Barn roof collapse traps cows in Middlefield

MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — All the wet, heavy snow was more than a Middlefield barn could handle Wednesday. The roof collapsed and the scramble was on to rescue three cows trapped underneath.

“She’s trapped underneath and she is over 1,500 pounds,” said Margaret Schaulis of Triangle A Ranch & Stables. “You’re standing next to her trying to shove a piece of snow, and wood, and you name it, everything, off of this cow so she can move her head. She’s gonna get up and you’re going to be right underneath her and it doesn’t matter because she’s getting up.”

She, her farmhand, and Middlefield firefighters jumped right into action. As she now thinks about the efforts it took to save the cows, which included a recently born calf, emotions start to surface.

“Every calf born and every baby is part of the family, okay?” said Schaulis. “That’s the way it is.”

Fortunately, the free-range beef cows suffered only minor scratches. The barn gave them shelter when they fed. Despite constant efforts to keep the metal roof clear, the melting snow and rain proved too much for it to handle.

“Frankly, I mean, you don’t sleep during the winter anymore,” said Schaulis.

With two other collapses at this farm in recent years, she says insurance is not going to pay.

“Everything was built to code, everything is spec,” said Schaulis. “How can you say no more collapses, you’re going to just not cover it? That’s where you turn to the state and the state helps you.”

Folks at the ranch are hoping that more disaster relief will help them rebuild again.

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