Local farmer says refugee cows will be “fine”

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 7, 2005

Richy Naisbett, a local farmer in the cattle business, opened his cattle processing facilities to displaced cows from Louisiana, helping more than 1,000 head of cattle and counting.

At his farm south of Demopolis, Naisbett has received truckloads of cattle nearly every day for the past two weeks. Naisbett said the cows were rescued from many of the devastated areas south of New Orleans.

“They were trapped on higher ground, surrounded by water,” he said. Teams of people, including Naisbett, have been working to evacuate the stranded cows.

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“We have to do whatever we can to get them out of there,” Naisbett said.

When the cattle arrive at Naisbett’s farm, he immediately begins to pair the younger calves with their mothers. He does so in an effort to give the calves the much needed nutrients that only their mothers can provide–those that hay alone cannot.

Naisbett works as a middleman for the cattle owners and the feed lots where the cows will eventually be taken. During their stay at Naisbett’s farm, they undergo two series of vaccinations, parasite control and antibiotics, dehorning and castration, if necessary.

“They’ll be fine,” Naisbett said. “They just need to be handled quietly and given good, clean water.”

The Louisiana cows arrive dehydrated and stressed, in great need of attention and nourishment, and Naisbett does all he can to help. He has also worked with fellow cattle farmers in other areas of the state to house the displaced cows.