Thursday, January 27, 2011

A First

Most folks who spend a lot of time working on a dairy farm end up delivering a calf sooner or later. In theory every cow has a calf every year so there are plenty of opportunities.

Yesterday was Becky's day. She went to the barnto feed the calves just a little bit early, as she wanted to watch something on TV last night (for some reason we have been getting out of the barn a bit later than we like).

When she went to the back of the barn, Bailey's daughter, Booth, a Regancrest Chilton daughter, was having her first calf. Beck ran to the house for help and then ran back. Of course the rest of us had to get our boots and coats on.

By the time she got back, what had just been a pair of front feet had become a head and shoulders. The head was flopped down under the body of the baby in a very awkward position. She turned it back up and helped guide what ended up being a nice little shorty heifer on her journey into the world.

It took Booth a while to warm up to the whole idea of motherhood and she spent the first few minutes of baby's life gobbling haylage and ignoring her. However, just as I went to get some grain to sprinkle on the little one (sometimes that will get them to licking their baby), something clicked and she began to slurp the calf with her big old tongue like there was a sale and she was first in line.

I can't say enough about milking shorthorn bulls for calving ease on Holstein heifers. Other than the head being turned under the calf on the floor behind the cow, which could happen at any birth, this heifer had the calf as easily as calving ever goes. And the calf was standing up and walking around the barn within ten minutes. We have tried Jerseys, Angus and Hereford and always had one problem or another. Of course you have difficult births with every breed, but we do like the shorthorns best.


June said...

I'm pretty amazed at the munching haylage after a couple of good pushes. Oh, to be a cow.

Paul said...

Go Becky! How much does she charge? I might need some calving help next week, heh heh!

Michelle said...

Wonderful! Welcome to the world baby cow! lol

Woodswalker said...

What a thrill for Becky! Congratulations on the new arrival.

Cathy said...

Oh my, oh my.
I love a happy ending.
Congratulations all around!

Linda said...

It's something she'll always remember. I remember my first time.

Floridacracker said...

Go Becky go!

Ericka said...

nicely done, becky!

threecollie said...

June, cows eat just about all the time. Many of them stop to have a contraction, chew their cud or gobble a few bites...then have another, and eat as soon as they are done.

Paul, she laughed and wants to know what you pay. lol

Michelle, she is such a lovely baby!

WW, thanks, we are tickled. Her mama is a real nice heifer and her grandma is one of my favorite cows.

Cathy, thanks, we love happy endings and vigorous babies.

Linda, d'y'know, you got me thinking and I actually don't. Isn't that odd? I can remember quite a few that were either especially challenging, or that resulted in particular calves that I liked, but I don't remember the first time I helped. I do however remember the first time I got to watch when I was about twelve. Very vividly. lol

FC, I was quite proud of her! Thanks!

Ericka, thanks!