Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Have you ever seen a more pathetic looking creature? She had all the classic signs. The standing away from the herd in a corner of the pasture, the restlessness, the agitation. And then there was the springing (see earlier posts for definition -- I can't bring myself to do it again) and the classic kinked tail. This little two year old was about to become a mama for the first time.
We waited in the pasture in the pick-up, patiently at first.
Even Tucker Dog silently kept watch. And waited.
We soon grew tired of waiting and went off to play with bikes and mud and have some lunch. Danish Cowboy and the kids took a nap. I went to the bar (yes, the bar) to get our week's supply of milk. And I came back and I waited. And waited and watched some more with binoculars in hands until finally she had her calf on the ground and I could see that it was moving and alive. I went inside to relax.
Danish Cowboy went to the birth site soon after his afternoon siesta and found a surprise there. I was questioned heartily and could provide no good answers. You see, this very uncomfortable-looking mama was that way for a reason because she did not have one calf inside of her...
She had two!

We moved everyone into the corral because oftentimes mama cow will leave the weaker of the twins behind and only claim one calf. For now, though, she seems to love both of them and they are both quite healthy. We will, within the next few days, have to begin bottle feeding one of the calves because a first time mother cow just isn't up to the rigors of nursing twins out in the big bad world of eastern Montana grazing land. She would get very run down and would likely not breed back this summer. So we'll bottle feed the calf until he's old enough to eat real food. Or, as is more likely the case (and I'm not being negative here, just honest), one of the 150+ cows yet to calve will lose her calf during delivery and we will try to get one of the twins to bond with a new mama.
Mama did not even seem to care that there was a photographer in the corral with her. She was way too hungry to worry about me threatening her. I understand, mama, I understand. But you can only eat like that for so long while nursing twins. Then the "I'm nursing twins so I can eat whatever I want" excuse just doesn't fly with the science of diet/exercise. Take it from one who's been there, sister.


  1. I am smiling from ear to ear. Your sequence of photos had the desired effect for sure. When I scrolled to the photo with the TWO fuzzy, black faces, I gasped in delight. Thanks for continuing to share the real magic of Spring with all of us!

    (I see your first calf in the background of these photos. Is she recovering?)

  2. Holy cow (no pun intended) are you ever observant, Erin!!!

    Our first calf is still doing okay. She was bucking and playing on Sunday, but her fever was back up yesterday. We keep treating her and she does show some spunk so I think she'll make it. She is still eating and being kept in a small corral, as you noticed. Just have to think positive!