Animals

Beyoncé the calf recovers from broken leg

Nicknamed for the boot on her leg, this calf is walking on all fours for the first time in her life.

This story contains a correction

Beyoncé at the Fundy Veterinarians LTD. Clinic in Shubenacadie before her cast was removed.
Beyoncé at the Fundy Veterinarians LTD. Clinic in Shubenacadie before her cast was removed.   Courtesy: Fundy Veterinarians

One patient at a Shubenacadie, N.S., veterinary clinic is up and experiencing life on four legs for the first time.

A now eight-week old Holstein heifer calf received a fractured leg after complications with her birth. The chains that were used to pull her free from her mother caused her front left leg to break.

Dr. Vanessa Scanlan, a vet at Fundy Veterinarians’ Shubenacadie Clinic who tended to Beyoncé, said it’s rare for the chains commonly used in calf delivery to cause a fracture.

“We might see this every few years, but this is the first time I ever had,” she said.

Due to the clinic’s patient confidentiality agreement, Beyoncé’s owner could not be contacted. But during her recovery, Beyoncé was taken to the vet every 10 days to get her cast changed, a necessity since calves in their first weeks grow at a rapid pace.  

Her popularity at the clinic – in combination with a recognition of the boot on her leg – resulted in the affectionate nickname Beyoncé (after American entertainer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter).

“That’s not her official name on the farm,” said Scanlan. “But we started calling her that at the clinic because of her big booty.”

Beyoncé is now walking and has become one of the largest calves on her home farm. When she started her treatment she was 30 kgs. On her last visit to the clinic seven weeks later on Jan. 14, she weighed more than 60 kgs.

“She had the highest growth rate of any calf on the farm,” said Scanlan.

Although Beyoncé will have to be kept in confined spaces for a while to ensure she doesn’t run, it won’t be long before her leg is completely healed and she can begin her life as a healthy Nova Scotia dairy cow.

Correction: Jan. 19, 2016: Dr. Vanessa Scanlan clarified her comments to say the calf's nickname was a playful reference regarding the boot on its leg. Text in the story has been changed.