Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Red-Eye Specials

Our ranch’s population increased by two last night.

Angel’s calf was small but for some reason was reluctant to make her grand entrance into the world, so she had to be pulled because Angel was wearing out. There were a few tense moments—which seemed like eternity—when Angel fell down while we were pulling the calf. The handle of the calf puller got wedged into the bottom frame of the maternity pen, but I couldn’t help Hubby. I was busy pushing on the headcatch with all my might, so Angel wouldn’t choke to death. Gravity and some of Angel’s 1150 pounds were working against me, but adrenaline and prayer are amazing things! (My back and shoulders are rather sore today, but it’s all for a good cause.)

Despite the shaky start, Angel and her baby, a yet-to-be named heifer, hit it off right away. Both of them act like they’ve done this all before and know exactly what to do!

Panda’s subsequent delivery was timely and assistance-free, which was a relief. Although the calf was strong and sturdy, it didn’t look like he’d nursed when we next checked. Hubby kept directing the little bull udderwards, but he showed not the slightest interest. Since most of the vital antibodies in colostrum can only be absorbed within the first six hours after birth, we decided to err on the side of caution by milking Panda and tubing the calf. But by the next check, he’d already taken care of his own breakfast and was be-bopping around the barn. Hubby thinks he may have been sandbagging and knew what to do all along. It just had to be his idea.

The wind has quit and the sun is warm, so everyone’s outside in the corral. Thank goodness, the cows have settled their differences (see yesterday’s post) and calm is restored. The next wave of heifers to calve are at least days, maybe a week or so, from delivery, so we’re looking forward to the first full night’s sleep we’ve had in 11 days. It’s a good thing, too. Our eyes are so red that Visine won’t even help!

Panda and calf

Angel and calf

“I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls.” –JEREMIAH 31:25 (MSG)

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