Friday, July 8, 2011

The Case of the Missing Calf

Every day is an adventure on the farm. Tonight we were going to just feed the baby goat and feed the dogs and then have family game night.

One of our cows appeared to either be delivering a baby or already delivered a baby calf.
How would you know that a cow has or is about to deliver you may ask? Placenta hanging out. The hard part is knowing whether it's the water bag or the placenta until you get closer.

Now here is the crazy part. We have 1 bull calf that was born a week ago that is pictured below. He was running through the pasture while his mother and the other new mamma cow with placenta hanging out are running after the calf. So 2 mothers running after the same calf. Our milking Jersey cow, Julica was also running after the 2 mothers and the baby calf. Then the rest of the herd was running and following the 4 of them.


We stared at the sight and Mike and I looked at each other totally puzzled. So what's up with all this running around?

Mike's version: She didn't have her baby yet and she thinks the other calf is her baby. So both mothers are running after the baby. Now most people don't know that cows run. It's pretty scary as that's 1,500lbs running.
Annette's version: No way she's running around if she hasn't given birth (I've had 3 kids-- there would be no running prior to birth.) So where is the new baby calf? So the search ensued.

We searched around and found the baby on the other side of the pasture near the fence. He must have been about 2-3 hours old as he was licked clean and his umbilical cord was chewed down but he still wasn't standing well. So what do I say? Hey hon, now's the time, let's 'steer' or 'band' him and tag him now. So we run back for supplies and Mike tags him and turns him into a steer. I won't go into details about this process but it's what you do if you don't want a bull. So then we picked up the baby and drove him over to the correct mother. It took about 5 minutes before momma realized which baby was hers. Picture Mike holding a calf between his legs and calling out "hey momma-- this is your baby-- hey MOMMA!".

By the time I said- I should get the camera, the baby had nursed and collapsed to take a nap. See below picture.

Then momma laid down next to baby and all was calm again. You can barely see the baby in the picture but he's there.

An hour and a half later we were ready for family game night. Monopoly Deal - YES! I finally won. Life on a farm is definitely not boring...