Jill Thorp and her family find Ozzie the bull a reluctant patient when he hurts his leg in the field

Our new Limousin bull, Ozzie, has had three weeks out with the herd whilst Herbie, our gentle giant, has been recuperating at home.

Ozzie the bull injured his leg and was a reluctant patient
Ozzie the bull injured his leg and was a reluctant patient

He’s getting plenty of good grub and back scratches so fingers crossed, he improves.

The alternative fills me with sadness, especially when I’m so fond of him. He is a veritable behemoth, height, depth and sheer substance in abundance. Despite his formidable appearance, he is a kind, laid-back soul. Ozzie is quite different, a mere whipper snapper in comparison.

At only eighteen months old, he certainly has some growing to do but he’s a good-shaped bull. Unfortunately though, last week, disaster struck. I’d seen the herd grazing contentedly, but there was no sign of Ozzie. After a panicked search, I found him, hidden in a dense patch of rushes.

He made no attempt to move as I nervously edged towards him. There were no trees, walls or gates for me to take cover in if he decided my presence wasn’t welcome. Paul had, however, assured me he was quiet so I summoned all my courage and approached him.

He took quite a bit of encouragement to get up, his sides were pinched in, his face grimacing in pain. As he eventually made it to his feet, his off back leg hung forlornly, hock swollen up huge, the toe of his hoof gingerly balancing on the ground.

He stood quivering and turned to look at me, a pitiful look on his big handsome features. I talked to him soothingly, still feeling somewhat vulnerable.

Thankfully, the cavalry arrived with the trailer and we set about figuring the best course of action. The banking was far too steep for the trailer, the only solution was to slowly inch him up to more level ground.

Things were progressing well until the rest of the herd became curious. Their curiosity soon turned into histrionics as they saw the trailer.

Within no time, they’d set off, tails up, bellowing frantically and scooping poor Ozzie up, urging him on. Adrenaline coursing, his acute lameness was forgotten and off they all hurtled.

The next half hour was a blur of flying cows, frantic shouts and waving of arms. The trailer tried to slow the stampede, accompanied by two pick-ups and one very irate husband.

John-William and I watched on as Paul, temper flaring, tried to veer Ozzie away from the rest. We stared in horror as the big, square head of our not-so-lame bull, lowered, and his speed increased. He flicked Paul into the air, like a rag doll and a little voice next to me said “ Wow, look at daddy fly!” I winced as he hit the ground, but presumed by the expletives coming from him, he was still with us.

After several attempts, Ozzie was cornered and loaded. He didn’t look in pain anymore, he looked mad, real mad. His parting shot was to leave two giant dents in both pick-ups before he stomped up the ramp.

Few words were spoken, but I’m told administering Ozzie’s medication is not for the faint hearted!