Marching Forward

******This post contains graphic images of the birth of a calf.*******

How can it be that time seems to stand still for days or weeks on end and then BANG!!!! almost half the year is gone. I think sometimes that we just get so busy that we start ignoring the little things, like the minutes ticking away. I know that’s how it was for us this weekend. It was here, it doesn’t seem like we did anything at all but then POOF it’s gone.

It isn’t like we didn’t do anything. I washed laundry and dishes in there somewhere. I fixed meals and did chores. I did the normal ho-hum of every day life…but I can’t seem to remember what I did on what days and I have to keep looking up dates on photos to get it right. Maybe it’s just old age. Maybe it’s just my short-term memory loss (caused by a car accident in ’95)…..I honestly don’t know. It just seems that time is going by way to fast!

These thoughts start rolling through my head as I watch a first calf heifer trying to give birth to a calf. It was not an easy one and did require some assistance (the front feet and legs were not properly placed). All births make me think of my children being born and without fail, makes me feel old since my oldest son is 14-1/2 already!!! I can tell you, most days that is a reality check for me. In my mind, I think I am still 25 and I am capable of doing so much!

I am not 25, I am actually the ripe old age of 37 and still a young pup in my eyes. Of course, right? I still think in my head sometimes that I am 25. 🙂 I will be that old grandma that still acts like a kid and goes out to throw small square bales around at 70, that is if I live that long and the MS doesn’t take over. I want to be that lady…we all know one or two of them…that goes and goes. You know the one, every time you see her in action you are amazed at how well she is doing and getting around for her “age”.

Anyways…now that I am done complaining about time disappearing, back to the weekend. Yup, everything was going just as usual. Chores, laundry, meals, dishes, blah, blah blah…seriously, do we see where the farm chores rank! I hate doing laundry and dishes…but I do like to cook! Oh wait, there I go, rambling again….

On Sunday morning (and yes I verified the dates!) I got up early, did the milking, feeding and normal chores. Then I went through my normal morning inspection to “talk” to each of the cows. My morning inspection consists of checking feet, legs, bellies and heads. I check for any type of sores, bumps, lumps or limps. Most mornings this includes a brush and my hands on the Jerseys. The Dexters are a different story…they are just getting to the point where we can touch them. Frustrating for me because I forget sometimes and reach for them anyway…think of it like this: I am standing in the pasture next to one, talking to another and absent-mindedly reach out and touch the one next to me. It usually results in a near-kick and the cow running. Defeats the purpose and then I have to start all over with a nervous cow. GRRRR!

As I am inspecting all of the cows, I notice that #47, aka Annie, is walking rather strange, like her hip is really bothering her. Now mind you, she was due to calf at anytime…so I figured “Here we go!” I decided to give her about an hour and then go check on her. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t wait too much longer to go check too. I found her in the farthest corner of the pasture, bellering up a storm and anxiously pacing. After running, up hill mind you, to the house to get equipment (including the camera) and Mr. Farmer I was so out of breath (haha: old age!!!!) I could hardly move. Upon arriving back in the pasture and next to her, I could zoom in with the camera to see in close up detail what was going on. *Insert note here: Yes, she let’s us touch her…but she didn’t want us around her at this point.

Here is what was going on…..

Notice that the one leg is slightly withdrawn behind the other. This put the nose (which you can see just above the foot) and the front foot all at the opening. She was struggling and was starting to rip. So, Mr. Farmer decided that was enough of a struggle for a first calf heifer and he intervened to assist.

Much easier after the feet were moved…

For me, this was amazing and difficult to watch. I know all about difficult births and I felt bad for her. Once the head came out, the body slid out easily…that is until the back hips entered the top of the birth canal anyway.

Almost there girl…hold the tension Mr. Farmer
FIVE MINUTES LATER! A healthy and lively bull calf!

A half hour later, while debating names…we decided that he is going to have to be steered for beef just like the other bull calf that was born three weeks ago. All of our steers named here on the farm are aptly named for cuts of meat….so his name is now Sir Loin!

Sir Loin and Beefy, ages: 2 days and 3 weeks!

He was a rather large boy for a Dexter, weighing in around 60-70 pounds! He is huge and as you can see in the photo above…the same size as the tradition size of a 3 week old calf!

Needless to say…I forgot everything else that happened this weekend! It just doesn’t seem as important somehow as a new calf!!!!

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