Gored by his bull, a 31-year-old father fights for his life

A tragedy shakes an Abitibi family as a 31-year-old father fights for his life after being gored by the bull he was raising on his farmhouse.

Out of passion, Valérie Roberge and her spouse Nicolas Chalifoux, who each occupy their profession, own a small farmhouse in Rochebaucourt, a small municipality located 80 km north of Val-d’Or which has only 131 residents.

They have half a dozen beasts there; dairy cows and an Ayrshire bull.

On May 1 at noon, Nicolas Chalifoux was feeding his animals when the beast attacked him.

“The bull headbutted him and knocked him to the ground. He entered a horn in his abdomen and shook it, ”said his spouse.

Luckily, the 31-year-old did not lose consciousness.

“With the adrenaline, he stayed upright. He called me at my business (a 45 minute drive from home). I contacted the neighbor to come to her rescue,” added M.me Roberge.

The neighbor put him in a car and took the direction of Amos hospital, nearly 70 km away. “Luckily after five or six kilometers, they came across an ambulance”, specifies Mme Roberge.

One step away from dying

Last week, Mr. Chalifoux was transported by air ambulance to the Sacré-Coeur hospital in Montreal because of the seriousness of his condition.

“The horn passed very close to the aorta of the heart. Nicolas was really very lucky in all his bad luck, ”adds Mme Roberge.

If this artery had been severed, Mr. Chalifoux would have quickly died at the end of his blood.

“He has already had seven major operations. Doctors still don’t know if he will survive. He started to move quietly again (yesterday) without opening his eyes yet. Mentally, according to the doctors, he is there, ”notes Mme Roberge who regained a little hope yesterday.

She points out that if the condition of her spouse continues to improve, the doctors have nevertheless advanced that several weeks, even months of hospitalization will be necessary for his recovery, as well as other operations.

Why ?

Even though the attack was completely unexpected, Valérie Roberge can only see one explanation. “A cow had just had a calf two days earlier. Did the bull want to protect the calf? »

But the mystery remains since they had the animal since its birth, almost three years ago, and it had always been docile. “He wasn’t the most sociable, but when we went to the field, he came to us. He followed us when we had a feed boiler. We presumed it was because of the calf because it never showed any signs [d’agressivité] “, she explained.

Call for caution

The Union paysanne, which brings together small breeders in Quebec, says it has never heard of such an attack.

Still, for Valérie Roberge, there is “absolutely” no longer any question of having a bull on the property. The lady sends a message to enthusiasts who, like her and her spouse, have farmhouses. “They have to be very careful. It’s still beasts. »

Nicolas Chalifoux is a mechanic-welder for a subcontractor in the mining industry.

Mme Roberge has to drive seven hours to go to her husband’s bedside. She finds herself the only breadwinner. The couple have two young children aged 6 and 7.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help the family. On GoFundMe: The Chalifoux family.

Serious injuries

  • In intensive care since 1er may
  • 4 bowel perforations
  • Stomach perforation
  • Perforation of the duodenum
  • Perforation of the pancreas
  • The horn grazed the aorta of the heart
  • Already 7 operations

The Ayrshire breed in brief

  • 2and most popular dairy breed in Canada after the Hostein
  • Weight of a bull: up to 900 kg
  • Weight of a cow: up to 560 kg
  • From Scotland
  • Arrived in Canada around 1822
  • First official herd in 1860 in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière
  • Well adapted to the Quebec climate
  • High production of high protein milk

*Sources: Les Producteurs de lait du Québec and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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