Out to pasture and 1st calf 2021

Here we are again. Another year of grazing, and another year of babies.❤️

2021 marks our 15th year of calving! We had a longer break from milking this year since we purposely waited to breed our mamas a month later than what we’ve done in the past. We thought this would maybe decrease some of the mud issues we’ve faced in past Marches, and also give the grasses an extra month to grow so our mamas’ feed would be more lush after calving. As it turned out, this season has not been a wet one, lol.🤷🏻‍♀️ But that’s ok – we were happy to have this longer break to prepare us for whatever is to come for 2021.🙏🏼

Last week we finished up getting all our groups of cows out from their winter area and out grazing in the pastures. It is always such a delight to see everything turn green and flowers pop out in the Spring!🌷

The yearlings were the first to move. Here they are on the 13th.☀️

Here are the dairy girls in route to their paddock in the Shire on the 19th.🌤

We’re expecting 5 calves this season. 3 of them are due on April 30th. One is Ruby…
Another one is Uno…
And lastly, we have Nat as the 3rd one due on the 30th. HOWEVER, you’ll see as this post continues that she actually had her calf this afternoon.🐮
Gluey is due 5-25.
And Sarge is the last one due on 6-5.

And then the last group to move on the 19th was our beef herd.

So that’s all our grazers, and now it’s time for babies!!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

Today, Mike left the farm for a bit to help a friend. He gave me a head’s up that he was pretty sure it looked like Nat was prepping to have her calf soon. It was nice the girls were in the Shire by our house. I checked on them every hour or so. It wasn’t long and I saw an extra face in the grass…😍

I zoomed in from our yard and txted Mike to let him know he was right.😆
I got a little closer, and could see all was well.
It was good to see Nat got her calf up, but I never saw it eating…
But she did introduce it to the water trough, lol…🤦🏻‍♀️

Once Mike returned, we got the fences ready and started the routine of bringing the calf and mama to the milking barn.

Nat was where she was supposed to be, and her calf was on the other side of the fence…
The calf stayed laying down until Mike got the halter on.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
It’s a boy!!❤️

We decided to name him Gary, in honor of one of our friends who is recovering from a very serious surgery. Lord willing, he’ll be well enough to come out and visit his namesake before the summer is over.🙏🏼

Next step was to get Gary back on the same side of the fence as his mama, in hopes they would both walk to the barn together…
…but it didn’t work…Nat just wasn’t interested in coming over & Gary didn’t want to walk to her…😬
Do you hear crickets??😂

Plan B involved calling Michael. He was home from work, so Mike asked if he wouldn’t mind bringing the 4wheeler over, lifting Gary up onto it, and then helping to drive Gary to the barn. We’re grateful he was willing to help, and Mike was especially happy he didn’t need to carry this calf!😬

I wasn’t going to put this picture in, but zoom in on Gluey in the background, lololol…😂🤦🏻‍♀️
His mama, Nat, is in the background…just wants to eat. This is pretty typical of her. She’s had 3 calves for us so far. Nat was bred to “Gauge” – a beef shorthorn. Last year we decided to not use our own bull anymore, so all 5 of our dairy girls were AI’d.
Here is a picture we found online of Gauge.

<Click here to read about Nat’s calf from last year.>

<And here if you’d like to read about when Nat was born.>

Michael drove while Mike jogged behind. All I had to do was run the gate and take pictures, lol.🙃
Mission successful!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Then Mike & I went back to bring Nat over for a milking. We figured she’d be at the back of the pack so everyone would make the trek, and we were right, lol.😏

I love these walks with our girls…❤️ So excited to have begun another milkng season. Thank You, Lord, for this gift!✝️
Once we got Nat in the barn, we walked the other 4 back to the pasture. We got enough milk to feed Gary, and he was happy to eat.😋
The sweet sound of a successful feeding…✝️❤️

Now that the dust has been blown off the blog, I look forward to writing more updates as babies arrive.☺️

Wow, Lord. What a perfect day to bring our first calf of 2021. Thank You for giving us this opportunity to be here and capture pictures of life on this farm. Continue to prepare us for what is to come, and may we never cease to be amazed at how You orchestrate every detail, always.✝️❤️🙏🏼

Current tally: 1 boy. Lord willing, 4 more calves to go!

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