With calving in full-swing, things are anything but boring around here. Between kids’ activities, town errands and chores, the kids and I haven’t had much downtime. But today was the first morning I’ve been able to spend at home in at least a week and it was glorious! Before having children, I never thought I would say that doing laundry, organizing cabinets and playing Hide-and-Seek with the kiddos would be the highlight of my week but here I am saying it, and it is so true!
We’re about two-thirds of the way through our cow herd, including our heifers, so I guess that means we’re on the downward slide of it. Although it always seems like the last push always takes the longest…Things have been going pretty smoothly thus far and while we don’t usually say that out loud, lest we jinx ourselves, I did knock on wood so we should be good for the duration.
When I say pretty smoothly, we have had some bobbles along the way. Unfortunately, we’ve had a couple of calves born dead but that’s something that no matter what you do, is completely unavoidable. Those always suck but a couple out of a few hundred isn’t too bad so we try to focus on the positive. And then we ended up losing a calf yesterday, which is terrible all around but the worst part is, we’re not entirely sure what happened to him. He was one of our oldest calves and was a big, strong healthy calf. Two days ago he was completely fine, yesterday we found him lying in the mud, unable to stand and by the time I went down the road to grab a calf sled to bring him and his mama in, he had already died. Lyle and his dad found a big puncture would in his back leg and judging by the churned up ground around where he was lying, we’re guessing he was either trampled by a group of cows or was running, slipped in the mud and was hurt internally.
While this is super sad, it’s not all bad!! The kids and I had a bum calf (she was a twin and we’re not sure if her mom didn’t like her or if she was too scatterbrained to focus on eating but either way, she’s been in our shed for a few days) who the kids fondly named “Moana.” The kids LOVE feeding the bottle calves but it’s always nice when they can get a mama of their own and feel some love from a bonafide bovine instead of a rowdy, neon clothes-wearing group of short humans who don’t really understand the Moo-language. This is the second bottle calf to get a new mom in the last week, and now our shed is empty (aside from Stilts who I’ll touch on tomorrow) so hopefully no more Moms will be needing babies any time soon. In this case, Moana got a Mama and a Mama (who didn’t know her calf had died because she was eating lunch while Favorite Farmer and I swooped in and removed all evidence) still has a calf to love! So, while we’re sad we lost a once-healthy calf, we’re so happy it all worked out.