Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Calving



We now have four calves. Three boys and one girl. That is 50% since we have 8 cows who could have calved. The way it looks we should have at least one more. That could be the end of it. The calves are all black and white. The two that came out of our Hereford/Holstein crosses have white heads and black bodies. The other two have white on their sides with the rest black. It is really nice to look out at the pasture and see the cows and their calves.

Now as to motherhood (since Mother's Day is this weekend)-------It would seem that all cows have a somewhat different idea of what their role is in the whole process. Although all of them do the basic stuff, they don't all follow through the same. Violet is the best mother. She is always sure that Charlie is nearby. She keeps real good track of him. Pepper was a real protective mom in the barn, but is kind of ho-hum outside. Fuzzy, on the other hand, is down right neglectful of poor Sally. Here she had the only heifer, and she leaves her laying out in the field and just goes about her business. Today Sally was left in the lean-to with Schroeder after their mothers had finished their afternoon naps and gone outside. Now who would just leave two darling little calves like that? Poppy is still in the barn with yesterday's calf. We will see how she cares for Spike when they go outside at the end of the week. It is certainly an interesting thing to watch.

The sheep on the other hand is downright paranoid about her babies. She keeps a tight rein on them. She is watching over them very well. It is fun to watch how they interact. The lambs are venturing further from her as the days go by, but anyting strange sends them bleating and scampering back to their mom. Today they spent more of the day outside in the rain. When I fed Mom in the evening, the little ones were as dry as could be. I guess the rain did not hurt them. Their wool was still curly. I sure wish I knew their secret. My hair can't do that.

All in all, spring is really a miracle here. The birth of all these critters is a positive lift that can't be beat. Being a woman, I was never an observer at a birth or post-birth observance. I like it and marvel at it. It has been a inspiring experience for me.

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