Monthly Archives: May 2022

5th and final calf 2022

Well. Just 2 days ago I was writing about how it seemed like it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r for Nat’s calf to arrive… But today, I get to write about how we were caught completely off-guard with the arrival of Angel’s calf, lol.😳

Yes, we knew it was within a week of its due date. And, yes, we were hoping it would come early…😆 Yet, for some reason, we went unprepared into the field this morning to bring in our dairy girls.🙄🤦🏻‍♀️

Our normal routine is for Mike to head to the milkhouse first thing to get all our supplies to feed Mary Kate and Jake back by our barn. In that process of driving the 4-wheeler next door, he does a quick visual check from a distance to see if there’s a calf. He did that, and “assumed” there wasn’t one since all the cows were laying down and chillin’. [Never taking into consideration it might be possible Angel had her calf after we last checked her yesterday afternoon, so they had all evening/night/early morning to bond, eat, and rest together…😬]

So we did our normal chores at our place, fed Dude in the white barn, and then began our walk to the field to get the milking mamas. We were in a good routine and making good time. AND THEN. As I got closer to where Nat and Angel were, I saw an extra mini-cow laying next to Angel.😲 And of course, we never even thought about grabbing a halter before we headed out.🙈 What are we, rookies??!!🫣 Pretty sure 16 milking seasons disqualifies us from that category, lol, so…👵🏼👴🏼😂

It all happened so fast that Nat was already up before I could even get a picture snapped.📷

No time to go back for a halter now, so Mike & I made the decision to keep walking the crew down to the barn…👍🏼

The good news about it having been born yesterday, is everybody already knew it was there, so the only chaos was between Nat and Angel. Nat is only 2 days out from having her own calf, so this new addition understandably stirred up her mama instincts.😉

It’s a boy! Meet “Colorado.” (Think John Wayne movie: Rio Bravo🤠📽) This is Angel’s first calf for us. [Click here to read about when Angel was born.] We chose to use an Angus bull for Angel because they are known for calving ease…smaller head and body. We figured its coloring would look cool with its mama being all white, and we weren’t disappointed!🐮

Colorado was FULL of energy! He ping ponged between Nat and Angel all the way to the barn.🙂 (You can see Granny and Tilly watching on the other side of the fence.😆)

It was a relief to have everyone in the barn, and that Colorado followed the group so well.☺️

Mike was able to sneak the halter on Colorado without him really realizing what was happening.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

We put QueenB in charge of watching over Colorado while we went back in the barn.😻 Angel was a trooper for her first milking and we are SO GRATEFUL!❤️

Colorado is NOT a fan of the halter, lol.😂

Adrenaline was still pumping for all of us after our adventure, but Colorado was at a whole different level.😳 He was not about to let me get a good picture of him for this post.😵‍💫

Made it!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Dude didn’t know what to make of all this excitement, but he seemed happy to meet his new and smaller neighbor.🐮

Miss Tilly had fun escorting the mamas back to pasture…😂 She is sooooo cute!🥰

Soooo – just because Colorado is laying down and looking all calm and composed… DO NOT BE DECEIVED. He went C-R-A-Z-Y when Mike got in the pen to feed him his bottle. I mean, we’ve had timid calves before, but this guy??!! YIKES.😬😳

Picture those cartoons of bulls-striking-their-front-feet-in-the-dust-before-charging-type-crazy.🫣 I was in shock watching Mike absorb Colorado’s charges!😱 He had an idea that might happen given that Colorado has Angus in him, so he knew that these first feedings should be something for him to oversee. (Thank You, Jesus!✝️🙌🏼) If I wouldn’t have been so terrified that he would jump over the gates or hurt Mike, I may have tried to get a video. I don’t ever want to see that again, so I’m kinda glad I didn’t get one.😉

We are prayerful that Colorado will calm down for us as we earn his trust. It was encouraging to see that by the end of the feeding, Mike could reach over and pet him from outside the fence. Sometimes success comes in baby steps.❤️🙏🏼

Final tally: 3 boys and 2 girls.🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮

Now on to the next adventure…11 more days until Paul and Annie’s wedding!!❤️ We should be able to have these calves next door with the others by the weekend, and then we can finish transforming this barn into a wedding venue…🙏🏼👰‍♀️🤵🏻‍♂️

4th calf 2022

Every day for the past week we have thought, “Today is the day Nat is going to have her calf.” And each day we’ve been proven wrong, lol.🙄🙈 Until – TODAY!😆

I’ll back up and fill in how the last week has gone:

Anticipating a new calf soon, last Tuesday we decided to move Mary Kate and Jake next door to our barnyard to free up the calf pens in the milking barn. They were both eating great out of their buckets and ready to graduate to a grassy chunk of space.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Jake did NOT like his halter, lol.🤣

But Mary Kate didn’t seem to mind it as much…👍🏼

Took a few minutes to get them started, but then they were off!👍🏼

Mary Kate was quite the poser…🙂

She’s a pretty sweet girl, and is already being spoiled…😉

Jake, on the other hand, was a little cranky, lol…😂

It took a little while, but eventually they became friends.🙂

I’m sure Jake is thinking, “Ugh – sisters,” LOL.😏

They both ate great in their new spot, and are continuing to adjust well to their halter training.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Then Heidi kept rubbing on Nat🙄, so we decided maybe we should move Nat into the barnyard so she could have a little more free space. Plan was to do that the next morning…👍🏼

Friday was a dreary, rainy day. That made it even easier to move Nat closer to the barn so we’d all have less mud to wade through IF she had her calf…☔️

Nat kept hanging out at the gate that led into the far side of Eisengard – where Tilly & Granny are, so we decided to put the 3 of them together. Tilly was VERY excited and curious, lol.😆

Nat wasn’t really sure what to think about these new changes… She spent the weekend looking longingly at her friends on the other side of the fence.🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

Now we’re caught up to this morning. Here’s our audience when we came over to milk. STILL no calf.😬 (Nat’s due date had been Saturday, so now we’re 2 days late.)

A couple hours later, Mike was moving fence and he thought it looked like Nat was starting to push. He came over to check on her, and YEP – 2 feet were visible!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

In the couple minutes it took me to climb over the gate and get closer, the calf was born!😲

Nat started right away to clean her calf up.👍🏼

It didn’t take long for Granny and Tilly to come over and introduce themselves, lol…🙃

It’s a boy! Meet, “Dude.” (Think John Wayne movie, Rio Bravo.🤠😂) This is Nat’s 4th calf for us. [Click here to read about when Nat was born.] [Click here to read about the calf she had last year.]

Less than 15 minutes old, and already trying to get up!🙌🏼

We decided to let Nat finish cleaning Dude up, and then come back for him after coffee break.☕️ (Dude was up and standing right after we left the field.👍🏼)

Dude was sound asleep in the warm sunshine when we returned.☀️ And he is pretty big – maybe the biggest one this season? What a blessing that he is so calm and willing to walk with the halter on!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

He’s also VERY photogenic…📷

Almost there…👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Made it!!💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻 We milked Nat and got enough colostrum for Dude’s feeding in a few hours.🍼

Now Nat has returned to the pasture with her friends, so she is happy!🥰

Only one final calf left – from Angel. This will be her first one for us.🙏🏼 She is due on the 17th.👍🏼

Tally so far: 2 boys+2 girls and one more to go…🐮🐮🐮🐮

Thank You, Jesus…✝️🙌🏼