across the gate with the other steers about 100 yards from where he began. No one would ever know he had any problems with his legs at all.

Caring for Chuck has been such a great lesson in animal husbandry for both myself and the girls. I have to say we have become a little attached to Chuck. He is the most exciting addition to what we call the Riemer Family Petting Zoo which consists of: 11 Kittens, 3 cats, 1 city dog, 1 farm dog, 1 old pony and now a perfectly healthy, friendly calf named Chuck.


  1. Ground Chuck... Up Chuck...
    that's more than just a little "groan..."

    BUT... way to go Chuck!!! We are so happy for you!

  2. I stole the "groan" from you! Yeah we are pretty proud of Chuck, he's a bit skinny but totally fine.