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3 cows hurt in barn collapse improving

Three cows injured when a barn roof caved in at a Framingham dairy farm this week are improving, but a fourth may not survive, the owner said Thursday.

“I’m concerned if she’ll make it or not,” said Doug Stephan, who owns Eastleigh Farm. “She’ll need another 24 hours. She’s battered and bruised, and visibly in pain, so she needs to be more closely monitored.”

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Early Wednesday morning, farm workers discovered that the barn’s metal roof had collapsed, apparently from the weight of snow, said Framingham animal control director Katherine MacKenzie. Two cows were found dead.

Of the eight cows that were rescued, four were able to walk out of the barn on their own and were milked Thursday.

“They had scratches, cuts, and bruises, but they’re OK,” Stephan said.

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He said the oldest cow of the group, Diamond, “seems to be responding quite well for the older cow that she is.”

The other four cows had to be machine-lifted and pulled to another barn where they could be cared for. Three appeared to be getting better Thursday, he said. “They’re not out of the woods yet, but they’re showing improvement.”

Stephan said that Eastleigh employees were tending to the injured cattle and that he would call bovine veterinarians from Connecticut if needed.

Stephan said that thousands of people had reached out to him by Thursday, asking if they could help. The farm, which has seen hard times in recent years, now has a donation link on its official website at eastleighfarm.com.

“We’re addressing the immediate problem Eastleigh has,” he said. “Everyone is calling and asking to donate something to keep the farm alive.”

Eastleigh is home to about 60 milking cows, Stephan said, but the farm oversees about 250 cows total between the Framingham location and an extension located in Brookfield. The farm is known for its raw milk and artisanal cheese.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com.
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