Thursday, February 14, 2008

2 New Valentine's Day Calves

Calving season has officially begun, I guess. And I am not the best one to be in charge of calving - I tend to panic too easily.

This morning before we left for work, Todd says to me "we'll have a calf on the ground by the time we get home tonight." I go to work, and immediately start worrying (this is at 7:30 that I get to work every morning). I call Todd about 10:30 - "I'm supposed to go to Jessie's valentine's day party at school, should I swing by home and check on her? Which cow is it?" "It's 101 - and if you want to, go home and check."

Then I get a call from Jessie's teacher - the parents who were supposed to send in the in class treat and drink for the party didn't send it in - could I bring something (mind you, I'm at work, it's 12:30 and the party starts at 2:45).

So I leave work at 1:15 (gotta love wonderful bosses), run home, and call Todd "069 has a bubble hanging out of her butt" (gotta love the technical language). "What??? Are you sure it's 069?" "Yes. . . .it's the only red roan cow out here - and her ear tag says 069." And she is a first calf heifer. Todd says she should be fine, bred to an incredibly small angus bull. So I hang around for a little bit, but before leaving for shopping for the party call him back - "I can see feet and they look to me like they are pointing the right way." "Ok - call me when you get home".

By this time, it's 2:20. I run to Dollar General to pick up prizes for a quick game I came up with, stop at the local IGA and buy cupcakes and punch, and fly to the school - and made it there by 2:47 (and you know, it really irritates me that as the ONLY room mother, I called everyone Monday afternoon to remind them of the party, and specifically said - if you can't do this for the class, call me and I will take care of it - just give me enough time). The party was a success, and Jessie and I head for home at 3:30. We INTENDED to stop quick at home, check on 069, and go pick up Tyler at the babysitters.

But 069 had other ideas - she was sitting up just like a dog. Her back legs had apparently slid on the crusted snow, and she was spread eagle. poor girl. I call Todd - and tell him what happened, and I could see the calf's nose and front legs. He immediately leaves work (again, gotta love understanding bosses), and calls me back - "get the calf puller, the chains and handles, and a halter." By the time he gets home, I have everything back in the pasture by her, and we quickly pull the calf (with me in my carharts, columbia work jacket, and skechers). It's still alive at this point, so I head out to pick up Tyler. As we are backing down the driveway, he is trying to corral 101 - who he thought was the only one going to calf today, as she is in the early stages of labor.

I get home with Tyler, put back on my carharts, and Todd and I go out to bring 069 and her calf in. Todd throws the calf over his shoulder, and I get behind 069 to urge her towards the sheds. We get her into 1 pen, 101 into another pen, and wait for the second calf to be born.

While I throw together chilli for dinner, he gets the OB ward set up with clean straw for all mommas, fresh water, and hay. At 7:30 101 spits out her calf like she does it every day of the week (she is a 2001 cow, wider than she is tall shorthorn/maine cross who out of her 6 calves including this year's, we have had to pull 5 of them).

Todd just went out to feed 069's calf some colostrum - it's head is swollen from the difficult delivery. If we can keep it alive on the bottle until the swelling goes down, it should be ok - if not, that is life on the farm, but we will buy a holstein calf off of a neighbor to put on the cow and let her raise. She is a first calf heifer, this is not her fault, and we will give her another chance if need be.

Our kids think this is the coolest - to have 2 calves born on valentine's day. When I got home with Tyler, Jessie was standing back by the fence talking to momma and baby, and Tyler had to run back there immediately and see the calf. Both kids had to make a trip out there before bed as well, to see both sets of momma and baby.
I'll post more baby pictures tomorrow - but the count as of right now is boys - 3 and girls - 0. Tyler is ecstatic, Jessie is bummed. 7 more to go - hopefully the majority of them within the next month before Todd gets busy at work.
Happy valentine's day!!


sugarcreekfarm said...

Congrats on the new calves! It never gets old, does it :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I hope 069 and her calf do well. Thanks for sharing, I love hearing about farm life/animals. Sounds hectic and rewarding.

Granny Lyn said...

What a valentine's day you had!!! We are thinking good thoughts for 069.5, and for Jessie to get some females to relate to! tee hee

thanks for sharing, specially today!