Friday we had our last calf for 2013. Phew. 🙂
We are grateful Friday’s calf and mama are a-ok, but are more than ready to move on to a new “season”. This one has been exhausting, and “weary” is a good word for how our bodies feel.
To sum up this calving season with one word, I’d have to say it was “unpredicatable”. So many things we thought would happen, didn’t. Or that we would be able to handle ourselves, we couldn’t. And Friday’s ending of this calving season was no exception to its unpredictability.
Allow me to bore you with my ramble… (I’m probably suffering from non-writing-itis, as well – it’s what happens when I’m super overwhelmed & can’t find time to journal, so forgive me & just jump to the pictures if your eyes are bleeding, lol…)
So Suezy’s due date was 5-8. She’s been huge & has had a swollen udder since about 5-1, so the waiting period for this final calf has been excruciatingly LONG. Suezy is one of the 2 cows left from the original herd we bought in 2007. She’s had 6 calves for us (not counting Friday’s) – so we refer to her as a “veteran” cow. 🙂
Went up to bring the girls down for milking Friday morning, and could tell she was licking off a calf.
It’s a boy! We named him Yogi. (These baseball farmers just couldn’t name a calf: “Yankee” in “Indians” territory, lol… We are done with using the aviator’s alphabet as a guide to naming our bull calves now. Next year, the plan is to go with Presidents – beginning with Washington.)
Yogi was still pretty wet, so we left them in the field so Suezy could finish cleaning him up & feed him. (Because after all, she is a veteran cow, right? It’ll be a cakewalk to get her & her baby down to the barn, right?) The rest of the girls came down to the barn for milking.
Here he is cleaned up.
Finished milking & headed up to bring down the duo. Got Yogi haltered and up… and noticed it didn’t look like he had eaten. Ug. Not good to have an empty tummy before the long hike to the barn. *first indicator it was going to be a long morning*
Off we started. First we stopped for Suezy to get a drink…
…and then Yogi promptly laid down & refused to walk. *next indicator of long morning* 😦
So down I walked to get the truck (Plan B). Mike sat with Yogi on the tailgate, and the boys walked behind Suezy as she followed her baby…
…and then she charged AROUND the truck, but thankfully didn’t break through the single wire of electric…can’t even believe I didn’t drop the camera because I was a nervous wreck, lol!
New plan (we’ll call this Plan C) was to leave Yogi with his mama to eat, so we put them in the barnyard and watched him suck on his mom’s leg…for a long time… 😦
Next Mike tried to “help” Yogi (Plan D) find his meal, but all that did was encourage Suezy to dance around… 😦
Next plan (Plan E) was to get Suezy in a headlock in the barn, and give Yogi an up-close tutorial…
[I need to mention here that one of the main reasons we like to have the calf walk down from the field is so that Mike DOES NOT need to carry the 70 pound squirmy calf…but at this point, Mike’s carried him 3 separate times…] 😦
So let’s just say that Yogi was not a quick study… 😦
After Suezy kicked at Mike & almost stepped on Yogi, we had to turn to Plan F… Exactly what we were trying to avoid. Had to milk Suezy into the line, all by herself. Yes, after we were already done & cleaned up from milking everybody else, now we had to do it all over again for one, stubborn, old cow. 😦
Next we tried walking Yogi to the barn, but he was just as uncooperative as he was up on the hill. Plan G was to begin feeding him a bottle of his mom’s colostrum so he would follow the bottle to the barn. It didn’t work. 😦
Poor Mike had to just carry him the rest of the way (Plan H). His back is still sore today – 2 days later… 😦
So now it’s me & Yogi – I paused to pray for strength. I’m not the type of mom who settles easily for “I’m not hungry…”
Thankfully, he DID catch on & polished off his bottle. 🙂
And Mike walked Suezy back up to the field to join the others…
Nothing like a marathon milking morning to end the calving season! 🙂
Thank You, Lord, for helping us get through this hectic & unpredictable season!
Perhaps now I’ll be able to keep up with blog posts as we enter into our summer routines… 🙂