Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ever had a cow in YOUR foyer?

I woke up the other morning to a little bundle of excitement. Sometime in the wee hours of a cold, frosty morning, a little sweetheart was born. And because it was so cold...
She ended up in my entryway. 85 pounds of red, wet, furry, smelly, and very cute calf. When calves are born, we do our best to let nature run its course. They are typically standing and trying to nurse within the first 30 minutes of entering the world and we usuallly stay out of the way. But when it is beyond cold outside and your mom has never given birth to a baby calf before and doesn't know how to clean and lick and encourage, sometimes its best if your people bring you inside to warm up until the sun rises.

And so we did.

What a treat to wake up in the morning to find a baby calf in your entryway. C & L were very much interested although very confused. I am so glad my kids get to have these experiences. Even though they are messy and stinky (the calves that is, not the kids - well maybe the kids), it is so rewarding to watch their first moments of life.
We were a little late on our trip to town Friday morning. Petting the calf and telling her how happy we are that she signifies the arrival of spring is a very important job.

When they do finally learn how to stand, they typically go immediately back to mama. Four cloven feet can be kind of destructive. And also they are not potty trained. So Danish Cowboy loaded her in the back of my pick-up and we rolled her under the corral fence much to the relief of a very anxious and thankful first time mama. To date, we have about 10 calves on the ground and except for this little girl, none of them required human intervention beyond the routine ear tagging and newborn shots. Included in the group of 10 -- a set of twins! Hopefully bottle feeding will not be in my future because while sheep and goats will mother two or three babes, beef cows are not especially suited to the task. Stay tuned!


  1. Oh, these pictures are so adorable, I can't stand it! Thanks so much for sharing them.

    I certainly see a pair of twins in the second picture: the one on the floor and the one in the green and white pajamas! :) Their hair looks identical, and I just love it!

    How is the calf doing now? Is she staying warm and nursing well?

  2. Erin,

    Our first little calf is doing okay. My husband fears that she may have pneumonia so we have given her some medicine and brought her and mama into the barn for this cold and snowy evening. He is very good with animals so I have faith that he will pull her out of it.

    She may have been born too early and she also had a rough start being born on a night that had temperatures below zero. We do our best to keep them healthy -- at this point it's not about the money, it is totally about the feeling you get when you've helped a helpless little girl like this one. My husband and I take it to heart when we lose one at this stage of the game. I'll keep you posted on her.

    Thank you so very much for your kind words and interest!

  3. Sad to hear she is struggling. I'll look forward to the next update on her progress. I can imagine how much you must worry about her out there in the cold.

    (I'll have to send you a picture of my son's the morning or at any other time, for that matter. And then you'll see why I have such a soft spot for both your calf and your son. Hee hee.)