Calves on the lam after barn door mysteriously left open on northern N.B. dairy farm

·2 min read
Ten calves were mysteriously let loose from their barn on Ferme Bancourt in Saint-Quentin sometime on Monday night. (Submitted by Marsha Wilson-Banville - image credit)
Ten calves were mysteriously let loose from their barn on Ferme Bancourt in Saint-Quentin sometime on Monday night. (Submitted by Marsha Wilson-Banville - image credit)

Who let the cows out?

It's a question Yves Banville has been wondering since Tuesday morning, when a worker at his Saint-Quentin farm, Ferme Bancourt, discovered the barn door keeping in 10 calves had been left open sometime the night before.

"I'm really, really mad right now because it's just more work just because somebody took the time to open the gate potentially."

Banville said the barn housing the calves uses a door latch that's well above their reach, making it impossible for the calves to have let themselves out.

A farm workers who went to check on them Tuesday morning, found the barn door had been opened, and it appeared some sort of vehicle had been driven up to it, Banville said.

Not only that, but the 10 calves Banville had planned to use to replace some of the heifers in his herd of about 140 were gone.

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Google Maps

Banville said his initial suspicion was the cows had all been stolen, which would have been a first for the farm, which his father ran for 50 years before he took it over.

However, as they day wore on, the cows started to reappear, wandering in small groups of two and three within a few kilometres of the farm.

By Wednesday at noon, it appeared none of the cows had actually been taken, as the last two still unaccounted for were seen by neighbours on a back road near the farm, Banville said.

"It's either they opened the gate just to get me mad and look at me running after the calves, or they tried to get one and they lost all of them at the same time. I don't know," he said.

Calves a risk to themselves and others

Banville said he spent much of Tuesday chasing the loose calves on his ATV,  then walking them back to their barn.

While most of them have co-operated, he said the last two seem to be in a state of fear and keep running away as soon as he gets close to them.

Submitted by Marsha Wilson-Banville
Submitted by Marsha Wilson-Banville

His fear is they'll end up running onto a busy road and get hit by a car.

And with the hot summer weather, Banville said he's worried the cows could get sick and possibly die of dehydration or hunger if they don't give in soon.

"The one today, I was following her with the four-wheeler and I could see she tried to stop at every puddle in front of me just to drink, like she's really thirsty because they're not used to the sun. They're always in the shade and in a cool barn."

CBC News asked the RCMP if they're investigating the incident but hasn't heard back.

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