Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pasture calving is such a challenge.

This year we had three pregnant cows that went to the pasture with the bulls, if we had our way, all the calves would have been born but that's life on the farm.

We have neighbors who pasture calve all their babies and get along okay but it's ingrained in Bruce to have all of ours at the barn where we can keep a close eye on them.

So we have to keep any eye out on the cows in the pasture to catch the calf as a newborn to give them the needed shots and fly and ear tags. Give them a few days under their belt and it's nearly impossible to catch the little buggers.

Last Sunday morning I spotted #3 headed down the pasture by herself and thought, "Ah, HA!" I hopped on the 4-wheeler to follow her and along the way came upon a brand new baby that was born to #23. #3 was just meandering to the other end of the pasture.

I had the cell phone so snapped a couple of pictures, she wasn't very old, I petted her, she got up and then laid right back down again.

Since it was Sunday, we had to wait until Monday to get all the meds from the vet clinic and I had my third chemo that day and we didn't get home till late in the afternoon with all the supplies we needed. Then we had to find the calf, Bruce drove the pasture for 20 minutes and gave up, he said we'd never find her in the tall grass. So he left to go do something else and I drove back and forth, only finding her by accident when the mother decided it was time for a feeding. She ended up being about 20 feet from the gate where we drove in!

We thought she was still young enough to catch but we were wrong, we had to trail her and her mother down the ditch to corner her, the poor little girl took a wrong step and found herself at the bottom of the creek looking very confused. Bruce said he wasn't going in, I was pumped up on steroids and feeling no pain, besides I had mud shoes on that could be washed out in the hydrant. I slid down the bank into the water and then had to try to figure out how to get her out. I was able to push her partway up the bank and Bruce grabbed her head and pulled. I caught both hind legs, we didn't want to let her get away after all this.

She was rather subdued and laid still while Bruce tagged, vaccinated and squirted pheumonia meds up both nostrils before letting her go. She and I were both pooped and slowly got to our feet, she tottered off to her mother, I let Bruce go get the 4-wheeler to pick me up. I guess the steroids were wearing off pretty quickly.

The rest of the week was spent recovering in the gazebo with Zoe, my constant companion.

She is the only critter who gets to hang out in there and she runs a tight ship. One morning the door wasn't latched, Mollie nosed it open and started to come inside. Zoe puffed her tail, jumped down from our 'nest' where she was sleeping, stalked across the floor with her hair standing up along her back and forced Mollie back out the door.

"You get out and STAY out!!"

Zoe is very in tuned to my feelings, when I am sick she gets very upset, prowls around and cries with a very worried look on her face.

She isn't worried in this picture.

One night Zoe, who sleeps in the tower by the window in our room, accidentally was left outside, unknown to me until the next morning when Bruce opened the door and let her inside. I took my pills, got my coffee, phone and tablet and headed out the back door to the gazebo. I looked up at our bedroom window and saw Zoe settled in the tower but when she saw me, her eyes grew very large and she had the look on her face that said, "Are you going to the gazebo without me??"

By the time I opened the back door again and stepped inside, I heard Bruce said, "Where you going, Zoemaster?" and knew she was on her way through the house.

She got a much needed nap in the chair, just where she is the most comfortable.

I'm pulling out of my chemo doldrums today, Saturday, when Bruce called that we had a new baby in the pasture, #3 had a bouncing baby girl down in the pasture. I made a quick trip to the vet clinic before they closed at noon, we wanted to doctor her before she got wise to us.

Luckily both these cows are young and not aggressive toward us while we are manhandling their babies. Bruce grabbed her tail and tucked her head between his legs. I was handing him tags and taggers, then the syringes. Suddenly the calf started struggling and Bruce thought he was going to lose her so I grabbed her back end and got two handfuls of sticky, yellow, nasty, baby poop.


That stuff is so sticky you could spackle your ceiling, if you like that color.

It is so sticky you could cement tile to a floor.

It is so sticky you could seal a bathtub.

It is so sticky......well, you get the idea....

Before I could get on the 4-wheeler, I had to get down in the creek and try to scrub it off my hands and it was darned near impossible.

At the house I set to work with a scrub brush and Dawn foamer soap, I scrubbed and scrubbed but you can be sure I kept my fingers out my mouth the rest of the day!


  1. Ahh! Yes I cringed at the first word of sticky. Stinky too, I would guess! But I did chuckle, love your blogs so much! Love to read, knowing full well I would not, could not do 1/10 of any of that farm stuff!

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  3. oh Julie! you make me laugh! I love your pictures and your story. We too have one cow left to calve. Stay strong!