Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rescue 9-1-1

Remember those days when a date meant that you snuggled up against your sweetie as you went on a road trip? (With a seat belt, of course, Mom!) No sitting on your side of the vehicle. You didn't have to reach across that vast wilderness of the middle seat to hold hands.

We had a date like that yesterday. We were crammed together hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder, feet to feet. But that's because we picked up a 90-pound hitchhiker.

It was a tight fit. 
We had our first calf born to an experienced mother yesterday morning. Until then, we'd only had calves from heifers, mamas that are having their first babies. Because Randy needs to watch the heifers more closely, we have them nearer to the house in a corral. Then, if the mother is struggling, we can run it into the barn and help with the birth.

This baby was born in the pasture south of our house. It was 0 degrees, with a wind chill of -15 to -20. So, Randy wrapped it up in an old blanket and put it on the floor of the pickup to dry it off and warm it up. We also mixed up a little milk replacer to get something warm in its belly.
The pickup seat may never be the same, but mission was accomplished.
After the calf's tropical holiday, Randy lifted it out of the pickup and back to the straw, where it took some unsteady steps on wobbly legs.
Then, Randy tried out one of the new calf jackets we bought.
It was kind of like bundling up a reluctant preschooler, and the mama was concerned about her baby.
So, she led the baby away from the bunks and windbreak (and those intruding humans) and into the snow. Randy wasn't too happy.

"All that work, all that lifting, and she takes it to the snow," he lamented.

But, when we went back later in the afternoon, she'd led the baby back to the hay.
And it was snuggled up in the sun, having a little snooze.
We'll see if the stylish blue jacket gets any other customers today.


  1. Thanks for sharing! Great photos!

    1. Thanks for taking time to comment! Randy used the blue jacket on a new baby during this check of cows last night. This AM, he found the calf, but the coat is gone. He'll have to wait until it's light to find it, I guess. We got another 3-4 inches overnight, and he assumes the Mom knocked the coat off and it got covered up with the new snow. He can't find it in the dark.