Monday, July 28, 2008

in which the COW makes a FOOL of me

So, I put the "stupid" cow out to pasture today, and came in and vented in a post. A bit later I went out to check on said cow and she was all hunched up, tail in the air, looking for a place to have a calf. I said a few choice things, found a lead, and promptly returned her to the barn where there was a nice amount of relatively clean bedding, food, water, shade, and (importantly) easy access for me to help if it was needed. Twenty minutes later the calf was on its way. Being a dedicated blogger I had my camera out to take video of the event. (I know it's weird, but it is a bit addicting and when something really exciting happens one MUST record it.) I don't have a digital video camera, just an old digital still camera that has a short burst video function. So I was watching this process, snapping 15 second video as things progressed, when suddenly all the publish hype went out the window. The front feet were out (that's good, calves are born rather like divers, front feet first, followed by the nose, head, etc) and the nose. The next push had the whole muzzle exposed, but the tongue was poking out the side of the mouth and it was very blue. Down went the camera, I vaulted the fence, and with a few strong pulls to assist May's pushing we had the calf out. Some strong licking from mom and a lot of rubbing from me produces some feeble sounds. Eyes opened. A head raised from the muck. New life had joined our dirty, fly infested world. (The barn was filled with lots of nice things, clean bedding, food, water, etc, but the cow, in her wisdom, opted to give birth in the mucky, fly infested yard. I have a picture, but you don't want to see it.)

So, WELCOME TO THE WORLD little calf.

Of course its a boy. If I hadn't really wanted a heifer there would have been a chance, but the gods like to inflict drama on my life.

There is a great debate about names right now. R would like him to be named BINGO (no bad conotations there other than losing money to support the local church). JJ and C like Sir Loin the Black Knight of Warsaw, I'm fond of T Bone. We'll see. (Add suggestions if you are brave. Remember, we have no need for another male bovine. He will be joining Porter (House) and Chuck (Roast) on the two years to the freezer program, or maybe finding another home elsewhere.)


Alan said...

The calf is now three hours old. He is up, belly full, running and jumping around the barn and yard. Mom is a bit nervous still, but everything seems fine.

It's amazing how fast they get up and moving.

jack-of-all-thumbs said...


Again, your priorities are to be applauded. Blogger versus 'steward'? No contest. You took care of your own. Those of us who have helped in similar situations (my wife is a vet in a mixed animal practice) will supply our own pictures.

T-bone gets my vote.

Sheria said...

To borrow, with slight alteration, one of my favorite lines from Gone With The Wind, "I don't know nothing 'bout birthin' cows!" However, I've learned something from your posts from the cow birthing process. I'm not quite ready to give up my day job and become a vet, but I feel much more knowledgeable on the entire cow birthing process. I'm not quite certain what to do with this newly found knowledge. As for names, must the poor dear be continually reminded of his eventual fate? What about a good southern name--Bubba, Joe Bob, or Billy Bob?

Heather said...

Hey ho, congrats on such a healthy birth. Sorry about the boy part!!! I vote for T Bone too….


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