'Just looked like a war zone': 6 cows, 4 calves killed by lightning in Vernon Bridge, P.E.I.

A farmer in Vernon Bridge, P.E.I., said last weekend's stormy weather is to blame for the deaths of 10 of his beef cattle.

WARNING This story contains an image some may find disturbing

About 40 cows and 30-35 calves were in Henry's field when the storm struck. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

A farmer in Vernon Bridge, P.E.I., said last weekend's stormy weather is to blame for the deaths of 10 of his beef cattle.

"It didn't feel too good … just looked like a war zone," Blair Henry said. "Not a mark on them."

'We could see something was wrong'

Henry said about 40 cows and 30 to 35 calves were in his field during the storm. Those killed appeared to have taken shelter under a row of tall spruce trees along a fence line, where his field slopes down to the shore of Vernon River.

He says two electrical storms swept through the area — one around 9 p.m. Friday — and another in the early hours of Saturday.

"A lot of thunder and lightning. It was very close by times," Henry said. "It was quite loud."

'[It] just looked like a war zone,' says beef farmer Blair Henry. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"The next morning we could see there was a half dozen cows down there looking for their calves, and we could see something was wrong, so I went down and they were all lined along the fence there dead," he said.

Henry said an insurance adjuster, a veterinarian and staff from a dead stock removal service came to the scene Saturday.

Cows 'bawling' for calves

He said his herd of Simmental cross-bred cattle were jittery for days. On Wednesday some cows were heavy with milk, having lost their calves.

"For three days I guess they would run down there where the cattle all got killed then stand around bawling for a while," Henry said. "Then every few hours they'd go down again."

One of 10 Simmental cross-bred cattle, found dead on Blair Henry's farm Saturday. (Submitted by Blair Henry)

Henry said he has repaired the fence where the cattle died. He estimated the lightning has left with a loss of about $15,000.

Henry added while he's lost other cattle to lightning during his 50 years in the cattle industry, he's never seen this many all at once.

"Nothing I can do about it," he said. "It's like the weather. Just got to live with it."