By Lawrence Belanger
Local Journalism Initiative
Farming news was full of novelty for the second half of 2022, when 20 or so young cows escaped their enclosure in the Mauricie region last July, resulting in a months-long operation across the region between the local farmers’ union, the Quebec Department of Agriculture, and literal cowboys to retrieve the bovines and return them to their enclosure. Despite some of the story’s more absurd elements, which came to a close this week with the return of the last fugitives, local farmers told the Record that while it’s rare for so many to escape at once, it’s not all that unusual for cattle, as well as other barn animals, to take unauthorized sojourns.
According to Jane Felgarth, who operates a farm with her husband in Hatley, cows are so notorious for this behaviour that it’s a running joke among her family.
“For us, when we hear somebody beeping or walking up the driveway that we don’t expect, everybody in the house is like, ‘Oh, the cows are out.’” When she and her husband go to a concert for an evening, the joke with her babysitter and kids is “are the cows gonna break out?” Want to have your birthday party in the barn? Can’t do that, because of course, all the cows will get out.