Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Sunday

I saw the Sunrise on Sunday, but it didnt last long. It was freezing and windy and very dangerous weather. 20 degrees at 7 am. With the wind chill, it was much colder. I raced to the barn. I had put the twins and their mom in a horse stall, so they would be easy to observe and feed.I ran past the horse barn and out to the filed, The mud was frozen and hurt my ankles and legs to walk on it. Again, I saw a cow walking in a restless manner and knew she also was going to have a calf within a hour or so. Plenty of time to feed the twins, clean the stall, feed the cats and put bedding in the barn. Or so I thought. I checked the calves that were born on Saturday and was very happy to see that they were all in the cow barn. I put bedding down and moved some of them to dryer areas. The sick calf had made a complete recovery thanks to THREE veterinarians and some very strong drugs. It was now that I noticed that she had "lipstick" markings that made her look like she was perpetually smiling. It does a heart good to see a calf recover from deaths door so completely. She has been running and kicking up her rear legs and jumping over all the mud mongols. I take my responsibilities as a caretaker very seriously. I know I get too emotional about these animals. But it is hard not to. Once calving season starts, I get caught up in it. I have no time for much else. Today was again proof that I cant plan anything until all the calves are born and taken care of. As the morning wore on and the winds got colder and stronger, my favorite cow went into strong labor at the farthest end of a very wet, muddy, freezing cold field. My 4 layers of clothing were no match for the bitter cold.
I waited. I went down to the stream area and checked on her every 20 minutes and fought the wind to get back to the barn. Maybe it wasn't a good day to go fishing. At 11:45 am a 95 lb calf was born and now the dilemma of how I was going to drag the calf in the sled that great distance in a quick manner before we all got sick. I had noone that I could call for help. It took me an hour to get her to the barn. A friend arrived just as I made the last exhausting effort to drag the sled the last 15 feet. He helped me dry her off and tag her and weigh her. I stayed with her until 2 pm when I became so cold I was shaking. I went to find something hot to drink and dry clothes. When I returned at 4 pm I found yet another surprise in the field. This wonderful heifer showed no indication of having a calf that particular day. I had seen her as I walked out of the barn at 2 pm and she was chewing her cud and content to be out of the wind. She had her calf within 100 yards of the barn. Her calf was only 80 lbs and would fit in the sled easier and wouldn't be as heavy. Now I prayed I had the strength to get him to the barn. As I approached the new mom and son, he stood up and started an unsteady walk. I guided him in the direction of the barn while his mother mooed gently and pushed us both along. We made it to the barn in 12 minutes~! What a relief~! I colapsed in the hay beside him. I watched as she washed him and nudged him over to her udder for his first drink of lucious, life giving colostrum milk. Wish I had some. I was worn out and I still had to feed the twins and their mom. Maybe tomorrow I could go fishing.... I went home elated and exhausted and watched this video and have been humming it ever since~!

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