Those with cattle know that calving season is crazy and full of mishaps and miracles.
All these calving photos on the web really make me miss being home on the farm! So to ease my homesick heart I have decided to share two of my favorite calving stories. One today and one tomorrow! I think I can talk Wade into sharing one or two. I would love to hear your stories too! Shoot me an email, leave a comment or a note on our new facebook page! Heck we will just dedicate the week to calving! Why not?!
*******************************************************************Farms allow us to watch the entire life story unfold; from birth to death farmers witness it all. And we truly understand that there is a time for everything under heaven.
I have never lived where I couldn't see corn or cattle from my window; even in my early years when my family lived on the outskirts of town. So it was not a huge adjustment when we moved from the little house on the edge of town to the country on a farm of our own. Once settled my parents made their first cattle purchase. They bought several heifers and a bull and began raising calves for market. We've been doing it ever since. In that original herd there were several characters, and culls. But one cow in particular was my favorite. She was different from the others. She was a very productive cow; always had calves. They were always good calves; easy to put weight on and really sharp looking.
It was kind of sad this past fall when she died. She was the last cow from that original herd. We began to notice in the summer just how old she was. It was hard to keep weight on her and she looked downright shabby compared to the young sleek cows grazing near her. Mom and Dad wouldn't sell her. She would live out the rest of her days in the pasture. And I have to agree it was the right thing to do by her. Farmers can be sentimental like that.
She was like clockwork and had calves every year. And true to her nature before she died, she gave us one last calf. That little bull calf was born a couple of days before she died. I wasn't there when my dad found her and the calf. I'm sure it was very sad sight. But as I said earlier, farmers often get to see the beginning and end of the life. I just found this particular instant to be a little more poignant.
Look at that milk mustache!!!
He seems to be gaining weight he still has a lot of catching up to do. We were lucky to have a mild winter this year; the rest of the herd is healthy and happy, very little mud to deal with. The calf was kept in our special ICU unit on the farm; a dry lot next to the corral. He has been off the milk ration for a while, and has been eating feed and hay. The isolation allows us to keep an eye on him and ensure he gets enough to eat. When the grass is back on the pasture he will be turned out with the rest of the cattle. A sight I can’t wait to see!